Urgent Questions; or, How We Roll at Breakfast

Many urgent questions are stirring here.

By Shannon

Friday breakfasts are my favorite, because everyone is unhurried during this, the best meal of the day. It’s a good time for me to catch up with Abu Halen, especially after a week as busy as this one has been. This morning he and I were talking about mortgages, as Abu Halen is again testing the waters of a particular real estate market and has his eye on another property.

Partway through our conversation, Halen raised his hand, saying, “Ooh, ooh, I have a question!” Pausing ever so briefly, I told Halen he needed to wait until his father and I had finished our conversation. “But it’s urgent!” he protested. Abu Halen and I proceeded with our conversation despite Halen’s squirming in his seat, his hand still stretched above him. He tried hard not to make guttural noises of excitement as he waited for his turn to talk.

Recognizing that we would have no peace in our conversation, Abu Halen turned to his son and asked, “It’s urgent?” Halen nodded. “Okay, Halen, what is it?”

“Um, why did Mao put educated people in torture camps in China?”

“This was your urgent question?”

“Yeah.”

“Buddy, a question is ‘urgent’ when your finger or something is falling off, and you’re not sure what to do about it. Questions about the Chinese Cultural Revolution do not qualify as ‘urgent,’ mmkay?”

“Okay. . . . But why did Mao do that?”

If Halen weren’t so danged cute, I imagine we wouldn’t have put our breakfast conversation about mortgages on hold to discuss the history of Communism. But dangit, he is cute.