When we moved in to our house 4 years ago I told husband J “get whatever size tv you want.” (Proving that despite my bitchiness I am the best. wife. ever.) Son j doesn’t actually watch much tv, but we watch a lot of movies and he loves anything involving science, oceans and dinosaurs.
When he was 4 he and I were watching an oceans documentary and things are going along just, well, swimmingly. And then the story about the humpback whale and her calf starts, with the ominous narrator describing the pack of killer whales that are pursuing them. Yeah, at this point I should have just turned the tv off, but I couldn’t see how to do that without rousing suspicion. The story is getting more and more depressing as the whale and calf are being run down and it’s a documentary – you know they aren’t going to pull their punches.
The pod of orca finally overtook mother & child and because it’s being shot from a helicopter above you don’t see much gore, just splashing water and some blood.
I’m cringing waiting for j’s reaction, and it was not what I was expecting.
“Yay!” (Oh God, I think, I’ve given birth to a sociopath!)
“The killer whales saved the baby whale!!!”
Cue stunned expression on my face. He genuinely thinks the killer whales just saved the baby whale. I wrestle with telling him the brutal truth, but then think, fuck it, he’s 4, he can learn the brutal truth later in life, and instead I say, “Yay killer whales!”
I told this story to my friend H at work. Then one day we were chatting about the day and I was mentioning that it was the kind of day where I was just going to keep being positive to the point of being delusional. She interrupted with, “Killer whales!!”
It took me a minute to understand the reference, but when I did I couldn’t stop laughing. From then on that was our catchphrase and it had oh so many meanings. We said it when we were having tough days, when we just needed a laugh, it was a form of hello, it was a rallying cry, it even worked as snarky commentary. We got other people at work saying it, and they didn’t even know the source story.
I still don’t know whether to laugh or cry at son j’s complete lack of understanding of that scene. I’m just happy he’s not a sociopath.