Kids like candy

Elle’s been asking her Papa (my dad) to come to her classroom and do a Show & Tell presentation on his years protecting Air Force One.  After a couple of confusing rounds of communication with her teacher, we were told that Ms. A. would figure out a date and let Elle know as soon as possible when Papa could talk to her class.  In the meantime, my dad has been running a few ideas by her.  He, of course, wants to be sure that the little 3rd graders think his former job as a security police officer in the Air Force and on Air Force One is an interesting one. 

I was hoping yesterday would be the day that we could get a Show & Tell date.  Elle was eager to ask her teacher again about the upcoming event but was equally excited about another pretty important occasion – she and her classmate (whom we’ll call Joey) decided to show each other up by wearing their favorite Super Bowl team’s fan gear.  Joey comes from a family of diehard Steelers fans while Elle comes from…well, she wears cheese on her head and she wears it proudly, by golly.  So Elle got herself all dolled up in her Green Bay Packers t-shirt, her cheese wedge necklace, and a very old (probably antique by this point) Packers button. 

My kid was dressed up sharp, like a finely aged cheddar (um…okay, bad pun but good timing.  I won’t do it again, I promise).

Before I dropped her off at school yesterday morning, my father reminded her once again to check on the Show & Tell date.  He can’t wait to get in front of the kids and tell them about his fun adventures all around the world with two presidents, what it’s like to fly on an airplane with the First Dog (Millie), and the complimentary snack-sized Presidential packets of M&M candies.

It’s like he’s the 3rd grader.  Can I go now? How about now? Is it my turn yet?!

Flash forward about 10 hours later: I’m exhausted from a full day of work, Elle’s exhausted from a full day of school, and Papa’s on the phone again with AT&T because, well…they suck. 

As I was getting some dinner ready for the two of us, I asked Elle about the whole Packers/Steelers fan gear thing and she began telling me about her little competition with Joey.  Basically, and this is how it was explained to me, Elle and Joey were forced to remove all of their fan gear (besides their shirts, of course) by the father of another little classmate (whom we’ll call Jada).  Jada’s dad, it turns out, was in their class presenting for Show & Tell. 

It also turns out that Jada’s dad is not a fan of either the Packers or the Steelers.  Why not?  There’s a very good reason.

Jada’s dad is Dexter Carter.  Yeah, the name didn’t mean a thing to me either until I Googled him.  Here’s what I learned:

  • Dexter Carter was a first round pick in the 1990 NFL draft.  The San Francisco 49ers snatched this star running back up like a pipin’ fresh hotcake.
  • Dexter Carter has a Super Bowl ring from the 49ers win in 1994.
  • Dexter Carter played 7 seasons in the NFL (with the 49ers and the New York Jets) and even set an NFL record that has something to do with an all-purpose yard or something, I don’t even care.
  • Dexter Carter gave his autographed NFL playing cards to all the students in Elle’s class.
  • Dexter Carter totally stole all of my dad’s thunder.

I say he stole my dad’s thunder because, well…we didn’t even know there were other dads interested in getting involved in Show & Tell.  Heck, we didn’t even know that any of Elle’s classmates were interested in bringing their dads to Show & Tell. 

My father doesn’t seem all that concerned that his presentation will be compared to that of the guy who played football with the San Francisco 49ers and won a Super Bowl, but I think he should be.  I mean, at least give the 3rd graders some time to come off their NFL high, especially the boys.  I think they would be a prime target during the whole Air Force One Let’s Hang Out With the Leader of the Free World White House Flying in the Sky speech. 

“Dad, dude…you think you can get your hands on some of those M&M candies?  You know, the ones with the Presidential seal?  The other dad handed out autographed NFL trading cards. You should get those M&Ms and hand them out to the kids during your presentation.  They’d like that!”

And he just looks at me like…what?

Seriously, when extra points are needed, give the kids candy.

Kids like candy.

In the end, we were left still questioning two things:

  1. When is Papa’s Show & Tell date?
  2. Who won the Packers/Steelers fan gear competition?

Elle doesn’t remember, she says.  She forgot to put on her button and cheese wedge necklace after Dexter Carter, very jokingly, told her to remove it while in his presence, she says.  And anyway, he gave her a really awesome autographed NFL trading card, she says.

I’m telling you, Dad – GIVE THE KIDS CANDY.


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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