Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Two-Hump Sopwith Camel

So the other day we're reading what's become a classic around this house, EVERYONE POOPS. If you're not familiar with this popular preschool picture book (yes, there are pictures of poop in it -- lots), it's basically a book that shows drawings of different animals and people pooping. It explains matter-of-factly that some stop to poop, some do it on the run, some do it in the water, and some do it in a special place (the potty), etc. One page shows a one-hump camel making a one-hump poop; another shows a two-hump camel making a two-hump poop.

I know, by now you are pooped with the poop references. So I'll get to the point.
The book we'd read just prior to EVERYBODY POOPS was a Richard Scarry picture book that had many drawings of early and vintage airplanes. Including among them was the W.W.I British plane, the Sopwith Camel, a yellow biplane familiar to fans of PEANUTS. Snoopy, in his W.W. I pilot fantasies, always pilots a Sopwith against German flying ace the Red Baron.

So we were done with Scarry's book and well into EVERYBODY POOPS when we came to the page with the camels. Suddenly my daughter announces, in a gleeful and decidedly self-aware tone, "A Sopwith Camel makes a Two-Hump Poop!" She proceeds to crack herself up ... and crack up mommy, daddy and her brother. She had put these two uses of the word "camel" together and knew full well a Sopwith Camel has nothing to do with an actual camel ... and that airplanes don't poop. But she also knew it was funny, in an illogical, silly way, and it made as much sense as, say, naming an airplane for a camel, which is to say, no sense at all.

Anyway, I'll admit you had to be there, but trust me, it was pretty hysterical at the time. My four-year-old daughter generally lacks a sense of humor when it comes to, say, physical comedy (she's always worried that the coyote will catch the road runner, too worried to enjoy it when he winds up foiled once again by some device from the Acme corporation). But wordplay she gets.

Six months ago she was content to substitute the word "poop" into song lyrics and nursery rhymes, but now she's gone a step farther. I don't necessarily think she's got a future in stand-up. But nevertheless, I'm proud of her. She made a SOPHISTICATED poop joke this time. And that's no small thing for a creature who has only been out of diapers a year.

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