Sunday, January 17, 2010
Munchkins & Mexicans
When my brother was about 3-4 years old, he spoke with what sounded like a French accent and said wacky things. For a while, the things that scared him most were beetle grubs and croutons. These fears were my fault: I was 11 years older than him, and held great sway over his views. I told him that Ronald McDonald killed kids by choking them with croutons, and whenever we dug holes (we dug a lot of holes at our place), grubs turned up and I tossed a few at my brother, which happened to scare screaming hell out of him. I hadn't told him any terrifying things about grubs, but he later said that he thought their reddish heads came from drinking blood.
For a year or so, he also thought "Mexican guys" came into his room to rummage around and steal toys. We originally thought he dreamed this up from scratch, but eventually I deduced that when he said "Mexican guys," he really meant "Munchkin guys," sort of like when he called helicopters "haplicopiters."
Just as the fear of Mexican guys can be outgrown, it can also be grown into. Several years ago, my 80-year-old landlady was convinced that some Mexicans who pulled into her driveway were there to steal her antique doorknobs, and now my mom is convinced that the reason you see fewer horses on local farms is that they're all being taken to Mexico to be tortured for sport--some kind of stabbing with long knives, kind of like bullfighting. I'm hoping that eventually her worries about Mexicans will evolve into a fear of Munchkins who steal toys, thus demonstrating that we return to a form of childhood in old age. Plus, she has too much junk stockpiled at her house, so it would be good if some got secreted away by little humanoids.
On the other hand, my mom's youngest grandchild (my niece) is a dwarf, so this could cause an odd difficulty in the family.