Friday, February 5, 2010

Winkie beetle pheromones

At UCDavis, like lots of universities with a central quad, there were well-maintained "official" walking paths cut diagonally through the park, which no one ever used. They stomped out their own paths like undergraduate buffalo--and those paths, while clearly defining a purpose, looked like nothing so much as the dirt version of the sparkly slime left by winkie beetles as they winkie beetle in whatever (completely random) direction they are headed.

I was reminded of those adorable beetles this morning as I watched Kid head off across the snowy field toward the just-about-to-be-closed-on-the-last-stragglers school door. He seems to have a compulsion to be the last kid in and will execute a series of serpentine comings and goings that extend his time-to-door by about 140%. It's fascinating to watch and on Monday I think I'll invite an anthropologist to come along and do a field study. "Peripatetic approaches to authority: A field study of small insurgents." I'll then be able to present this to school authorities who accuse me of habitual tardiness and overall poor parenting. Although what's "poor" about maintaining a near-perfect consistency, even if it is in lateness?

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