There have been many things that have made me laugh in the last little while. Here are just a few of them.
When Bible stories meet the Disney channel
This came courtesy of my sister, Michelle. It is a conversation she had with my niece, Tahlia, who has just turned three.
Michelle: “I told Tahlia the story of David and Goliath in the Bible, and then I reiterated that we never throw rocks, though, OK?”
Tahlia processed this, then…
Tahlia: “So, Mommy. If the big mean man comes to my castle, and kills my prince, then I’m allowed to throw one little tiny rock at him, right Mommy? Just one little tiny one. OK?”
Michelle: “Uh, sure. If that happens then you can throw one little tiny one.”
Michelle (to me): “I went right out the next day and bought her some additional educational DVDs.”
On military metaphors
So the adventure of our house (the house that we both love, and occasionally
“love slightly less”) continues. After the chemical-smoke-from-under-the-kitchen-sink incident on Monday, the landlord organized for someone to come and remove that hot water heater to reduce the risk of an electrical fire. This was good. What was less good was that when the man removed the hot water heater he also cut the wiring to all the other hot water heaters in the house, as well as the AC in our bedroom.
I don’t much enjoy cold showers, even in the afternoon when I’m all hot. In the mornings I avoid them whenever possible. This conversation took place on Thursday morning just before Mike and I left to spend two days in Phoukhoun district.
Mike: “Have you showered already?”
Lisa: “In a manner of speaking.”
Mike: “I really don’t want to know what you mean by that.” (Pause) “Yes I do. What do you mean by that?”
Lisa: “Well, it was a highly focused operation. Very targeted. A carpet-bombing of a shower. No, that’s too broad a metaphor. It was a guided missile shower.”
Mike: “Sweetheart, do you think perhaps you might want to rethink your use of such a negative, military, metaphor?”
Lisa: “Not really, it will suffice, just like the shower I had this morning. Maybe when we get to the field there will be hot water tonight.”
Mike: “And what color is the sky in your universe today?”
On Chinese dogs
Mike’s organization is having some trouble with the company they’ve hired to guard the office at night – namely that since someone actually tried to break in last month the guards are now too scared to stay there alone and want the organization to pay for two night guards instead of one. Given we hardly live in an active war zone, Mike is of the opinion that this is excessive. He suggested that if the security company is worried about their guards they could perhaps buy two-way radios. I suggested office dogs.
So as we were driving up to the villages on Thursday we were talking about dogs. Where, Mike asked his deputy, Kampono, could we get big dogs?
Kampono: “China. Get big dogs in China. But Chinese dogs not good.”
Mike: “Why not?”
Kampono: “Very expensive to keep.” (Much sorrowful shaking of the head) “Very expensive.”
Mike: “Why is that?”
Kampono: “Chinese dogs only eat meat. Very expensive to feed. Lao dogs better. Lao dogs eat rice.”
Mike: “You cannot feed Chinese dogs rice?”
Kampono: “No, must eat meat, these Chinese dogs. Lao dogs better.”
On picturesque irony
When we reached the village, Mike and Kampono took me on a tour of the office. When we walked into the child protection office there were two big portraits in gilt frames hanging either side of a poster.
The portraits were of Lenin and Marx.
The poster was about how to report incidents of child abuse in the Lao PDR.