Thursday, July 27, 2006

Non compos

Who uses it: Lawyers
What it means: Short for non compos mentis, not of sound mind; suffering a mental impairment (due to age, illness, injury, substance abuse or some other reason) that renders someone incapable of making his own decisions.
How you can use it: On any crazy day.

In Freeport this morning, hanging out with the Lechners before Jen and Steve leave for Ethiopia. I will have Grace for four days while they're gone -- the Bragdons, Grace's grandmother and I are sharing child care duties -- and am planning a full slate of activities, including the Desert of Maine, Old Orchard Beach, and the Topsham Fair.

The Topsham Fair has a pig scramble for five-year-olds... but Grace's mother says she cannot bring a pig home, and what's the point of a pig scramble if you don't get to keep the pig? Jen has also said that I cannot buy Grace a puppy or give her Barbies punk-rock makeovers. Sheesh.

One of my neighbors said to me a month or two ago, "You don't really like small children, do you?" This comment seemed to come from nowhere; I might have been saying something critical about another neighbor's decision to buy his four-year-old a fully-functional miniature motorbike, but that was not because I don't want this four-year-old to have any fun.

Anyway, there's no good response to a comment like that, which I can't help but hear as, "You're a cranky bitch, aren't you?" Anything I'd say would just sound feeble and defensive, or even sinister; I'm a single woman of a certain age who lives alone, and I'm moving quickly into Weird Old Lady territory.

But the truth is that I'd much rather have a conversation with the average five-year-old than with the average 40-year-old. Five-year-olds are engaged, curious, fairly ego-free, and not usually anxious; they like stories, novelty, bright colors, weird noises, and pretty things.

Not like small children? I am a small child. I just have a driver's license.


Madley said...

Can I just say that "pig scramble" sounds like an omelette, like "Denver scramble" or "fiesta scramble" or something! Made me laugh to know that people would be dealing with REAL PIGS while I was thinking hash browns and salsa.

L.A. will never be Maine -- which sometimes I think is really unfortunate.

AnswerGirl said...

Ha! No, a pig scramble is a race to catch a pig -- or multiple pigs, depending on how it's set up. Each kid gets a burlap sack, and the kid who bags the pig first wins it.

Someone's usually standing by to buy the piglet back, so it's rare that anyone actually takes a pig home... too bad, because I think Dizzy might like having a pet pig.

Anonymous said...

Desert of Maine looks cool (or HOT)--let me know if it's something we need to do in Aug. Also looking forward to desSert of Maine (as in Whoopieeeeee)

Dominic Ebacher said...

Interesting! Salutations.


Dominic Ebacher