Tuesday, August 24, 2004


We were going hiking on Sunday, Anna, PJ, and I, and we were all climbing into the Subaru. One of the child seats has a strap that hangs down between the child's legs. It is used to tighten the chest straps.

PJ was sitting in the seat as we were getting ready to go, and he asked me what the strap was for. I explained that it was the emergency eject strap. I then went into great detail as to how it would work. If he pulled on that strap, a small explosive charge would detonate, causing the seat to be rapidly thrust up and ripping a hole in the roof and sending the seat hundreds of feet in the air.

They knew I was kidding, and Anna and PJ were both laughing. I then explained how once the seat had risen high enough in the air, a parachute would deploy, and gently lower the seat to the ground. "So don't touch that strap, okay?" I said, and rubbed his head affectionately. But now it was time to go.

I checked on Anna, and sure enough, looking across the rear seat, PJ was touching the strap. I shouted at him "PJ, NO! DON'T TOUCH THAT STRAP!" He looked at me froze up, and his jaw dropped and his eyes opened about three inches wide. Pause. "Just kidding" I said, smiling again. PJ started laughing, then Anna, then finally me, and it lasted for several minutes until we had left town.

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