Each morning, The Pony and I drive up an old-timey residential side street to get to his school. The speed limit there is 20 mph (don't ask me how I'm so sure), and people park their cars along one side. When two vehicles approach each other, the one on the parking side has to pull over and wait for the other to pass. It's just small-town traffic etiquette. Whatever the season, people who live on this street decorate their yards and homes. As we pass the park and pull into this neighborhood, The Pony sighs and puts away his book/Nook/laptop/phone time-passer and readies himself for the middle school world.
Last week I pointed to a house with fake spider webs surrounding the entire porch. "Wow! They must really have a bad arachnid problem." The Pony, true son of a science teacher, chuckled. On Friday, he spied a new decoration.
"Oh, look. Those people hung up a tablecloth with ketchup in their tree."
"Um. I think maybe they are portraying something else there."
"Yeah. Like somebody was really careless with the ketchup. And got it all over the tablecloth. So they hung it up in the yard."
"Don't you think maybe it's meant to be a ghost. A bloody ghost?"
"No. Ghosts aren't bloody. But tablecloths are ketchupy."
"Give up. You know I'm right. It's a ghost. A sheet ghost. It's probably got two eyeholes cut into the top."
"Or somebody cut up the tablecloth."
"Sure. The careless ketchup-splasher had an embarrassing dining faux pas, and sliced the tablecloth while carving his filet mignon."
"Admit it already! I'm right."
"Not necessarily. It could be a tablecloth."
"Uh huh. The annual ketchup tablecloth Halloween yard ornament. Got it."
When I dropped him off at the band building breezeway, The Pony was grinning from ear to ear. He really is my best audience. And a good source of material.