You may remember the old Letterman routine “Brush With Fame”, in which some audience member would talk about a rather quotidian meeting with a celebrity, and then Dave would say, “But that’s not all that happened, was it?” At which point the audience member would acknowledge that yeah, there was more, and then relate some outlandish tale along the lines of “And then Ernest Borgnine saved me from Nazi frogmen!” while the words WRITER’S EMBELLISHMENT flashed on the screen. Or maybe it’s just me that remembers that.

In any case, Dante totally pulled one of those today. There’s some renovation going on next door to us, and Laura was telling me tonight that it was very noisy during their rest time. At which point Dante jumps in and says, “I woke up five times, and mama woke up NINE times!” Not only was this obviously a total fabrication, it is as near as we can tell not even based on any conversation or anything at all. Hilarious to me.

The language play thing is kicking into an even higher gear these days. It mostly centers around re-pronouncing words in wacky ways. It often takes the place of an actual reply, but just as often it is just conversational filler or even running commentary on somebody else’s conversation. Examples:

DANTE: Where is your office?
ME: I’ll show you.
DANTE: Ess-how.

ME: I’ve put some lunch on your table.
DANTE: Tah-blay. Tee-bull. Tee-a-bluh. Where is the milk?
ME: It’s still in the refrigerator, staying cold.
DANTE: Reh-free-guy-ruh-tor!

LAURA: Did you call those people?
ME: Yeah, but there was no answer. Not even a machine.
DANTE: [From another room, mind you.] Ahn-swear!

There’s also a spelling thing going on. A typical snippet of his conversation: “I was calling you! C-A-L-L-I-N-G.” I’m starting to wish I was just wearing a wire all the time so that I could capture all this. It’s classic, and writing it down doesn’t do it justice.



  1. Just for frame of reference: My daughter Samantha is just now starting to spell words at me, instead of saying them. Last night it was “n-o m-o-r-e h-o-m-e-w-o-r-k.” She’s very proud of the fact that she can spell now. And that reference frame? She’s *seven*.

    You’ve got quite a firecracker on your hands. Good luck when he starts correcting your grammar!

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