Bring in the Clowns

Bring In The Clowns

This first came out last May when things looked really bad. Now, December 22, things are looking even worse.

C-19 is kicking our butts. Hope this brings a few laughs second time around – or, the first time if you missed it

last May.

Katy’s World

Cleaning out files going back forty or fifty years has unearthed some real gems. For about a decade, I kept a file of the funny and/or insightful things our daughter Katy would say. With her permission, here are some keepers.

The World According to Kate

11/13/94 – Returning in the car from Colleen’s.  With a McDonald’s burger in her hand…she fights off sleep in the car.  Mary tried to take away the burger from Kate as she drifted off.  Kate: “No, Mom.  I can eat and sleep at the same time.”

11/14/94 – Playing with her new toy train at dining room table.  She was to change the switch and missed it as train was derailed.  I told her what to do, to which she replied: “But daddy, I’m only a little kid.  I don’t know what to do.”

11/19/94 – “I’m so thirsty, my bones are dry.”

5/7/95 – Kate says “I have to go poo poo.”  Gets into the bathroom and nothing happens.  She offered this explanation: “My poo poo’s asleep.”

August ’95 – We were going to a Gilbert Family reunion in Oregon. Kate had been running a slight fever. On the two hour drive from Portland airport to the coast, Kate slept most of the way. She had a terrible cough. We stopped for some cough medicine. Down the road about 10 minutes, I look in the mirror to see Kate projectile vomiting. We got to the condo where we were staying, and more vomiting. When I got back from seeing the cousins,  Kate said, “This has not been a wonderful day.”

2/10/96 After doing a two day Informix program, we went to dinner with Kate, Mary, Rick, John and Mary Warren and Mary Warren’s father and Andrea. Harvey Dean was to come that night to stay over. I didn’t really expect him at the dinner, but about 20 minutes into it, he showed up. He walks in, we all see him, and Kate shouts out, “Lets hear it for Harvey Dean!”

3/11/96 – Driving home from the movie, “Going Home 2” Kate said she wished our house would catch on fire so a dog could come in a rescue her. When I said I hoped that didn’t happen, even tho being rescued would be great, she said, “Yes, that would not be a wonderful day.”

6/96 – Kelly and Pyar are going to “Confident Kids” The program helps children of divorced families deal with their feelings. They love the program. Kate says, “Daddy, I wish you and mommy would get divorced.” “Why?” “So I could go to confident kids.”

5/96 – Kate is very mad at Mary. She says: “I hate you, and I’m still going to hate you even when you’re my grandmother!”

12/96 – Talking to Kate about my mother. I told her my mother died some time ago. She said: “Did your mother die before you were born?”

3/9/97 Last night we took Kate to a performance of Carmina Burana in SF as both a coral work and a ballet. She said of the male dancers, “Why are they wearing those tights? You can see their butts.”

6/12/97 We found a dead lizard in the driveway. Kate was deeply touched and sad. She gave it an official burial in the backyard. She then asked Mary to make a big sign with shaving cream on the driveway. It said: “Lizard, I love you. Katie.”


Kate’s insights –

Rick (feeling disgusted at belly hanging over belt): “Well, Kate, I gotta go

back on that diet to get rid of all this.

Kate: “You don’t need to diet, dad.”

Rick: “Why?”

Kate: “You can just get bigger clothes.”

2/98 – Kate: “I know what sex is.”

Dad: “What?”

Kate: “When people get naked and kiss.”

Dad: “Yes.”

Kate: “Have you and mom ever done that?”

Dad: “Yes. We still do.”

Kate: “No.” Long pause. “Can I watch?”

6/21/00 – Kate is at a Creative Arts summer camp. Big show happening this Friday at 3PM.  In the car tonight she explains how she wants her parents to be there. Says to me, “If I don’t see your face there, I swear I will become a Republican.” Then after a pause…”What is a Republican?”

6/22/00  Big discussion at breakfast re how Kate and dad like to eat dinner while watching a movie downstairs. Mary gets all concerned about how we are establishing a pattern of no family time. She looks at us both the says, “How can we have such different values?” Kate shoots back, “Because me and daddy weren’t raised on a farm.” I damn near died laughing.

July, 2000

Working on the fence in the backyard. Kate wanted to use the cordless drill to help. It was hard for me to get the screws in. She climbed the ladder and I helped hold the drill in place. She tried for a second, and was quickly overwhelmed. Her comment, “Tough crowd.”

In the car. Kate sneezed and covered her nose. Something we’ve been trying to get her to do. I said nothing. She looked at me and said, “You didn’t reward me.”

On the airplane to Spokane. We are coloring. She wants to use the brown pencil. Working away. Suddenly the lead broke.  We had no sharpener. Her comment, “All is lost.”

Again on the plane. woman beside us is on the fight to see her son who is having emergency surgery. She is looking out the window in tears. Kate very concerned. Kate gets a napkin and pencil and writes the woman this note:

“The sun will come out tomorrow.” The woman just about lost it and gave Kate a little flashlight with a Pooh Bear on it.

Feb 2001

We went to the Antiques and Collectors show in San Mateo. I bought her a doll for her 10th  birthday using a credit card. As we walked away from the doll booth, I said, “I think you just love me because of my credit cards.” She laughed. I said, “Would you still love me even if I had no credit cards?” She replied, “Oh sure, dad. Then you’d pay cash.”

June, 2001

Coming back from Tahoe, just me and Kate. We are driving on Hwy 37 between Napa and Vallejo. It is very hot, slow traffic and we are going to be too late to meet Mary at the airport. Kate starts to melt down about summer school that she will be attending starting Monday. She crys and wails “it’s not fair. No one else has to go. Why me”  etc. It goes on for 15 minutes. Suddenly she stops crying, looks at me and says, “I know all this makes your job harder dad, but I’m just really upset.” then begins crying again.

8/01. We’re at the farm watching a bad movie, “Waiting to Exhale” about black women and their terrible relationships. This woman is abused by her husband so badly and is so mad she takes all his huge closet full of designer clothes, tosses them thru the sunroof of his Mercedes, pours lighter fluid on them and sets and clothes and car on fire in the middle of the street. She stomps into the house and slams the door. Kate says, “She has a problem with anger management.”


Shiloh is sniffing around before taking a dump. Kate says, “Funny how dogs all sniff around. Wonder why we don’t sniff the toilet before we go.”


Talking to Kate about getting her period early at 10 1/2 yrs. old. I mentioned that some people believe the reason kids are getting their periods earlier is because we feed cows hormones. Later that day in the office she announced that the reason she got her period so early was that cows have hemorrhoids.


Kate took a great photo of the grille of a ’39 Ford which we used as a marketing postcard. FGA is paying her $80 for that shot. Riding home last night, I said to her, “Wow. Can you imagine, here you are 11 years old and getting paid $80 for a photograph.” Kate paused briefly and said simply, “I am living large.”


I am having a big fight with Mary before friends are coming over. In my anger with Kate there, I say to Mary, “Jesus Christ I feel like I am living with Martha Stewart. Ten minutes later, Kate and I are down stairs. She says to me, “I think you should go apologize to mom, for calling her Martha Stewart. It wasn’t fair. Everyone hates Martha Stewart. No one hates mom.”


Driving up El Camino Real with Jessica in the car. We stop at a convenience store. Kate and Jessica stand in front of the drink refrigerator. They are giggling. The are talking about Mountain Dew. I ask what’s up and they say, “Don’t you know, Mountain Dew makes boys’ penises get bigger. They really thought that was true, at least for a little while.


On the way to school this morning with Mary / Rick / Katy. Big discussion re who is more judgmental. She says it is me. She makes a comment about someone, I observed that she was being judgmental, which made her bristle. The more she bristled, the more I did it. Finally, she said: “If your goal in life is to piss me off, then you have achieved it!”


Big discussion about how Bush is dyslexic. Kate: “George Bush gives dyslexics a bad name.”


The three of us are out to dinner. Mary and I are talking about our first marriages. Katie says, “Sometimes the first marriage is a practice marriage.” The conversation goes on for about another 5 minutes. Mary says something that pisses me off. We get into an argument. Without missing a beat, Katy says, “Sometimes the second marriage is a practice marriage.” We all crack up.


Good-bye Little Richard

Little Richard was a HUGE part of the soundtrack of my life. There were many others as well. But some stood out. I remember saying when Carl Rogers (a psychologist) and Miles Davis die, I’m jumping off the bridge. They did and I didn’t. Then I said when Little Richard and Chuck Berry die I’m jumping off the bridge. Today, though, with “Sheltering-in-Place,” I can’t get to the bridge. Well, when Bob Dylan and Joan Baez die, I’m jumping off the roof of our house.







1 thoughts on “Bring in the Clowns

  1. Lil Schaller says:

    I loved this! In light of what’s going on in the world, this brought me such laughter. Great way to start the work day ~ sure puts things in perspective.

    And Kate’s comments over the years?! Loved the one with you and Kate eating dinner downstairs, Mary’s comment about that and Kate’s retort . . . priceless!

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