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Child’s Play

We’re driving, going 15 mph leisurely down the slushy side streets.

“Mom, let’s play this game. Say a movie quote and the other person has to guess.”

Alright alright… This is my kind of game.

“I love this. Definitely. I’m in. You go first,” I reply.

“Ok, I got it. Here’s one… ‘Alright, let’s play a game. It’s called, Who’s your Daddy, and what does he do?’ ” …spoken in a strange attempt at an Austrian/ sounds a little Chinese accent.

I start laughing. “What? Are you quoting Kindergarten Cop?” Hilarious.

“Aw man! Yeah. Ok, now your turn.”

I join in on the wrecked attempt of an accent bandwagon. In a serious hush, I state sternly while gripping the steering wheel with both hands, “My NAME. Is Inego Mantoya. Youkilledmyfather. Preparetodie.”

“Oh I know that one. I know that one!”

“What is it then?”

He’s tapping his forehead, as if to conjure up the recollection.

“With Buttercup! … Princess Bride!” Nicely done.

At this point, our game is interrupted by a phone call from my little brother, Ray. I answer using the hands free Bluetooth.

“Hey Uncle Ray!” Michael shouts.

“Hey.. Hey.. How’s it going?”

“You’re on speaker, Ray. We’re in the car. Actually we were just playing the movie quote game.”

“Haha… Awesome. As long as no one’s quoting Child’s Play.”

I start cracking up. Now, I could not share this story with Michael.

But, it goes like this…27 years ago, we’re camping in South Dakota, Badlands. Outside, my parents still sit by the open fire. Inside the tent it is as black as the night and we are lying in our sleeping bags, set out like sardines; five of us. We lay on our backs, each of us taking turns quoting our favorite movies, having the others guess…

“Nobody puts Baby in the Corner.”

“Johnny 5! I’m alive!”

“Bastian, Caaaall myyyy Naaaame!”

I was 7, with two older sisters, an older brother, and the youngest, Ray, was 4. We’re carrying on with our quotes. All lying on our backs, unable to even see each other in the blackness of the tent, confined to the restrictions of our tightly snug sleeping bags.

“Put him in a body bag, Johhny! Yeeeaaah!”

“No more yankee my wankee. The Donger need food.”

“Alright, alright, Mickey’s a mouse, Donald’s a duck, Pluto’s a dog. What’s Goofy?”

“Baaaby Ruuth?”

Suddenly, from out of the darkness, little Ray chimes in in his soft, nasally voice, “I’ve got one guys.”

Where did he come from? He’s still up? Oh, this is going to be cute. What’s he going to quote? Gargamel? Alvin and the Chipmunks? 

My older sister replies, “Ok Ray, go ahead. Ray’s turn, guys. Everybody shut up.”

We do. Shut up. From out of the darkness, a little voice splits the silence….

“Don’t F&#k the Chuck,” he states in his best deeply disturbing, most demented voice.



Did our little brother just say that?

“Raymond!!!” My sister shouts.

We all fly up in our sleeping bags and erupt with laughter. Searching for him in the darkness. Ray is giggling, still snug in his bag. In our shock and disbelief, we laugh and scold him all at the same time. “You can’t SAY that?” “Where did you HEAR that?” “When did you SEE that movie?”

It’s still a mystery. Ray had a weird, mysterious way about him. Always quietly observing, and never ceasing to surprise us. But THAT. That time was burned in our memories. We made a pact not to tell on him. The game was over. Nothing could top that, and we were all laughing too hard to continue on.

Back in the car tonight…

“No, Ray. There will be no Child’s Play quotes in this car.”

“I have one!” Michael shouts. “Up there. Up there it’s THEIR time. Down here. Down here, it’s OUR time.”

Ray answers speedily, “Goonies!”

We all bust out laughing.

So funny. This child’s play tonight will most certainly not be including any expletives (I hope!). But time. Time does have a funny way of weaving and connecting the moments. This is still our game. This is still our time.

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5 replies

  1. What a great story! I love how you went back in time and shared the details of your night packed into your tent! Siblings give us SO many memories – some amazing ones, and some that are….memorable! 🙂

  2. I’m a big fan of children swearing. Me and Jimmy Kimmel. This one has me dying. Oh my god, that movie quote! Oh my god!

  3. I totally laughed out loud. Paul gave me a funny look. I love the story, the similarities between then and now, how some games never get old. Awesome slice!!

  4. I laughed out loud too!! It brings back to a sweet pudgy faced three year old burst out ” the mother of all expletives” as his birthday party!! Sooo funny!

  5. Oh my goodness!! Not only did I laugh out loud, but I had to share it with Eric!! That was so funny, only made funnier by your wonderful writing!! Absolutely loved it!

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