Saturday, February 1, 2014

Flash Card Daffy

Exceptional-ism. I’m for it.

Everyone can do something better than a lot of other people. No! Really. One of my granddaughters can correctly identify sixty-four flashcards of citrus tree diseases while wearing fox ears on her head. She’s flat out amazing.

The problem with modern day exceptional-ism is making it look like everyday brilliance, so folks won’t feel sad when they can’t name sixty-four different kinds of citrus tree diseases while wearing fox ears.

I get that, because I’m exceptional . . . well not sixty-four flash card memorizing exceptional but I think I can hold my own around a subject and a predicate.

“I’m exceptional, you know,” I inform my children, quite frequently.

They say, “Can I borrow six hundred bucks?”

I say, “I’ve written books, you know. One almost won a prize.”

They say, “Oh wow, that’s almost wow but not quite. Now about that six hundred bucks.”


It’s hard to be the exceptional when nobody notices. Or it could be the number of times I’ve done unexceptional stuff while they were hanging around.

“Hi, Mrs. Zern, are you here for your semi-annual teeth cleaning?”

“And floating,” I chirped as I winked and laughed.  (Floating is what you call what the vet does to old horses so their oats don’t fall out of their old, yellow teeth. And that’s why that’s funny.)

Absolutely no one gets the joke about floating. I laugh my exceptional laugh alone.

“Well, Mrs. Zern, there’s a bit of a problem.”

“Did I get the appointment wrong? It’s Thursday, isn’t it?”

“Well, yes, your appointment is Thursday—six months from now.”

Then there’s the whole losing your car in the parking lot, in the rain, while wearing a white shirt/skirt/caftan with socks and high heels. I’m an artist. I don’t have to dress normal, or have to know that the black Nissan Titan I was trying to break into wasn’t MY black Nissan Titan. It’s a kind of exceptional-ism—really exceptional daffiness.

It’s genetic. Once in a dash for the SHOTGUN seat in our white van, our four daffy children pushed, shoved, and argued their way across the parking lot at Sea World. They jumped into a white van. It wasn’t ours. My husband and I started up OUR white van and pretended to drive away.

Which proves how completely not brilliant it’s possible to be. We only pretended to abandon them. We had our chance and blew it.

No one is great at everything. Being great at everything isn’t exceptional it’s just annoying.

Linda (Flash Card Daffy) Zern






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