Thursday, March 4, 2010

On Bell Towers and Proper Nouns

Today's commute was all about Walt.  About how Walt can read.  About how Walt knows the names of things. About how much Walt knows about . . . well . . . everything.  As told by . . . who else? . . . Walt.

W:  One time when Meredith was over at my house watching Star Wars, I read the part at the beginning that tells about the episode.
A:  Meh (or something else insufficiently enthusiastic)
W:  That sign says 'New York.'
A:  How did you know that?
W:  Because I can read.
. . . . . . 
W:  Do you know that bell tower across from Schnucks?  I think I just saw it.
A:  What?
W:  The bell tower.  The one across from Schnucks.  Do you know it?
A:  (emphatic) Where?
W:  (exasperated)  At Schnucks.  (exhale)  Schnucks is the big store.  Where you go in.  And they have the cookies at the front . . . .
A:  Oh yeah.  I've been there.
W:  There's a bell tower across the street that has bells in it that they ring.
. . . . . .
(Lengthy discussion about The Force, its uses, various practice sessions for its use, the varying degrees of said Force, things The Force can and can't accomplish, etc., etc.)

W:  There's another bell tower up here that you can see.  It's by where the smokestack is.  It has a college hat on it.
A:  (ignoring the fact that Walt just said a bell tower had "a college hat on it")  Where?
W:  Up here (rounding the corner, at which time the three of us are craning our necks for a glimpse of what must be a very strange looking building).
A:  I don't see it.
W:  It's taller than the other buildings, and it has a college hat on it.  See that little pointy thing?  See?
A:  That one right there?
W:  Yeah.  See?  It has on a college hat.

Sure enough.  The bell tower at the UT Health Science Center campus has a teeny tiny little . . . well . . . mortarboard-looking thing on top it.  But Mr. Smartypants just calls it a "college hat."
. . . . . . 
A:  Hey.  There's the basketball stadium.
W:  It's called FedExForum.  You can call it FedExForum.
A:  It's a basketball stadium.  I can call it a basketball stadium.
W:  But its name is FedExForum.
A:  I can call it a basketball stadium if I want.
W:  But, like, if someone said, "Hey, where are you going to watch the basketball game?"  You would say, "At FedExForum."

The fact that Walt had just referred to a mortarboard atop a bell tower as a "college hat" was completely lost on Adam.

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