Monday, September 24, 2007

The Escapist

"I swallowed a fly once."

Eli 6.1, after handcuffing himself to a kitchen chair, is eating dinner under stylish, self-imposed duress.

"Does eating dinner while handcuffed make the food taste better?" I asked him.

"You know what, Dad? It does," he said, desperately struggling to get a chicken nugget to his mouth.

He bought these handcuffs, of all places, at the grocery store. Since when did grocery stores start selling metal handcuffs like these? What's next? Leg irons? Authetic replica wooden stocks?

This purchase let to a forty-eight hour period where every action, no matter how mundane, required extraordinary effort. Two nights ago, we were having dinnner, but Eli had already finished eating, so he had gone into the living room and turned on a show.

"So what do you think about that light rail terminal they're building near here?" Gloria asked.

"Light rail terminal?" I asked blankly.

"Dad!" Eli shouted. "Dad! I need help!"

Normally, a call like this would signal great alarm. In hour thirty-two of The Great Handcuff Era, though, it was only one of an endless stream of such calls.

"They're building it on the other side of the highway," Gloria said.

"GUYS!" Eli shouted from a distance of approximately ten feet. "Little EMERGENCY here!"

I looked in his direction. He was handcuffed to the wooden frame of the sofa, and the key to the handcuffs was on the carpet beside him.

"I can ALMOST reach the key," he said dramatically, straining and reaching with his right foot. "If I can get my sock off, I think I can reach it with my TOE."

"You do realize that the safety latch will open these immediately," I said.

"I can't REMEMBER where the safety latch IS," he said, still reaching with his foot toward the key.

"It's on the handcuffs," I said. "It's that little notch."

"I don't SEE it," he said, raising his foot to his mouth, then pulling at the sock with his teeth.

"That counts as your desert," I said, turning back to Gloria. "They're building light rail here?" I asked.

"Where have you lived for the past two years?" I asked.

"I told you--I'm in this world but not of this world," I said.

"GOT IT!" Eli yelled triumphantly, as his big toe brushed the elusive handcuff key. He started to inch it back towards him, finally picking it up with his feet, then transferred it to his hands. "I'M FREE!" he shouted, displaying the handcuffs with a flourish as he stood up and bowed.

We applauded.

Site Meter