One Fell Off and Bumped His Head

In a coffee shop this morning, I waited patiently while the Fordists (hey,
it’s a Ford, where else am I going to take it) tapped and prodded my vehicle,
changing out the oil and detailing it through a DMV inspection. Need to
renew the tags, and someone with authority and license has to sign the paper
affirming everything (except the driver) is road safe. Torn wiper
blades and a burnt-out tail light. WTF! You’d be sick on my behalf
if I told you how much they charged. I had to have the

But I was at a coffee shop walking distance from the car shop. I was
sipping on some exotic, way-too-strong coffee. You know the kind that’s so
potent it makes your tongue feel dry? That’s the kind of coffee I was
drinking. Empty place, since it’s Monday morning, eight o’clock. I
was reading Scholes. Chapter four: A Flock of Cultures. All about
the etymology of canon and Hegel’s brand of history and problems with
Great Books and conceptions of Western Civilization. It turns to
suggestions for curricular design, and I’ve been meaning all day to write about
it, to expand the few notes I scribbled down. Maybe tomorrow.

It was an empty place, but a dad and his young daughter (guessing at the
relationships) took seats at the table next to me. The girl was two-ish,
chiming through songs (like the one about a crowd of monkeys jumping on the bed–see entry title). The dad was fumbling with a huge brownie (breakfast?),
dividing it into adult and child-sized portions. Now that I’m writing
this, I can’t remember exactly why I thought this was relevant to Scholes, to my
day, the oil change, or you.

So I think it was the daughter’s sense of unfairness in the brownie
apportionment. She was really young, but she knew immediately that her dad
was eating the bigger piece of the brownie. She kept asking him, "Da,
why you eating da big one?" And he tried to answer, "Because I’m
hungry." And she asked again. He tried a different answer,
"Because it is yummy." She kept asking. Geez. So I
was eavesdropping, but they were only four feet away, and I was still reading
Scholes with most of my attention. Her curiosity was incredibly
persistent, and it became more emphatic on the word "big."
"Da, why you eating da big one?" He didn’t say,
"Because I’m big, too." You know, spatial relationships,
proximity, size: early (and lasting) understandings of social justice.