Questions for Jackson
Baby Boy from Brooklyn was Interviewed by 'Pop Pop' During a Recent Saucon Valley Visit
Jackson Duke (don't ask) Mascio is a little over four months old, the first child of my stepson Justin (called "JB") and his wife Pam. Nevertheless, I feel very much like Jack's grandfather, and I claim he inherited many of his great qualities from me.
Jack lives with his parents in fashionable Brooklyn, by no means the Brooklyn I grew up in. Nearby are all sorts of fancy restaurants. If a Hassidim loses control of his car hurrying home for the Sabbath, he is likely to mow down a host of yuppies waiting in line at a steak house like Richard Luger's. The rub is that the distance between good old Saucon Valley and good old Brooklyn is a little too much for daily visits by Susan. JB and Pam probably planned it that way.
Jack (JD--now you understand the Duke) is just at the age when he is interested in everything. He fixes you with his big blue eyes and makes sounds that seem to be words. Recently he visited for the weekend. He found time to address a number of questions that puzzled dear old Pop Pop (me). Here is a verbatim record of our exchange:
Me: You follow politics, don't you Jack?
JD: (A big fat smile.)
Me: Why shouldn't the income taxes of the very rich be raised while everyone else gets a tax break? Surely those people can afford it and the government needs the revenue if it is to stand a chance at reducing the deficit?
Me: I get it. You think the Republicans are engaged in fuzzy thinking.
JD: (A fatuous smile, as if he is passing gas.)
Me: How about 'don't ask, don't tell?' Why shouldn't gay people be allowed to serve their country openly? Is it the idea to reserve the right to be killed to straight people?
JD: Do, do, do, do.
Me: Why shouldn't unemployment insurance continue as long as people who want to work can't find jobs? What would happen if your mommy and daddy lost their jobs?
JD: (His face reddens and he begins to cry.)
Me: Now, now, Jack, don't cry. Let's switch subjects. What do you think of Sarah Palin?
JD: (He cries much louder. Apparently he needs a change.)
Me: Okay, I get it. But before we go, I'd like to ask you about health care. The Republicans have promised to repeal what they call Obamacare as soon as they can. Do you think that's a good idea?
JD: (His face is contorted with rage. He is really screaming.)
Of course, his diapers were full of doo-doo. Like any good grandparent, I handed him off to his mother. I then sat there like Rodin's "The Thinker." Was JD saying what he did because he was full of doo-doo? Or did he understand? The right thing, I suppose, is to ask him when he is older. But then again, that may be too late.