what my son learned on his field trip

My 7-year-old son’s class went on a field trip to a state park last week, and it seems that– as is usually the case with field trips– the bus ride there and back was the best part. I can’t say he learned much from his field trip per se, but he definitely learned a few things on the bus. 

“Do you want to hear a song, Mom?” he said breathlessly, as soon as I showed up to get him. Well, of course I did! 

Somebody once told me
The world was macaroni
So I took a bite out of a tree
It tasted kinda funky
So I spat it at a monkey
And the monkey started yelling at me
Ten thousand years later
The monkey was Darth Vader
And he threw his light saber at me
It missed me by a mile
So he threw me in the Nile
And that’s the end of my story!

His little brother stared, wide-eyed. “Sing that again!” he commanded.

A few hours later, after practicing in their room a few hundred times, they had a two-man act ready to go, and their little sister was a most rapt audience. The show only ended when I told them if they sang it one more time I was going to throw something. Then, of course, I sang it to myself for the rest of the night, since it was irretrievably stuck in my head.


It’s not a bad song, really- although the swerve into Darth Vader territory is kind of out of nowhere. (Then again, Star Wars references are de rigueur for anything in the second grade.) But there is always room for improvement, and by the next morning, Connor was sure he had something even better. “Mom! Mom! Listen! I have a new song! Mom! Listen!” he wheedled, and once I had my coffee ready, I did.


Somebody once told me
The world was made of pizza
So I took a bite out of a tree
It tasted kind of funky…

I’ll spare you the rest, except to say that other than changing “macaroni” for “pizza,” the song was exactly the same, which is like when Vanilla Ice tried to say “Ice Ice Baby” was different from “Under Pressure” because they added one more dum to the dum-dum-dum-da-da-dum-dum part. So of course, I had to be Wiseass Mom and point out that changing one word didn’t really make it a different song. This came back to haunt me a few minutes later, when Seamus and Connor came giggling out of their bedroom to belt out


Somebody once told me
That my pee was made out of french fries
So I took a bite out of my pee
It tasted kind of weird
So I spat it at my butt
And my butt started yelling at me
Ten thousand years later
My butt was a football player
And he threw his football at me…


Maggie chortled heartily at this. “Dem pee is made of FWENCH FWIES?” she laughed, rolling her eyes at the absurdity of it all.


“Okay guys. First of all,” I said, “no songs like that in front of your sister. Second of all, you have completely abandoned any sense of a rhyme scheme. Thirdly, that doesn’t make sense, because no one would believe that their pee was made of french fries.”


“Why not?” they chorused.


“Because,” I said, “pee is a liquid and french fries are a solid.” 


They thought for a moment.


“Well,” Seamus reasoned, “we could say dere POOP was made of french fries.” 


Curses! Once again, I was bested by my children. This song has infinite ribald varieties, and over the last few days, I’ve heard them all. Ah, field trips. What does your kid learn on the bus?