Monday, September 30, 2013

Mad (Yet Healthy) Scientist

Penny is pretty well determined that she's going to be a mad scientist when she grows up.

(Specifically, a mad one. I think -- though she has not voiced it this way -- because mad scientists don't have to follow all those pesky rules like, say, the laws of nature, and therefore it doesn't require that she pay attention in science class.)

Anyway, we were in the car over the weekend and she suddenly popped up with, apropos of nothing that I'm aware of: "Mom? Wouldn't it be cool if we had wings and could fly?"

I allowed as how that would be pretty cool.

"Dad was telling me that sometimes, when people die, we can take like their insides and stuff and put them in other people who need them."

Apparent left-turns in the conversation are pretty common around here, so I took it in stride. "Sure, if the dead person gave their permission before they died. It's called being an organ donor."

But she hadn't veered as far as I'd thought. "When I grow up, I'm going to cut some wings off of really big birds and attach them to people so they can fly."

She launched into her plan, entirely undeterred by my gentle suggestions about such realities as even my extreme layman's science knowledge could conjure up. She would test her transplants first, she assured me, by cutting the wings off of smaller birds and attaching them to mice and rats.

And once she had perfected her technique, she would offer this transformative surgery to all comers for only fifty cents.

When I exclaimed over the low cost and wondered how she would finance her mad science, she blithely reminded me that she was also going to open a restaurant that would serve only healthy, diabetes-friendly meals. The restaurant, she explained, would be open from 10 until 10 every day, and she would do her mad science in the mornings and late evenings. No problem.

I was, all at once, charmed by her generosity and proud of her fearless vision.

And maybe, just a teeny, tiny bit disturbed by the thought of her chopping the wings off hapless birds and sewing them onto poor, innocent rodents.

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