Two Brief Essays

Sam Kasmin

I.   A Nine-Year-Old’s Maturity Complex

At the dinner table, during a conversation about COVID-19 and the strange new world we live in, Caleb chimes in with “Actually, I know a lot about science, and I know that the coronavirus comes from animals.” We all applaud him for his contribution to the conversation, and assure him that he could be a scientist when he grows up. He clarifies that he wants to be a veterinarian. Then he starts talking about animals.

The curious maturity that my brother naturally presents is often a cause of confusion for me. I often forget how old my brother is because he seems much too mature to be nine. That being said, he’s not quite tall enough to be eleven. Therefore, I always know rationally that he must be nine or ten. If Caleb was taller, I would have absolutely no idea how old he is. Having a basic concept of time, I know I’ve lived with Caleb for about nine years or so, but I always have to make sure by taking a second to ask him, “are you nine or ten?”

With an ideal path before him that leads to a degree in veterinary science, Caleb is a nine-year-old who knows what he wants in life—or so he thinks. When I was nine I thought I wanted to be an artist; specifically a cartoonist. A couple of years later, I figured out that artists usually don’t make a lot of money. I haven’t taken the time to draw a cartoon in years.

It’s not likely that Caleb will still want to be a veterinarian by the time he turns twelve. Although Caleb loves to contribute to conversations while implicating his specific interests (and it’s always a genuine joy to hear him do so), practically, Caleb doesn’t know much about veterinary science. He just likes animals. His interest in veterinary science only extends as far as him barking at our dog, Teddy, in order to communicate with him—which is adorable, but not veterinary science.

II.  The Wiggles Are All Going To Die One Day

As I open the YouTube video titled “Retired Wiggle Greg Page makes an important statement”, uploaded by the official YouTube channel for The Wiggles, I feel apprehensive and unstable. Greg Page, formerly known as the yellow Wiggle, sits looking at the camera with a flat affect. The button-down shirt that he’s wearing is blue. Greg’s hair is grey and thinning, which throws me off as I remember the yellow Wiggle always having thick, dark hair that contrasts his vibrant yellow t-shirt. 

The only reason I clicked on the video in the first place was because of how cryptically the title is written: “Retired Wiggle Greg Page makes an important statement.” I’d have no way of knowing what the supposed “important statement” is without watching the video myself. Greg proclaims bluntly “On the 17th of January, at the end of the original Wiggles concert for bushfire relief, I suffered a cardiac arrest.” With the first sentence that Greg delivers, not only am I struck with an overwhelming sense of disorientation, but I almost feel as though I’ve briefly transcended.

I wasn’t prepared to hear Greg explain how an automatic external defibrillator was used to shock his heart back to a normal rhythm. The most advanced vocabulary I remember from Greg Page is him transitioning from repeatedly singing “Hot potato! Hot potato!” to singing “Cold spaghetti! Cold spaghetti!”

The day that Greg suffered from a cardiac arrest, there was an official statement made on The Wiggle’s Twitter account. The statement reads: “Update: At the end of the show this evening there was a medical incident off stage involving Greg Page. Medics were called immediately and he was taken to hospital where he is receiving treatment. We will provide more information as it comes to hand.”

On Twitter, there is a way to hide replies to any given tweet. The author of a tweet can hide a reply for any reason they want. The only issue is, once a reply is hidden, you can access a list of all the hidden replies by pressing a button right next to the tweet.

The Wiggles took the liberty of hiding some inappropriate replies. One of the replies they hid simply reads “Rip greg.”

 The band The Wiggles, which specializes in singing simplistic colorful songs for babies, hired someone to monitor their Twitter account and hide a tweet that reads “Rip greg.” Unfortunately, in the real world, there are people who write inappropriate things on the internet. Unfortunately, in the real world, people will sometimes suffer cardiac arrests and everybody will eventually die. However, whoever monitors the official Twitter account for The Wiggles most liked hid the reply “Rip greg” because Greg is not dead yet.

When Greg dies, his grave will most likely not say anything about hot potatoes or being the yellow Wiggle. It’s likely that his grave will read something along the lines of “Rip Greg.” Oddly enough, I find the statement “Rip Greg” to be much more difficult to comprehend than “Rip the yellow Wiggle, creator of the song ‘Hot Potato’.”

Sam Kasmin is a junior at MBS