It was a mystery, see? I couldn't understand what was going on, and yet in a way, it made a sort of sense.
See, one day a few weeks ago, I was playing with Henry in the living room, and the music was on shuffle, and it landed on none other than Bill Hicks. Henry stopped what he was doing, turned toward the speaker, stood up, and started clapping his little hands together. Had a hidden camera been tucked away somewhere, it would have captured the sight of my jaw hitting the floor. Could it be, I thought, that the spirit of Bill Hicks is speaking to my child? I groped for some sort of explanation to make sense of this impossible sight. Henry looked up at me with an enormous smile and clapped some more. He clapped through the whole damn track.
And then it happened several more times. Music on shuffle, lands on Bill Hicks, always something wildly child-inappropriate, but I don't, I can't stop it because my son is totally captivated! Who am I to interrupt whatever communication is going on between this dead comic genius and my impressionable young son? I'm just imagining how I'll brag about this one. Oh little such-and-such is walking, huh? Wow that's really great. Did I tell you Henry has developed the sense of humor of a cynical adult? Yes, we're very proud.
And then one day the answer made itself clear. It was the clapping. Bill tells his jokes, the audience laughs, and it all gets recorded for the folks at home to hear 13 years after the man's death. And my little GooGoo was responding to the clapping.
Thank God, I thought. As much as I love Bill Hicks, I'm not quite ready for my son to be able to understand what he's got to say. Not just yet.
Watch this and smile with me.