Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We Are George and Hazel Bergeron

(Advance notice: The pictures have no bearing on this post. It's simply an opportunity to gratuitiously post more photos. The picture of Helios and Daddy is from October 2006 and the one of Hesperos is from February 2007.)

The short story, Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut, tells of a time in 2081 when government-enforced egaliatarianism is so over-reaching that it has created a dystopia. George and Hazel Bergeron are a couple (parents of Harrison Bergeron) who have extremely short bursts of thought and possess a limited attention span. Hazel's are short because her level of intelligence is such that she can only carry on internal thought processes for a period of time. George's are short because (in order to make him of equal capacity with the societal average), bells ring loudly in his head every 30 seconds or so, thereby disrupting his thought processes.

What possible bearing does this story have on the children's blog?

Imagine that George Bergeron's bells are the voices of the children, sitting in the backseat of the car. Now, read the dialogue below. This is Daddy and Mommy trying to have just an ordinary conversation on any given day.

Daddy: What would (one fish two fish) you like to do about (Daddy, make the radio louder!) dinner (louder, Daddy, louder!) tonight?

Mommy: I'm not (la la la pffffffffht wwaaaaaaah la la la splutter) sure. It's getting late so we could (music playing) stop some place (head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees, and toes!) on the (no, Hesperos, only *I* sing head, shoulders, knees, and toes) way home (pffffffffht splutter raspberry sounds) if the wait isn't (NO, HESPEROS, ONLY I SING IT!) long (giggle). Or we could go (This is the song, la la la la, Elmo's song) grocery shopping (la la la la, la la la la, Elmo's song) and I could cook (LA LA LA, LA LA LA, LAAAAA LAH) but we'd need to get the boys something before then (make the radio louder, Daddy!).

Helios, say please! (Please, Daddy, make the radio louder.)

Daddy: If we go (thank you, Daddy) out to eat, where (giggle pffffffffht piercing scream) would you want to go?

Mommy: Helios, don't take toys away from your baby brother. Uh, I'm not sure, (WAAAAAAAAAAAAH) uhm. We could go to...uhm (whimper whine). I'm sorry (Mommy, he was eating my toy!), what was the question?

Daddy: Where (in the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room, in the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room) would you want to eat?

Mommy: Well, there's (all the birds sing words and the flowers croon) that pizza place off McKenzie and 12th, (in the Tiki TIki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room) or we could go to the new restaurant a few miles to the other side (again, Mommy, again! I want Tiki Room again!!) of the -- okay, Helios, say please -- highway. (Please, Mommy) Or we could go to the pizza place off McKenzie and 12th.

Daddy: So you want pizza?

Mommy: (Pizza, I want pizza, I want yummy yummy cheese pizza!) I don't care, do you?

Daddy: Well, you named (Mommy, I want pizza for dinner! I'm sooooo hungry!) the pizza place twice so I figured you wanted (Hesperos wants pizza for dinner, too, Mommy!) pizza.

Mommy: Oh, did I? I don't (I want cheese pizza and broccoli...) remember. What (rar rar la la pffffht rar rar) were we talking about (...and fruit and canteloupe and strawberries...)?

Daddy: Where we want (...and pizza and Mommy's special cheesy biscuits and chocolate!) to go to eat.

Mommy: I don't care, whatever is easiest. Sure, pizza is fine. (YAAAAAAAAY! PIZZA!) (giggle pfffffhhhhht)

If that hurt to read, imagine what it was like to experience.

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