Over breakfast this morning I indulged in some idle chat with my older son.

“What should we get Daddy for Christmas?” I asked.

He thought for a while.

“A rattle,” he said, finally.
“A rattle?”
“Yes. He would like that.”
“Okay. What about Grandma and Grandad?”

Slight hesitation. “A video!”
“Oh yeah? A video of what?”
“The Jungle Book!”
“Well, what would YOU like for Christmas?”

No hesitation. “Thomas the Tank Engine. And Gordon. And Percy. And… ”

We have hit Maximum Train Obsession Velocity, folks. We are currently watching I Love Toy Trains 9 and 10 twice a day. (and now that we have I Love Toy Trains 1 – 8 and 11 and 12 to look forward to, I can put off Vonnegut theme week for another few months. This is something of a relief, as I was feeling woefully unprepared.)

Another time, my pretties, I will extol the virtues of I Love Toy Trains.

It is amazing to me that small children can tell apart the many freaky-faced trains of Thomas The Tank Engine (especially when same small children are unable to remember how to wash their hands or not to tackle their smaller siblings or how to ask nicely for a drink but I suppose it is like me being able to remember all the words to Funky Cold Medina but unable to remember whether I am 34 or 35 years old without counting on my fingers) but it does make me glad that Trombone does not yet watch television with commercials because someone is doing something right in the marketing department of the universe and with luck we can avoid letting Trombone find out that there are Elmos out there that talk. The flat, paper, book kind are bad enough. He actually is not very interested in the Thomas and Friends on TV, he just likes the books and the actual trains that fit in his hand.

I dislike Thomas and his cohorts pretty intensely but I save all my hate for that asshole boss Sir Topham Hatt. Someday when Trombone has had a few asshole bosses he might see it my way.

Here there is a most hilarious account of a live Thomas show god help us all. I remember reading a blog post somewhere months ago that detailed why and how Thomas is so awful but damned if I can find it now.

Because I am 34 (or is it 35?) I do watch commercials and I do SO VERY MUCH want the Barbie cruise ship. There is a spinning cake platter thingee. And the Barbies all go dancing under a disco ball at night because it is a cruise ship! So much better than that camper van they were hawking when I was a kid.

In other news, I am almost at 8,000 words in my November novel. If I can make it to 10,000 by the end of the weekend, I will keep going. I had to take a few minutes to sketch out plot because I usually write fiction by sitting down for a few hours and letting my hand just write. The plot generally takes shape when I do it this way. Character-driven, as they say. As I only have 45 minute increments in which to write, these days, the plot doesn’t go anywhere because the characters are wasting all their time talking about which car to take. Guys! Just GO already! So I’m killing one off. Otherwise I was going to be writing a gay romance – a male gay romance – and I just don’t know if I should be doing that.

Or if I could.

Gay Thomas the Tank Engine fan fiction? Maybe? Not?

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