Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Boys' Talk of Dust Blows Me Away

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Boys' Talk of Dust Blows Me Away

Article excerpt

Byline: Elizabeth Seney, Shorelines columnist

On Monday afternoon, on my way to deliver my 13-year-old son and his friend to their baseball game in Jacksonville Beach, I decided to stop and get gas. After filling the Saturn's tank, I got back behind the wheel and overheard the end of a conversation the boys had started while I was at the pump. It went something like this:

Chip: But what about food?

Eric: What do you mean, food? It's a dust speck!

Chip: Yes, but if it's a talking speck of dust, then it will need to eat.

Eric: Well, it's not going to need its own shopping center. If it gets hungry, it will just land on a piece of food.

Chip: But what if it can't see well?

Eric: Then it will go to LensCrafters.

Chip: But what if they give it the wrong prescription?

This conversation went on for several more minutes, touching on the many trials that could befall a talking speck of dust. My 8-year-old daughter, who was also in the car, and I were greatly amused, not so much by the story as by the fact that the boys put so much thought and energy into the discussion. It's funny, I thought, but if I had tried to steer their conversation toward school, the upcoming dance or even their feelings toward the baseball game they were about to play, I would have received a one- or two-word response. But get them talking about a talking dust speck and the floodgates open.

This snippet of nonsensical dialogue is just one example of the bizarre conversations my boys and their friends have engaged in over the years. I know their experiences are not unique because similar ones are staged again and again in boy coming-of-age films. In one of my favorites, Stand By Me, there is a scene in which the four friends sit around the campfire and seriously debate whether Goofy is man or dog.

One thing I do know for sure is that I will never overhear my daughter and her girlfriends engaging in similar talk. …

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