Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

"Hey, I tried to teach you how to handle comics in the sixth grade, but oh no. You wanted to play little league." - Brodie, Mallrats


Denali at dawn. The dark line was really there, and not just something the camera caught - I'm thinking it's a function of altitude. Unless it was a ghost. Regardless, this clicks to a larger version that's certified Mountainlicious!

It’s spring, and in spring a young man’s fancy turns to . . . ghosts?

The Boy is five, and fascinated by life. He bounces around and asks questions at a rapid pace, voracious to learn about everything. Unfortunately, his recall is good, so I’ve got to be consistent.

His latest passion is . . . ghosts. Ghosthunters is a show on the Science Fiction channel where (I am not making this up) two plumbers from Rhode Island and their friends look for ghosts in allegedly haunted places. It’s reality TV, and it can be enjoyable. I’m impressed that the leaders of the group are fairly hard to convince that a haunting is taking place. If you can convince honest to God plumbers that ghosts are real, well, who am I to argue? (A corollary question: is ghost-hunting part of the plumber’s apprentice program on the East Coast? My plumber in Alaska doesn’t really know much about ghosts, so I’m concerned he might not be qualified to work on a sink.)

The Boy is fascinated by all of it. When Ghosthunters is on, he is in rapt attention, watching the show and soaking up the story, relishing each new detail. For The Boy to sit still during anything is amazing. To watch him sit still for an hour? Nirvana.

The concern I’ve had is whether or not he should be watching content like that. Is it healthy for someone who doesn’t know how to tie his own shoes to know about EVP (electronic voice phenomena)? Is it right that someone who has yet to master the intricacy of the toilet flush knob to understand what an infrared camera does (okay, he knows how to flush, just refuses to, and The Mrs. says his aim is horrible)?

I’m probably not a good judge of that, and here’s why:

He and I sat down last night and read a comic book.

(I know that comic books were thought to be the bane of western civilization when I was young. It’s a shame that generation, wasted on Archie, X-Men, The Haunted Tank, and Swamp Thing only managed to create the Internet, the personal computer, the cell phone, land men on the moon, and defeat the Soviet threat. Imagine what they could have done if only they never seen those hideous comic books!)

Anyway, he and I read through the comic book, a reprint of an old (1950’s) “Weird Science.” I was shocked to see that the first story was one that had been reprinted in my youth in the 1970’s, and that I read as a young boy. I can recall looking for haunted places when I was his age. The cycle of life is complete. Hakuna Matata. He can watch Ghosthunters.

After a Ghosthunter episode, I guess to relax and unwind from watching ghost-hunting, he likes to hunt ghosts. Since our house is relatively free of supernatural phenomena (our beer keeps mysteriously disappearing), in reality he just wanders about with a flashlight, a digital camera, and his drawings of what he thinks ghost-hunting equipment would look like. His most recent problem is one that is Alaskan by nature.

When is the best time to hunt for ghosts? At night. In the dark.

He’ll have to wait about ninety days or so ‘til the next time that he’s up when the Sun is down. Until then, unless he finds a good dark place, he can hunt ghosts all he wants. In the brightly lit rooms of our house. Or maybe in the garage. Or maybe in the ancient native burial ground that our house was built on.

7 Comments:

Blogger Shawn Kielty said...

I hate it when that happens -- the sun is out and I want it to be dark. Happens a lot here in Arizona. The sun can get hot here.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Raelene said...

Your stories rekindle very fond memories of my boys when they were little = just watch out for the traps they will inevitably build! Thanks for sharing!

9:09 AM  
Blogger Joann said...

The ghost hunt must be a challenge in all that light. My kids liked to watch Sesame Street and Mister Rogers. I think the scariest thing was Barney the purple dinosaur. My daughters favorites were the home improvement programs. At a very young age she could tell how to put in a new driveway or put up a ceiling fan. I don't think Ghosthunters was on yet. Your son would love our Winchester Mystery House.
http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/

11:46 AM  
Blogger brotherbill said...

When our earth was spiritual and the Native Americans cared for it, ghosts were a powerful presence. Their wisdom helped guide and protect mortals.

Unfortunately, capitalist tinkering now dominates our world, and ghosts are not welcome. Don't get me wrong, they're still here, it's just that their existance is denied. William Kennedy sees them, and writes about them in his novels, such as Ironweed and Billy Phelan's Greatest Game. So turn the Boy onto some good ghost reads.

"Insensibly he formed the most delightful habit in the world, the habit of reading: he did not know that thus he was providing himself with a refuge from all the distress of life; he did not know either that he was creating for himself an unreal world which would make the real world of every day a source of bitter disappointment."
Of Human Bondage by Maugham, W. Somerset

12:54 PM  
Blogger the Witch said...

When my boy was little, he asked if ghosts where "real".

I replied "not if I don't believe them to be".

I also had him convinced that kids with clean rooms got more gifts from Santa..

5:52 PM  
Blogger John said...

shawn,
Yeah. There's still snow on the ground out here (really) though the days are fairly nice. I *don't* miss very hot days.

raelene,
Ohhh. I'm hidin' the shovels!

joann,
I've seen the Winchester house before (not in person, but on TV). He would love that one. He likes scary stuff.

brotherbill,
Love the Maugham quote, though I prefer to think of what could be, rather than what isn't.

witch,
Welcome back, and, I see a cleaner room in The Boy's future.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

"Denali at dawn." How do you tell it's dawn in Alaska? By the watch or by the day light, and what do you when it's bright all day long?

Don't waste your time and money on the Winchester Mystery House. It's weird, like many Californian things, but not scary.

2:44 PM  

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