Let me first explain that nicknames run rampant in our house. No one knows how they start and no one knows where they’ll end up. Such as the time when someone named our poor, unfortunate cousin “Donald Duck”. His original name was (excuse me, is) Jack. Now how do you get Donald Duck from Jack, may I ask? But I won’t ask, because it will just be a waste of time. What I was really setting out to say was that our new little brother, Henry Landon Bergen, is now nicknamed Hen.
Hen Bergen. Interesting. But that’s the way it is, and I’m afraid that Hen will stick longer than Elf, Hank the Cowdog, and El Buzzo (from Toy Story Three. Don’t ask me the origination of this one, either, because I actually know it this time).
Then there’s another thing I must explain before I continue on with the story I haven’t started yet, and it is this: in our house the words “Ten thirty” mean several different things.
One, it means the time 10:30 AM or PM. Two, it means C-A-N-D-Y. Yes, candy. There are two reasons why you should not ask me how that originated. One, your head would be spinning by the time I explained [and re-explained] the chain of events that led us to the conclusion that a candy should be called a Ten Thirty. Two, I don’t even know why we call a candy a Ten Thirty. It just happened.
So when Riley called out at the top of his lungs, “It’s a quarter till Hen!” after glancing at the clock, I thought he was just counting down the minutes until 10:30 when we were allowed to have a candy. (This was 10:30 AM, by the way, not PM. Just in case you thought that our parents let us have candy late at night after we’re already [supposed to be] in bed.)
“Quarter till Hen!” Riley said again.
“I think you meant a quarter till ten, Riley,” I corrected. “And it isn’t a quarter till ten, it’s a quarter after ten, which means that we can have a Ten Thirty in fifteen minutes.”
“No,” he corrected me, “it’s a quarter till Hen. You know…it’s fifteen minutes till Hen gets up from his nap.”
Indeed? A quarter till Hen.
And I would tell you more, except that now I’d better go since it is almost half till Hen.