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2003-09-26 | 9:00 p.m.

Good God, I'm tired. Have I ever been so tired in my life? I feel like somebody gave me a poison apple.

We are gearing up for Jinx's party on Sunday. Everyone is speaking pirate. Jinx calls us all scalawags. "Why do they say, 'Ahoy, scalawag'?" he wants to know. I'm not sure they do, I tell him.

On the way home from the party store, I think of a new finger sandwich we can serve at the party: bloody knuckles, made with extra chunky peanut butter and strawberry jam. Does that fit in with the pirate theme? I can't decide. What do pirates eat? Leg o' mutton? I'm not making that for a bunch of five-year-olds. I resolve to look up pirate party food on the Web.

I remember that pirates are prone to scurvy and describe the effects to the kids, warning them that they might well develop it, given their avoidance of fruits and vegetables. Jinx tells me that I should serve more broccoli, since that is his favorite vegetable. Criminy says she doesn't like cauliflower, even though it looks like broccoli. She explains that tomatoes are a fruit. The setting sun singes my retinas. Felony slumps over. Jinx's eyes begin to close.

"Don't fall asleep, Jinx," I tell him in the rear-view mirror. "Don't you want to show Daddy your musket?"

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