… are, in order: poop, pee, fart, butt and penis.
Burp comes in at a distant sixth.
I’m not sure how these words came to be so funny. His mother and I do not use them except when necessary to refer to the things indicated, nor have we made a habit of treating the words or the things referred to by them as being particularly humorous.
And yet, without any other context, the kid and his friends just randomly blurt out one of these words and the others all launch into howls of hysteria.
On a recent car ride to the movies, I learned that the two highest and greatest of the funny words have alternates for use after a parent has issued the “No More Bathroom Talk” command. “Chocolate” and “lemonade”. The 5th grade mind has not yet developed sufficient power to guess that these 1-for-1 substitutions are as transparent to adults as they are to their own kind, and it comes as a surprise to them when the parent in the front seat hollers back, “I thought I told you: No more bathroom talk.”
Then they are silent for a time. They are in shock that I, the Dad of Awesomeness, who lived through not just 5th grade but all of Junior High School, managed to crack their code so easily. That, or they just don’t have anything else to talk about.From the back seat I begin to hear whispers and snickering. In the rear-view mirror I can see that they are whispering the five funniest words into each other’s ears. Between the road noise and the whispering, I cannot hear the actual words. But they are snickering louder than they think, and they do not know that rear-view mirrors are a dad’s adaptation to not having eyes in the backs of their heads as the moms do.
I silently resolve that I will never, ever drive 5th graders to the movies again. Or anyplace else, for that matter – a vow I know I will break but feels good to make and spares me from facing murder charges.
When we get home I ask the kid, “Why are those words so funny?”
He says that he doesn’t use them, except with his friends, because his friends all think they are funny, and it’s the only way he can get them to laugh.
“You need to find more interesting friends,” I tell him.
But I know that the selection of friends he has is, on the whole, pretty good. Given that his entire class is 11 kids, he’s probably picked three or four of the best to have as “best friends.” Poop and pee obsession beats shooting each other and people’s windows out with bb guns and thinking it’s funny – which in our neighborhood is a live alternative.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to take my magazine and go read in the bathroom.