Mr. Hula Face

December 27, 2008 at 11:50 pm (Housewife Life)

The presents are opened, we are bloated from eating, and a good time was had by all. Ninja, the imaginative 4-year-old, has been building all sorts of  “contraptions,” as he calls them, with his new Tinker Toys. (Yes, they still make those!)

Among said contraptions are, a leaf-blower, a self-flying airplane, a peanut-shelling machine, and Mr. Hula Face (a bunch of stuck-together Tinker Toys with a yellow plastic tiki-looking face affixed to the front). Everything this kid has been building has a noble purpose, albeit a pretend one. I asked him, “What does Mr. Hula Face do?” The answer, of course, is that Mr. Hula Face can answer any question you ask him. I asked Mr. Hula Face what time it was, and he knew; I asked Mr. Hula Face why it rains, and he knew; I asked him how many sides does an isosceles triangle have, and he also knew, though I’m sure it helped that I yelled “Yaaaay!!! That’s right!!!” right after three, when he was clearly about to count higher.

We could have really used Mr. Hula Face  the other night, when 8 of us sat down to play the game “Apples to Apples.” The way we play it, whoever wins the previous game acts as The Judge for the next game, and this is how we ended up with my autistic son, Bunny,  as The Judge. Only Mr. Hula Face could explain how, when the adjective was “eccentric,” Bunny the Judge chose “Beets” over BOTH “Michael Jackson” and “Quentin Tarantino.” The game took a really long time because nobody is privy to Bunny’s brand of logic, and it soon degenerated into, everyone throw down a random noun card and see what he does. I think Mr. Hula Face could have helped us play our cards a little better that night, as we tried to contain our frustration but allow the kid his rightfully-earned turn as Judge.

Mr. Hula Face could tell me in advance whether or not my procrastinating husband will remember to buy me Christmas presents. My guy waited too long, at which point I said please wait until January because I don’t want a Panic Present. A Panic Present is the thing you grab in a last-minute freakout because you don’t want to be caught having nothing to give as a gift. We’ve all gotten them…the plaque with a wiggling rubber fish that sings a song, or the wool hunters’ hat with the ears that fold down, or a DVD of the Mel Tillis Christmas special from 1978. If we are going to spend the money, I’d honestly rather wait a little longer and get something I like and can use, instead of a Panic Present. I’d appreciate Mr. Hula Face’s input up front so that if Hubby’s gonna forget (cough-AnniversaryDinnerFromSeptemberThatGotRescheduledButWeNeverWent-cough), I can get over it now and not waste any emotional energy.

I’m sure Mr. Hula Face would also come in handy on things like guessing lottery numbers, SuperBowl winners, election results  and that kind of thing. He could tell us the weather in advance, warn us in advance if this week’s “Heroes” episode is going to suck, tell me what day my period’s going to show up so I won’t wear white. Yes, it would be awesome if Mr. Hula Face were real.

Ninja explained that Mr. Hula Face can answer any question you ask…but…what he DIDN’T say was whether the answers would be right. So, in the absence of such certainty, Mr. Hula Face isn’t really any smarter than the rest of us. But I’m not spoiling it for the 4-year-old.


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