[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hat do you want to be when you grow up?” I asked my nephew.
He wasn’t sure. He closed his eyes tight. “I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe a therapist?”
My mother-in-law joined our conversation. “What about an astronaut?” she suggested. “I remember a time when all little boys wanted to be astronauts.”
“Or weathermen,” I added.
Mary wrinkled up her face. “No. A weatherman? That’s just ridiculous.”
I didn’t see what was so silly. “Hey, I’ve always wanted to be a television meteorologist. If it wasn’t for all the hard work and science, that’s probably what I’d be.”
“It’s not a practical profession,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve ever met a single weatherman. Certainly never in Brewton.”
“But Miss Mary, how many astronauts have you met in Brewton? Space travel is the most impractical profession there is. There’re a lot more weathermen in the world than there are astronauts.”
“Yeah,” my nephew agreed, picking his nose.
“But astronauts,” Miss Mary explained. “Are part of the United States Army. It’s a good government job, it’s part of the Constitution.”
“Huh?” I said.
My nephew imitated me. “Huh?”
“Miss Mary,” I said. “Being an astronaut isn’t part of the Constitution. Our founding fathers didn’t even know what space travel was.”
“Fine then,” Miss Mary answered with a little piss and vinegar in her voice. “But they didn’t know anything about the weather back then, either.”
“Yeah,” my nephew stuck his tongue out at me.
“Hey,” I said to him. “I thought you were on my side.”
“I’m not on anybody’s side,” he said. “I’m a therapist, remember?”