Thursday, January 24, 2008
The Great Game of Tallywhacker
Yup, you read that title right. You'd think that after so many years at the back of the marching band bus I would have at least heard of that little expression, but I never did. But, I'm getting ahead of myself . . .
It all started about 2 years ago when Pete, stark naked and dripping wet, streaked through the house while we were visiting family. "What are you doing running around with your tallywhacker hanging out?" yelled Uncle Dennis. We cracked up. (It's a funny word! Say it really quickly: Tallywhacker, tallywhacker, tallywhacker, tallywhacker, tallywhacker . . . ) Knowing Dennis's penchant for coining silly words, I assumed this was just another of his creations. (Must've missed that one on the band bus while I was listening to Michael Jackson on my Walkman. Or maybe Madonna. ~shudder~)
Fast forward a year. Pete and Daddy started a game of snapping each other with towels right after bath time. Yes, you guessed the name of the game. It starts with Pete screaming like a banshee and running away from the tub - holding a towel around himself these days - with Daddy right on his heels, snapping away. After Pete puts on his jammies, they both snap towels at each other, laughing maniacally.
The things men do to bond.
I didn't realize the true origin of "Dennis's" term until one day when my neighbors (who I barely knew at the time) stopped by right after Pete had had his bath. They seemed startled to see Daddy zinging Pete over and over with loud thwacks. "Oh, they're just playing a little game they made up called 'Tallywhacker,'" I cheerfully explained. The look of horror on their faces impelled me to look up "tallywhacker" on dictionary.com to see if it was a real word.
Evidently, I had been telling everyone that my husband and son were playing a game they invented called "p*nis". I'm lucky that social services didn't come calling.
I should be glad that Pete is enjoying rough and tough stuff like this, regardless of the name of the game. Drama Queen's obsession for all things American Girl has been rubbing off and he's been asking for a Kit doll for his next birthday. I'm hoping that he'll settle for G.I. Joe.
Then again, the absence of a tallywhacker on said action figure could cause confusion as well . . .