One of my son’s classmates, let’s call him Melvin, can’t get enough of science. He dressed as bacteria last Halloween. Speaks in hushed and reverent tones about molecules and gravity. And when I found a wayward protractor and explained it to the class, he was the only kid that even tried to understand.
So, logically, without fail, every single day of this past autumn, he pestered his dad about the Holy Grail of kids’ science: the Chemistry Set. And much to Melvin’s delight, come Christmas-time, Santa delivered on the goods.
However, a few weeks later, there was an unfortunate accident.
Initial reports were thin on details.
“Dad, did you know that Melvin dumped his chemistry set?”
“Well no, son, I didn’t, that’s a bad break.”
Then, the story began to flesh itself out.
“Dad, did you know that Melvin dumped his chemistry set, and it made a stain on the rug?”
“Dad, did you know that Melvin dumped his chemistry set, and his dad threw it away?”
From there began the chronicling of his father’s escalating anger, culminating at today’s breakfast, with a matter-of-fact statement:
“Dad, did you know that Melvin dumped his chemistry set, and his dad got so angry that his hair caught on fire?”
Fortunately, Melvin deployed a tank of CO2 gas that he had previously distilled, snuffing the conflagration in an instant whilst simultaneously redeeming himself.
Hooray for science!