Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Much Ado About Melvin

The "interesting" (usage as per the famous Chinese proverb) letters from my daughter at camp have continued. Shayna has written several times about a chipmunk that she and her bunkmates claim to have adopted and named "Melvin". We saw neither sight nor scent of Melvin last Sunday on visiting day; Shayna says he only comes out at night.

Her spirited protests to the contrary notwithstanding, we told her then - lovingly, but in no uncertain terms - that Melvin was not coming home with her as a pet. Yet her letters have continued to exercise her budding feminine powers of persuasion to "please, please please let me keep him!"

This brings back a vivid memory of Aaron's first trip home from camp, eight years ago this week. I had met him at the camp bus stop in our area and was loading his luggage in our car, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw another camper step off the bus and hand his mother some kind of small, transparent box he had been carrying. Suddenly, I heard a piercing shriek - the likes of which is usually found only in cartoons where the villain ties a helpless female victim to the railroad tracks - followed by a loud crash and the sound of breaking glass.

It didn't take a Sherlock Holmes to figure out what had happened. The kid had handed his mom a cage with some kind of woodland creature in it, and the poor, startled mother had reacted as any confirmed urbanite would have - with sheer, unadulterated terror.

Naturally, in explaining to Shayna why she couldn't keep Melvin, we hid our own blatant cowardice under a veneer of high-minded sentiments like "it's a sin to keep a wild creature caged up", "we don't want to risk spreading disease" and the like. She saw through this in a moment, of course, but hey, we're the parents, and in the end, we have to take a stand, and show the kids who's boss! So there!

Shayna comes home on Tuesday, and we're laying odds whether Melvin will be on that bus with her...

I must say though, that Shayna and her friends did pick a rather fitting name for their (hopefully!) temporary furry companion. I'm quite sure none of them ever saw the
Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoons that were a popular, if somewhat nauseating,
fixture of my generation's misspent youth. But nevertheless, they picked a moniker that, stylistically, fits the pattern of that intrepid band. If there had been a fourth chipmunk brother, Melvin would have been an ideal name.

I can hear it now. "Simon... Theodore... Alvin... MELVIN!!! Stop chewing on the sofa!!"


At 8/1/06, 12:43 PM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

This is soooo cute, I used to love alvin and the chipmunks.


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