Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Brown Bag Blog

I remember many things from my childhood, things people told me, like "you're a quitter," and "your goofy," and "quieres chingasos, pinche bolio?" For some things, I had an answer for, such as "But I'm trying to quit smoking," "You used the wrong 'you're'!," and "No,thanks 'louse boop'!" But recently, while driving home with my daughter, something else I heard in my childhood leapt into my head.

My son had left an ordinary brown lunch bag in my truck that contained nothing more that a CD and some red and green streamers (don't ask.) When I picked up my daughter, who had been having a rough day and was in a somewhat foul mood, she spied it upon entering the cab of my pickup. "WHATS THIS?" she exclaimed excitedly. I fought off the urge to tell her that she forgot an apostrophe between her 'T' and 'S', to tell her matter-of-factly that it was her brother's props for the play he was in (OK, now you know.) "How even the most obscurely mundane things, when concealed by the mysterious brown bag, grow tantalizingly more interesting in their cloak of potential value," I thought rhetorically.

It could be a dirty diaper inside a brown bag, but someone who is on the receiving end of the "brown bag special" would be flooded with the delight of a potential gold coin, rare baseball card, delicious hamburger, or a clean diaper," but their is genuine excitement in the anticipation of something of tremendous value (I no I used the wrong "there" in this sentence and the incorrect "know" in this parenthetical statement) potentially contained withing the thin, opaque veil of the color of the shorts of a sweaty UPS delivery guy on a slow, wintry day. I think my daughter thought it was the delicious hamburger and NOT the delicious rare baseball card.

She was noticeably disappointed when she opened the bag (she didn't take my word for it, but I think she actually thought I was hiding a clean diaper in there) only to find a CD and some red and green streamers. She was even more dissatisfied when she closed her eyes and bit into the roll of streamer only to taste cheap ink on her palette. "What does Tate do with these?" she asked with the incredulous, judgmental tone of a self-righteous 5-year old. "He has a dramatic interpretive dance of the song on the CD for the play he is in," I reassured her. There was a quiet lull for a while, then she asked me if we could have hamburgers for dinner.

So what does this story have twoo do with me remembering my childhood (that's "to" and not "two")? Well, you'll laugh when you here this, perhaps even call me "goofy." I remember a kids show when I was young (I know kids should be plural possessive and not just plural) in which a lady, maybe the host but perhaps only a guest, gave the children viewers a great tip. Actually, it was Linda from Sesame Street. Her tips was to take something that you no longer play with and put it into a shoe box (which is ALMOST a brown paper bag), then put the box under your bed or deep in your closet. Months or years down the road when you rediscover the box, you'll be very excited about what's inside. Once you open it, the item or items will feel brand-new once again. Call it, the "brown bag" effect. I wouldn't recommend doing this with a hamburger that you "just can't finish" nor a dirty diaper that you want "nothing to do with," but it might work for a CD and some colorful, slightly water damaged from lip moisture streamers.

I cannot WAIT to put my math curriculum into a brown bag to hide over the summer months. The students and I will be SO excited when we get to open it up at the start of next school year. Too bad the excitement will where off just as quickly (I know it should be "wear!")


Anonymous said...

I wonder what my "brown paper bag" special form the district will be upon my retirement. Better still should I be eager to open it???

kwkorpi said...

Feel if it's warm before opening it.