My son sets terms for saving my life

My son and I were watching “Hey Arnold,” the other day. It’s a cartoon from the 90s that he likes. I usually like it, too, but I’ve grown a little tired of it.

The other day an episode came on in which Arnold saved the life of one of his friends. As you might imagine, the friend then committed to being Arnold’s “personal servant” for life. It’s a pretty common plot line.

My son enjoys climbing a tree, but he'd rather be playing in a bouncy house.

My son enjoys climbing a tree, but he’d rather be playing in a bouncy house.

But my son went in a different direction.

“Dad, I would save your life, and I wouldn’t even ask you to be my servant. There’s only one thing that I’d want . . .”


This didn’t sound good. What would it be? It was sure to be something big.

“What’s that,” I asked.

“The only thing I’d want is one of those bouncy houses,” said my son.

A bouncy house. You know, one of those big plastic things that you might see at a county fair. It’s usually in the shape of a house or a castle and filled with air. And then kids can go inside and jump around for minutes on end.

Ummmmmm. A bouncy house. Of all the things to ask for. Not a car, although he is a few years away from driving. Not a swimming pool, that he could swim in all summer long. Not even a trip to Disney World or some other exotic location.

He wanted a bouncy house.

I couldn’t believe I was going to, but I had to ask, “Why a bouncy house.”

“Because they’re fun,” he said. “And I like playing on them.”

Well, it was hard to argue with that.

I just hope I never actually have the need to actually buy one for him.

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