I was drawing pictures with my nephew Jack.
“What shall we draw?” I asked.
“Let’s draw Star Wars,” Jack said, innocently enough.
We began to draw Star Wars. Jack drew a guy, then a box. Next he drew a face and feet in the box. Then he made a line so the guy next to the box had an arm that touched the guy in the box.
“What the heck is that?” I asked.
“That’s me,” Jack said, adding his name to the figure on the left.
“So what is that?”
“How do you spell ‘carbonite’?” Jack asked, a big smile beaming across his face. He started to giggle.
“C-A-R …” I began. He began to write. The kid was seven. “B-O-N … I-T-E.” Then he added another word: “E-T-H-A-N-[space]-I-N.”
The giggling commenced.
“Wait. Is that me?”
More giggling from Jack.
Uncontrollable giggling. “Uncle Ethan! You’re trapped in carbonite!”
“How am I going to get out?”
“You’re not going to get out! You’re trapped! You’re frozen! In CARBONITE!””
“Well, someday, when I get out of this darned carbonite, I’m going to get you. Mark my words.”
More giggling, and running around the room.
“Please. Can you melt this thing?”
There is no greater joy than the imaginary power a kid can wield over a grown-up.
Moral of the story: Beware of nephews bearing paper and markers and asking you to draw Star Wars. It’s a trap.