The Segue

I was watching television and it was a John Wayne war movie, I guess they are all John Wayne war movies. Did you ever think how close we came to losing the war, if he hadn't been with us ? But, uh... I don't want to tell you the plot of the thing because I hate people who do that, but we win it.

See, now my problem is that I want to start talking about airplanes right now and there is no logical way to get out of what I was talking about and talk about airplanes. And you should always tie things in together.

So, I will try this... in the war movies they always have that one shot of the dog fight with the airplanes. Speaking of airplanes...
Bob Newhart, "The Grace L. Ferguson Airline (And Storm Door Co.)" 

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Several years back, Evie and I were enjoying dinner at Cracker Barrel-it always reminds me of living in Tennessee, and one of the few places where you can eat fresh greens, with traditional southern cornbread, but i digress.

Before leaving for dinner we had assigned Michael to be the babysitter, i.e. watching Ethan like a hawk., which is not always easy. If he wasn't so blatantly honest when you asked him questions, he would make a great spy, because that kid is Ninja-like in his sneaking ability. But, back to the story. About half-way through dinner my cell phone rang. It had been an unfortunate custom that the phone would always ring when Evie and I were on dates, and it was just as customary that the purpose for the call was because of something Ethan was doing.

So on this occasion Michael called, and casually advised that the neighbor had just come by looking for us. I asked him what the neighbor wanted, and Michael said, "Ethan had gone in her house. . ."


Apparently Ethan, who had been playing upstairs had suddenly developed a craving for a Ding Dong.
On a side note: when I say "A" Ding Dong we traditionally mean he has opened the box, was holding one in his hand and had placed three more down his shirt. One of his Autistic ticks is that all things, and I mean all things, must be tucked in. We're not just talking tucked into his pants; we're talking tucked into his underwear!! Though odd in appearance, is quite ingenious, as it forms an enormous pocket of sorts, for which all things are kept (sticky tape, dinosaurs, Ding Dongs, Fruit Rollups, etc.)
However, in this instance Ethan was not wearing a shirt when he went to get a Ding Dong. Hours earlier he had come home from school with sticky arm pits, which means he has to take his shirt off to dry out. So, when he went down stairs all he was wearing were jeans and his shoes. Well, sometime between eating his Ding Dong and going back upstairs, Ethan decided to play in the backyard. Once outside, Ethan decided it would be fun to see what that noise was coming from our neighbor's backyard. That noise was our neighbor's dog Cujo!


No, not that Cujo, this one . . .


Curiosity got the best of him, and Ethan decided he needed to play with Cujo. So he climbed our concrete fence, and hopped down into the neighbor's yard. Apparently Cujo enjoyed the visit as much as Ethan was enjoying it, so together the two played for several minutes, without nary a proper introduction.

Eventually Cujo tired of playing with Ethan and returned inside the house through the doggie-door. Had Cujo minded to stop and ask, he could have learned the Ethan had not yet tired of playing with him, and Michael had not yet realized that it was taking over 15 minutes to get a Ding Dong out of the cupboard. Nevertheless, Ethan was not offended by Cujo's impolite departure, nor Michael's unintended lapse, and simply followed right after him.


Yeah, that is also what our neighbor said when, after hearing Cujo pass through the doggie-door, and then upon hearing a secondary clambering at the door, turned and saw a half-naked little boy crawling through it!

Her exclamation frightened Ethan enough that he withdrew from the door, then stood patiently on the back porch waiting for her to open the door to confront him. As she demanded to know what on earth he was doing, Ethan simply responded, "Can I play with your dog?" Still shaken, the neighbor demanded, "Do your parents know where you are?" His response, "Okay, bye" and quickly he was back over the fence and heading into the house. The neighbor followed him to the fence and was able to fire off one last question before he disappeared inside, "Little boy, what is your name?" "My name's Ethan," he said so proudly, then added, "Okay, Bye!" He was gone.

Perceptively, the neighbor, a special needs teacher in a neighboring district, recognized something in Ethan's response and knew there was something about this little boy that needed investigating. She gathered Cujo in his collar and leash, and ventured out to for the proper introduction that both Cujo and Ethan had been so remiss in doing.

. . .We arrived home shortly after the phone call and quickly visited the neighbor to apologize for the startling way in which she was introduced to our family. We spoke for several minutes, and as Evie and I walked back to the house it was decided we couldn't rely on the slim chance that people would be able to detect Ethan had Autism, we needed a way to alert people of Ethan's condition, like a medical alert tag.

Speaking of Medical Alert tags, I need to get new tags for Ethan's shoes . . .

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