Thursday, February 21, 2008

Red Hand, White Man

Not too long ago my daughter started stringing her words together. And yes we’re guilty, no videotaping or calls to close friends and relatives. No, Hennessey is the “second child”, and I’m sure we’ll get an earfull about it when she’s older.

So there we were driving down Church Avenue one day and she starts to utter a “chilling” warning to the family. “Red hand, White man”.

My wife and I just exchange looks of confusion sprinkled with a little horror.

“What did she say?” “It sounded like “Red hand, White man” said my wife. “Oh, Red Can, White Van, she’s just babbling that’s all” I said. Then it came from the back of the mini van again, “Rrred hand, Whhhite man”. This time more pronounced, it was almost like my daughter heard what I said, and was trying to correct me.

“What, what, you think she can see the future or something?, Why does she keep repeating that?” I said. I turned around to look at my daughter and she had the palm of her hand up so I could see it.
"Red hand Daddy" is all she said.

Now, I love Steven King you know, and I couldn’t care less that his writing is never really recognized by “the literary critics”. And the “Shining”, well, it sure scared the living hell out of me back in the day, both the book and the movie. And the whole “Redrum” thing in the mirror that little kid kept repeating over and over. Hell, don’t tell me that didn’t scare you too. So when it comes to little kids talking about shit like this, it sure gives me the “willies”.

“What is she telling us, we’re going to be stabbed tonight by “Bill Gates” (your stereotypical looking white man in my opinion) and then he’s going to wipe the blood from his hands on the walls”,
“we just painted too” I said.

“You know Ronnie, they say little children can also see ghosts” said my wife. Oh shit, that’s all I need, I’m sure my whole family still hangs out in my house too, I thought to myself. And no “Santeria” is going to get them out either.

We stopped for a light, “Gee, I was hoping the tornado we had in June would have ripped down that “Deal 99 cent store sign” instead of destroying about a hundred tress and cars. It’s amazing what….”RED HAND, WHITE MAN, RED HAND, WHITE MAN”, my daughter was now screaming the warning at the top of her little lungs and jumping up and down in her car seat at the same time.
This time the “warning” was frantic!

“Should we stay at the Brooklyn Marriot tonight or what”? I said to my wife. This was even getting to me, “Mr. Non-Believer Brooklyn.”

“Hennessey, what do you see?” I said.

“Tell Daddy what you see?”

With that my daughter pointed her little finger at the electronic “Walk, Don’t Walk” sign by the side of the lamppost on McDonald Avenue. The little “White man” just lit up fully ablaze in its LCD light bulbs.

My wife and I just stared at it and started laughing together.
We then drove off before the “Red hand” even appeared.

It’s amazing what little kids notice is all I thought.

And as for “Bill Gates”, well, he’ll just have to
wait to kill us some other day.

Ron Lopez

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Anonymous said...

I love your posts about Kensington in the 60's and '70s. I'm still undecided about your contemporary posts on parenting.

Ron Lopez said...

"You see, ya can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself"

Ricky Nelson

tracy said...

I loved this part because my daughter was staring out the window babbling the same thing a few weeks ago. I knew just what she was talking about though, since I had told her that "the white man tells us when it's OK to cross the street" one afternoon. How's that for chilling?!

Anonymous said...

I love the randomness about the 99 cent store sign in there, great story, my brother just bought on of those signs at Englishtown the other day, Will