“This is the whipped cream without the nuts!” Widget1 declared, staring me down over a Wendy’s frosty milkshake.
Why did this matter?
Jump back in time several days to a conversation at home. “I like whipped cream,” he told me, “but I don’t like the nuts in it.”
But whipped cream doesn’t have nuts, I assured him. Yes it does, he insisted. When did you have whipped cream with nuts in it, I asked. Gradually, I solved the puzzle of what he was talking about. Many moons ago, I had made an ice cream sundae for him. I poured whipped cream on top and sprinkled it with peanuts. The cream was awesome, but the nuts apparently didn’t go over so well.
A simple misunderstanding. Right? You’d think so. But you’d be wrong. In fact, Widget1 was absolutely convinced that my view of the matter was one hundred percent wrong. He ignored my explanation of how I had prepared his sundae and continued insisting the nuts were in the cream.
Fast-forward back to the future. Having been presented with physical evidence of nutless whipped cream (on top of his milkshake), Widget1 solidified his irrational defiance by weaving a careful rhetorical phraseology worthy of a White House press secretary: “This is the whipped cream without the nuts!”
Not,”You were right Daddy, whipped cream doesn’t have nuts.” Not, “Whipped cream tastes better without nuts.” Not even a mildly concerned, “Why are the nuts missing from this whipped cream.” No, he had to specify that this whipped cream – this particular whipped cream sitting on the witness stand – is irrelevant to the debate of several days’ ago because it is the kind without the nuts. Because you see, there are two kinds.
Having thus bested me, he then promptly forgot about his nutless whipped cream and went on to explain to me that he and I are going to heaven in 100 days. How does he know this? God told him.
Well, you can’t argue with God.
Or, as it turns out, a 5 year old.