The phone rang while I was in the washroom. I swore as I got off the toilet and ran awkwardly to my room as I pulled up my pants. It stopped ringing as my hand touched the phone. It was Colin. No one else has that bad timing. I called him back.
“Mom? I’m done school now. Can you meet me at the voting place? I have my one piece of ID.”
And I had his voter’s card. I agreed and went to get ready. I had one foot in the air about to put my shoe on when the phone rang again. Of course it was Colin, he was just getting on the bus. So I got my shoes on and headed out the door with my ID and both voter’s cards. It was a two for one deal. I was getting out to vote and getting in more steps for my fitbit (which is currently at almost 15k steps).
I met Colin by the traffic lights and headed into the school with him, where we both got directed to different stations. I agreed my name and address were the same, listened to the voting instructions and headed off to vote. Meanwhile Colin was busy chatting up the volunteers. I’d finished voting when he finally made it to the voter’s booth. This year we had an electronic counting program, sitting on a cardboard box instead of just a cardboard box with a hole cut out on the top. It beeped. Colin looked intrigued. And then we headed out.
“Do you know what I think would help voting?” Colin asked. He didn’t wait for an answer. “Basketball.”
I couldn’t wait to hear this one.
“In order to vote you’d have to shoot a hoop,” he continued. “There’d be lower ones for people in wheelchairs, otherwise it wouldn’t be fair.”
I must have missed something. “Umm… why would you need to shoot a hoop in order to vote?”
“For exercise!” he exclaimed, looking at me like I’d lost my mind. “We have an obesity epidemic. If everyone had to shoot hoops to vote, think about how much practicing they’d get done.”
I decided not to tell him that some people actually don’t vote and that would increase if shooting hoops became mandatory. There was no point in opening that can of worms.
“If you’re that worried about obesity, you could always go for walks with me,” I pointed out.
He looked affronted, “I walk every day to the bus with this huge red basket!”
The basket doesn’t even reach his knees.
“Besides, I’ve lost 30lbs, which is really hard to do considering I have to eat junk food because we’re broke.”
“I don’t eat junk food,” I pointed out. “And I’m just as poor as you.”
“Well what do you eat?” he scoffed. “Besides lentils.”
“I eat pasta-”
“Bzzzt!” he interrupted.
“-with tomato sauce and lots of vegetables.”
“That’s not healthy.”
“I eat frozen mixed vegetables with-”
“That’s so not healthy,” he interrupted, again. “That’s like 20 or 40 or half the amount of nutrients that are in regular veggies.”
“No, they have the same amount of nutrients as fresh veggies and sometimes even more,” I responded. He looked mulish and I sighed, “Just talk to Daisy, the nutritionist, if you don’t agree with me.”
He nodded then continued, “Do you know what’s really good and nutritious? Preservatives!”
I must admit I did not see that one coming.
“They have them in so many things, even bananas.”
“Bananas don’t have preservatives,” I replied. “They’re picked green and sprayed with a gas to ripen during transit.”
We walked into our building and checked our mailbox then Colin asked, “Do you know what we need?”
I was a bit scared to answer.
“Okay what,” I replied hesitantly.
“Radio free zones. They block out everything. Microwaves, wifi, everything. That way if there’s an alien trying to communicate with us, we’ll have a chance of hearing them.”
I was under the impression that radio free zones were simply camping areas that were more quiet than the rest of the park but I didn’t feel like arguing. I pushed the elevator button instead and held the door for someone else to get on.
“And they help with allergies too, like with people who think they’re allergic to wifi or radio waves. You know, the placebo effect.”
“I thought the placebo effect was for medicine,” I replied. By this time my head was starting to hurt.
“That’s one definition. You can also make someone feel more pain by saying a needle’s going to hurt.”
“Will I find these definitions in the dictionary or did you just make them up yourself?” I asked.
“It depends on the dictionary,” he said scornfully as he followed me into my room.
I opened up Facebook and found a blog post I wanted to read. Meanwhile Colin continued on about radio waves and how if aliens were trying to reach us, we were likely blocking their signal. I didn’t bother mentioning that if their message was reaching us now, they were likely long dead. Meanwhile my head was now pounding.
“Colin? I love you but my head’s pounding and I need some quiet,” I pleaded.
“But it’s really important. There could be aliens trying to contact us right now but our microwave isn’t letting them!”
“I’m serious. Quiet.”
“Fine,” he said scornfully and flounced out of the room. I’d like to say it ended there but that was when the cats started crying for attention. So I fed them and now finally have peace, well as much peace as I can while Colin talks to his computer.
If you’ve ever wondered what life with Colin’s like, this would be it. Kind of like a talk show host doing a stream of consciousness monologue while high. I love the kid dearly but he is very hard to follow sometimes.
And it’s his 21st birthday on Tuesday! We’re going to our local mall on Saturday and meeting up with his cousins to try out the new virtual reality location. Hopefully it’s amazing and fabulous. Just like him.