Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Difference Between LL Bean and Mr. Bean as Seen in a Wood Pile

When I was working full time in my spare time, I would ask the kids (my three boys) to stack fire wood that I had cut whenever they got finished with school. I tried to give them a mental picture of what the stack of wood should look like when they got finished. It always seemed to fall short of my expectations when I got home in the evening.

I tried different analogies, metaphors, and similes to no avail. "I want it to look like a wood pile you would see in a beer commercial." I would say. But when I got home to something that looked like this:

They would whine and moan and offer up excuses like "But we are weak, we are stupid, we're only four! We don't have a TV so how can we know what wood in a commercial looks like!"

I flirted with the idea of getting cable just so they could see what I meant by the beer commercial stack of fire wood but chose, instead, to offer another mental image from something they did know. Being addicted to LLBean clothing and gear, we got several catalogues every year. I tried to find one with a good picture of fire wood but it was spring and all the catalogues had pictures of women in bikinis and men in plaid shorts...

So, I think I now have the perfect analogy since I am responsible for stacking firewood on my own now.

This stack of firewood:

Looks like it was put together by:

Mr. Bean.

This stack of firewood:

Looks like it was put together by the marketing team of:

So kids, now you know. Now don't get upset, sometimes the truth just plain hurts.

One other thought; I am so proud that my boys are out on their own now. Incidentally all serving their country in the US Army. But I do miss their haphazard wood piles, the broken dishes, the eating us out of house and home. I miss teaching them, watching silly movies and epic football games like the Miracle on Markham (the first Razorback game we all sat together and watched on our own television).

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