“What two colors make cyan,” I asked. Not your typical question at the dinner table, but my son and I were at Chili’s and were playing Trivia Crack on my phone.
“It’s sigh-uhn,” said my son, emphasizing the second syllable.
“Yes, that’s right,” I said, missing his point. “What two colors make sigh-ann?” I asked again.
“It’s pronounced sigh-uhn,” my son said matter-of-factly, as he dipped another chip in the quest dip. “And it’s green and blue.”
I picked the correct answer from the four choices on the screen. “That’s what I said. Sigh-ann.” I was confused.
We were eating chips and queso and chips and salsa as fast as we could. We were on our way to see the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie. We had both loved the first one and had been anxiously awaiting the new one. But my son wanted to stop for lunch first, and he chose Chili’s because “everyone can find something to eat there. And the cheese dip is really good.”
And it was good. But my glass of tea was less than a fourth full. And even more trouble, all my ice had melted. I like a lot of ice in my drink, but on this day it seemed like Chili’s was rationing it.
“It’s sigh-uhn,” he said again. “Here, I’ll show you.” With that he quickly grabbed my phone, clicked out of our game app, and began a Google search on the internet for the correct pronunciation of cyan.
He found just what he was looking for and pushed the play button.
“Sigh-uhn” said the mechanical voice.
“See,” declared my son.
“It sounded like he said sigh-ann. Do it again.” He pushed the play button again.
“Sigh-ann” came the reply from the voice on my phone.
“See,” I said. Now I was the one in the right.
My son looked confused and began to push play over and over.
“Sigh-uhn.” “Sigh-ann.” “Sigh-uhn.” “Sigh-ann.”
“It sounds like he’s saying it both ways,” I said. All my son could do was nod. “It’s probably just some guy sitting at his computer who has to say whatever word somebody looks up. And you keep making him say that word over and over!” We both laughed at the image.
“Ok, I’m going to start a new game.” But then I paused as the waitress stopped by again.
“You guys doing ok? Your food is coming out next,” she said. But she’d already used that promise. I didn’t care, though. We still had plenty of time before the movie and we were having fun.
But there was one thing. “Could I have a refill, please? And a glass of ice?” Ok, two things, but I do like a lot of ice.
Now that she was gone, it was back to the game. “Ok, let’s see if we can answer a question right.” Normally, between the two of us, we can do pretty well. But today we were struggling.
“Here’s one I think we can answer. What continent is Kansas on?”
“Is it Canada,” my son said laughing, joking at one of the answer choices.
“So how do you think the movie is going to be?” I asked.
“I don’t know. But one of my friends said there are three sad parts. I’m wondering what those sad parts are.”
The music in the background at Chili’s had been just that – background music, upbeat and fun. Until suddenly “Killing Me Softly” by Roberta Flack came on. It almost seemed like it should have been featured on that segment of Sesame Street, “One of these things is not like the others . . . ”
“That’s kind of a mood killer,” I said. “It’s so sad compared to all the other songs they’ve been playing.”
“I’m glad they played it,” said my son. “You should get that song for your ipod.”
I nodded. He was right – I should.
Now you might be wondering how my 13-year-old would be familiar with a song that came out 40 years before he was born. But we both love the movie “About a Boy,” and we love the concert scene that features that song.
“Ok, who was the National League Cy Young award winner in 2012?” I asked as I looked at our next question.
“Was it Clayton Kershaw?” he guessed at one of the choices.
“I think it was R.A. Dickey,” I said, wondering how I, not really a baseball fan, knew that.
“Kershaw was the only one I had heard of,” said my son.
Finally, they brought our food. Sometime over the last year or so, my son had discovered barbecue ribs. And he loved them! So he ordered those. We talked of ordering a full rack and splitting them, but I decided on something else. But his order looked small enough that they might have come from a pot-bellied pig.
Then my son said what I was already thinking. “Maybe I should have ordered the full rack for myself,” he said, eyeing the tiny portion.
“You’ll be fine,” I assured him, what with the chips and salsa and his fries and all.
“We might need to order a dessert,” he said. I knew this was coming, but I had to admire the way he worked it in, working the sympathy card for the deprived kid.
“We’ll see,” I said, smiling.
And on it went like this. Eating. Answering questions between bites. Laughing. Arguing. Soon we would be off to the fun and excitement and all the CGI effects of the latest Marvel movie. And the next day would bring school and work and all the other things that make up life.
But for now it was nice that we could share this moment, this lunch, the afternoon. The small moments that are often hard to pinpoint and remember. But as we look back, they’re what produce the good feelings of our life.