My twelve-year-old is anything but shy. He probably wouldn’t even know the definition of the word. (Probably wouldn’t be able to spell it either, but that’s another matter entirely.)
His overly gregarious personality was made apparent this past week as we went to a local amusement park. First came the crazy face photos. He purposefully looks slightly deranged in every one.
Then, while waiting in line for one roller coaster, he kept looking at random strangers, pointing to them and saying in his best dramatic yet menacing voice, “We will meet again!” He said it to a ten-year-old boy as he snaked around in the line behind us. He said it to an adult woman as she came around on the roller coaster. He said it to the dad and his daughter who were getting off the roller coaster as we were getting on.
The reactions, by and large, were confusion. One or two pointed back and said, “Yes, we will.” A girl of about eight years old looked frightened so I banned him from saying it to anyone younger than himself. I got quite a few quizzical, can’t-you-control-your-son looks from other parents. But he was having fun, and I was entertained, so I didn’t see a need to stop it.
This same, “We shall meet again,” saying was repeated in the next roller coaster we got in line for. Only this time it was accompanied by something much more sinister. My boy is, to put it politley, flatulent. To put it crassly, what comes out of his rear end often stinks worse than an open sewer drain. Where the carcasses of dead cats have collected. To be feasted upon by undead flies. He let a particularly silent but deadly one fly while we were in line. Knowing him to be the culprit, I just gave him my best withering look. But others noticed, too.
A group of about fifteen-year-old boys were in line close by. As they caught a wiff of the very offensive odor, one turned to another, slugged the kid in the arm and said, “Did you have to fart, Ryan?” The others chorused with “eww”, “yuck” and “you stink, man”. The poor kid who was thought to be the offender protested, but his buddies were not buying it.
My son simply pasted on his most innocent look, practicing looking away from the group without being obvious about it. He is too good at it, actually.
My son is many things: confident, stinky, strange, dramatic, but always entertaining. And I wouldn’t have him any other way. (OK, I could live without the stench, but I’ll keep the rest.)