Carlo’s 115th Shower Idea

Carlo is in the shower. When he is in the shower he gets ideas and thoughts and wants to share them. So he calls for people. He keeps calling for people until we are forced to get up from what we are doing and go talk to him because he cannot hear us downstairs telling him to fuck off. It’s highly annoying. It will never, ever end. This is tonight’s installment.

Carlo: Dad.

Me: [ignoring Carlo]

Carlo: Dad!

Me: [Ignoring Carlo harder]



Carlo [not hearing me over the water]: DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDD!!!!!!

Me [gives up, walks up stairs]: What, Carlo. What is it?

Carlo [somehow surprised that I’m up there]: Oh, um. Oh, well. Dad?

Me: What, Carlo.

Carlo: Um, Dad. Do thoughts have weight?

Me: [several beats of confused silence. Then I assume he has heard an idiom or something and is trying to figure out what it means]: Well, some people say that some thoughts are more “weighty” than others. Like, deeper, better thoughts are said to have weight and more shallow or dumb thoughts lack weight.

Carlo: No. I mean, do they weigh anything? Can you take a thought you have and put it on a scale and figure out if it weighs anything.

Me [convinced my son, though he is only nine years old, is high. Like, totally baked out of his gourd high]

Carlo: Dad?

Me: Are you actually asking me if thoughts can be weighed on a scale?

Carlo: Yes.

Me: No. They can’t. Thoughts are just electrical impulses in your brain interacting with your memories and intelligence and stored facts and your curiosity and things. None of that is anything you can put on a scale. 

Carlo: Oh, well, I just thought I’d ask.

Me [turning to leave]

Carlo: Dad?

Me [at the absolute edge of my patience]: What, Carlo? 

Carlo: They make digital scales that can weigh really, really tiny amounts. Mr. Bush has one in his classroom. You can weigh things that are less than a milligram.

Me: They cannot weigh thoughts, Carlo. 

Carlo: OK. 

[Carlo finishes his shower. He gets out, his hair still half-caked with shampoo. He half-heartedly runs a comb over it, making it into a flat mess, and puts on pajamas even though he is still mostly wet. They stick to his body. He picks up one of his dozens and dozens of “Amazing Facts” books, gets in bed and starts reading. I can’t decide if this kid is going to be a mad scientist, a flim-flam artist, the Earth’s savior or if he’s going to live with me until he’s in his 50s]

Craig Calcaterra

Craig is the author of the daily baseball (and other things) newsletter, Cup of Coffee. He writes about other things at He lives in New Albany, Ohio with his wife, two kids, and many cats.

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