Monday, March 28, 2005

The Cult of "Tot"

Tot came home one day with my daughter from first grade. I don't remember the exact date she brought Tot home, but it must have been in late January or early February. I do remember that almost immediately after bringing Tot home she had me remove two hog-rings that held two plastic snaps that one could use to lash the unsuspecting Tot to a backpack or some other school-age accoutrement. I think Tot telepathically had her free him from his backpack-lashing snaps of bondage.

Tot is extremely powerful, and is especially persuasive with kids around six years old. Since Tot's appearance on the scene, Tot has morphed into a a kiddie folk hero around these parts. Tot's visage graces the walls of my daughter's first grade classroom, you see, Tot is very easy to draw or paint. Tot also is well known at my daughter's after-school program, where the counselors take turns watching over the little yellow guy while my daughter plays. Of course, Tot's image is pasted about there like so many pictures of Saddam in Baghdad. Hmmm, I think Tot's clever appearance was very well planned out...

Tot is from the stable of characters that hawks food from the Sonic drive-in chain, but my daughter didn't get him there. She got him from a draw out of the treasure box at school as a reward for some long forgotten act of performance or behavior. One troubling thing about Tot for me, as Emily's Dad, is that I have not been able to locate a "replacement" Tot, in the event that something unspeakable might happen to Tot #1. I thought finding a replacement Tot would be easy, but it seems they gave away Tots as a premium with a kid's meal a couple of years ago or perhaps even longer. The only evidence I can find of Tot's existence is on the Sonic website, where he is billed as the longtime running companion of the Sonic crewmember "Molly", or when he appears with the Molly character in printed Sonic material.

Tot's behavior is manifested in many ways that would remind you of a six-year old child's. Tot leaves notes to "Sissy" wishing her a good day at school, and Tot recieves many presents from Emily. Tot has a jewel-encrusted dwelling (a little gift box bought in an Alpine, TX gift shop) where he may be found about half the time. We spend a portion of every day looking for Tot, where we have been lucky in finding him every time (someone knock on some mesquite). Tot's hygiene is very good, because he bathes whenever his benefactor does. Tot brushes teeth, eats popcorn, drinks Dr. Pepper, Tot does it all, and his faculties seem to only grow every day.

The irony about Tot is that he cost nothing. Zippo. Nada. Tot's appearance was pure serendipity. Hopefully young Ms. Emily will get around to playing with some of those expensive American Girl dolls that Santa Claus delivered at Christmas.

I think she'll get around to them eventually, but for right now, there is only Tot.


Blogger prairie biker said...

Sounds just as good as giving the boy an old refrigerator box to play in. Nice job.

Hey that ain't one o them africanized bees on that flower is it? I had enough of them that day Holmy and I got into 'em on the mountain on the other side of the Howard flight line.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Mark A. said...

Matt, a little kid can make a castle out an old fridge box, can they not?

I still sleep in one occasionally!

As far as the africanized bee question, you would need to be an apiculturalist to have the expertise to tell... I understand it is very difficult to discern the difference unless you inspect their wingspan very closely.

Certainly there are other ways to tell if you've got into a batch of "killer" bees, like if they chase you more than 200 yards, or if they swarm you without warning.

In Panama we had the africanized bees in spades, they were damn dangerous. I remember when they got into the ramp and door of one of our 130s, thousands of them, and just overnight. We have problems with them here as well, we've had city workers attacked running their lawn mowers.

That's when you really need to be on the lookout, if you're running any machinery that vibrates. The best advice when encountering aggressive bees: keep running. We train the kids to just keep on running till you can't run no more!

8:45 PM  
Blogger prairie biker said...

Here you go, courtesy of the Prop Wash Gang:

10:36 AM  

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