Mr. Curious and Tampax Flight 309

Fireworks Boy

Okay, so tonight was weird. Well, actually it was NORMAL for Mr. Curious, a certain creative genius who resides at our house who has yet to be discovered for the beautiful mind that he is.

Here’s how it all went down: I made fish and parmesan couscous for dinner. The couscous was the only carb I could find since my health-conscious, vegetables-to-the-max daughter returned from overseas and eradicated all traces of sugar, wheat, flour, pasta, and various other delicious things faster than Napalm gives you a sunburn.   We had watermelon and pineapple as our sides and greenbeans and a vegetable medley.   My 8 year old son was stalling this culinary experience by saying he “had to go to the bathroom.”

Translation: Anything could be happening up there.

As my husband and I finished the last of our quiet dinner, I heard him tromp down the stairs as he exclaimed, “MOM!!! Look what I found in (name withheld of specific sister’s) bathroom!!!”

The usual precursory worry looks were exchanged by my husband and me. She’s of legal age, so I figured it could be anything, and at this point in life, really nothing would shock me, except that it did.

“LOOK! What is this?!?!?!?!” Mr. Curious demanded.

And that’s when we saw the item in question. It was a TAMPON. Yes! A tampon!

Only recently did I finally have “the talk” with Mr. Curious. That’s because he learned some colorful words on the bus and started using them not knowing what he was talking about. Sigh. That’s another story. But even though we had “the talk”, it was not accompanied by visuals detailing just how different women are and why. I had not specifically gone over the chapter of “things necessary to being female” yet. And since Mr. Curious lives in our house, generally we keep things of a private nature secure, like guarding the gold at Fort Knox.

“HOLD UP A MINUTE! PLEASE TELL ME YOU DIDN’T GET THAT OUT OF THE TRASH CAN!” I shrieked as my husband started laughing and then I did too.

Thank heavens, it was how can I say this delicately, still in mint condition. Again–thankfully!!

“Can we light it and launch it Dad?” pleaded Mr. Curious as he pulled out a box of camping matches he already had in the other hand.

“Well, we could son, but it won’t really go anywhere, because it doesn’t have any gunpowder in it.”

And that’s when it hit me! Why didn’t I think of that? Why am I not the one who invented the Rocket Tampon? That way when I’m really ticked off and PMSing super bad, I can make my feelings be known at an even faster, much more efficient rate of speed. Say 500 wpm as opposed to 120 wpm.

Perhaps we could obtain world peace once and for all if we fired rocket tampons instead of bullets! It’s the rare courageous man who can actually purchase a box of said cellophane-wrapped cotton rockets for the women in their lives. Can you imagine how quick our nation’s enemies would retreat if under fire by thousands of these little boogers? With the proper Iron Lady in charge, perhaps we actually could see peace in our time.

As my mind contemplated these things, my son made his 5th request, “Come on, let’s go LIGHT it!” It didn’t matter that we told him it would not launch; he remained undeterred. He had to see for himself.

“Someday, he’s going to burn this house down,” my husband said matter of factly, “he has that urge to burn things.”

“It’s possible,” I said. I thought of the story he told me of when he was a kid and and burned most of his neighbor’s front yard playing with gasoline and matches and realized genetically the nut really doesn’t fall all that far from the tree.

I thought of how every time we go camping with the our scouting den, most of the boys simply can not resist testing all of nature’s elements in fire, figuring out which items burn slowly, which burn quickly, which crackle, which cause sparks, and most blissfully: items acknowledged as things that could be truly dangerous, warranting a parental intervention in order to preserve the woods for the next group of campers.

Playing with fire. It’s a universal boyhood desire of curiosity, that we adults are often quick to extinguish.

“Quick! It’s time to watch the Grand Finale!” our pyrogynotechnician informed us beside a micro pile of spent match sticks.

In the end, Mr. Curious’s plastic coated cotton rocket launch of Tampax Flight 309 could only be qualified as a 100% failure by NASA standards. But that doesn’t mean science did not happen tonight. It did. (Cotton turns black when burned, but is not a good source of fuel. Plastic melts. ) But something bigger happened as well.

We all laughed. We hypothesized and made observations. The cats and the dog joined in on the deck, totally unaware of what strange people they’ve had the unique fortune of being adopted by. And out in space, perhaps the man in the moon may be looking down at a little boy on our deck under a warm July sky with crickets chirping in the back yard and see the possibility of the next astronaut.