Quirkiness of thought and expression is a much under-rated characteristic. For me, the quirky are more interesting than the merely intelligent. Indeed, many of the world’s most interesting creations come from the minds of the world’s quirks, as it were.
Today, Fintan, eight, was playing with a children’s toy, which I believe to belong to his young niece (about 3 years old). He turned it on, and pushed a button or two. Electronic music bellowed out from it. He smiled to himself and levelled it towards me:
“Watch Daddy, this machine will erase your whole mind!”, he announced, rather theatrically. He then set about proving it, calling up repetitive annoying tune after repetitive annoying tune, laughing to himself all the while. He repeated each short snatch of music for maximal mind-numbing effect, punctuating it only with the occasional cackle to himself.
Before he had actually proved the efficacy of the device, but by the time I had become convinced that it, indeed, had the power to “erase my whole mind”, I told him, firmly, but with tongue in cheek:
“Switch it off Fintan, it is beginning to work!”
He had mercy on me and switched it off. Unfortunately, little Tiarnan, five, who had no mercy in him whatsoever, took over and chose the most repetitive irritating tunes of all to play, repeatedly. He wasn’t playing it because he liked the music. He was playing it because he liked the effect on his Daddy. After much amusement – from him, alone, I might add – he finally switched it off, after I had begged him several times.
I think Fintan has found the answer to the mystery as to why three year olds are generally surpassed by eight year olds, mentally: it is those damned mind erasing devices they play with!
Posted by Valentine Cawley
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