Miss O's friend Miss A came over after school today, and the two of them were loitering around in the front yard, trying to come up with something to do. Miss O finally asked...
MISS O: Dad, where's my magnifying glass?
ME: Uh, I think it's in your room... why?
MISS O: Oh, nothing. [under breath] We're just gonna burn some ants...
ME: What?! No. You can't burn ants with your magnifying glass.
MISS A: My brother and I do it.
ME: Okay... but I don't think you two should do it here. It's not nice to the ants.
MISS O: They're just carpenter ants!
ME: Oh sure, today it's carpenter ants... then tomorrow it's small dogs and then, before you know it, you'll be burning manatees.
MISS O & MISS A: [silence + looking at me like I'm a huge ass-head]
MISS O: Hey! We'd never burn dogs!
Ah! Notice how she didn't say anything about the manatees? I may have just saved those fucking sea cows from an early extinction.
By the way, I burned the shit out of bugs with my big-ass magnifying glass when I was a kid -- ants, beetles, worms, centipedes, my thumbnail. Caterpillars were the best to fry -- as they'd get hotter, they'd start inching really fast and then that big ol' greenish plume of burning caterpillar flesh would waft up into my fucking nostrils and I'd have some sort of 10 year old fucked up larval mind-fuck acid trip. It was cool as shit.
Unfortunately, I'm crabbydad now and I'm a goddamn hypocrite, so Miss O will experience no such smoky joy.
Okay, at least not until she's seven.