The Difference Between Literal And Metaphorical? One Dead Body

It’s a good thing that teenagers, both dudes and dudettes, don’t really understand the literal meaning of literal. I mean, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard one young dude or the other plead with me, “Please don’t do that, Dad. I will literally die of embarrassment.”

“Really?” I ask. “Literally die?”

“Don’t be even more of a doofus, Dad.”

The point being that, when they say literal, they still don’t mean literal. If they did, then we’d be having to call the ambulance a lot more often. Think about it.

“9-1-1. What is your emergency?”

“I, uh, oh, Gawd. I, um. . .” The voice lowers to a whisper. “I wore the red plaid shirt again.”

“Out in public, sir?”

“*choke* Yes.”

“You were warned, sir. You knew what could happen. At least there weren’t any of her friends around, eh, sir?”

“. . . ”


“. . . ”

“Uh-oh. Sid, send out another ambo. We’ve got a teenager body run. The idiot parent wore red plaid in the summer in front of her friends.”

Okay, sure. Funny, but probably not a good thing. All in all.

Which, by a roundabout way, brings me to this.


I love reading to kids. Just love it. I mean, there’s great pictures I get to show and I can do different silly voices for each character and I get to jump around and make a fool of myself and — not only does no one mind, they encourage it.

It’s rather like what happens when I put on a gorilla costume. Only with slightly less sweat. Slightly.

Anyway, for those of you not on Facebook, last Saturday would have been Ted Geisel’s birthday. You probably know him better as Dr. Seuss. To celebrate, elementary schools around Charlotte have been having a reading week, focusing on works by Dr. Seuss.

Since I happen to have the Thing 1 suit over there and a complete lack of anything resembling an embarrassment gene, I volunteer all over the place to read Dr. Seuss books to the little dudes and dudettes.

Hyper Lad, knowing what was coming, had only one question: “You’re not going to do that at my school, are you?”

When I assured him that, no, I was going nowhere near a middle school in that outfit because 1) I wanted to continue living and 2) it’s better to wear stuff like that where it’ll be appreciated and 3) they turned me away at the door when I tried to get in, Hyper Lad was feeling much better.

He didn’t even say he would literally die if embarrassment if I showed up at his school. He did vow to run away as fast as humanly possible and then some.

All in all, I’m going to call that one a win.

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