I'm driving 7 year old Maddy back to her foster home, an hour and a half journey, and we get into a debate about what is the scariest animal.
Isaac: Sharks are pretty scary, but by far the scariest animal is the shark with legs.
Maddy: Sharks don't have legs!
Isaac: Right, sharks don't have legs, but sharks with legs have legs.
Maddy: But sharks don't have legs!
Isaac: Well I know sharks don't have legs, but obviously, sharks with legs have legs! I mean it's right there in the name.
Maddy: Well what's so scary about that?
Isaac: Well, sharks with legs are extremely scary because even if you swim out of the water and run up onto the beach, they can run out of the water and still keep chasing you.
Maddy: Well I'd just climb up a tree. One time my brother's dog was chasing me and I climbed up a tree to get away.
Isaac: Ok, that would keep you safe from sharks with legs, but not from sharks with legs and arms. Sharks with legs and arms are even scarier because they can climb up the tree and get you.
Maddy: Well what if I jumped out of the tree into an airplane and flew away?
Isaac: Well Maddy, the thing is, I know sharks with legs are scary, and sharks with legs and arms are even scarier, but there's actually an animal even scarier than any of those, and that is the shark with legs and arms and wings.
Maddy: (laughing, incredulous) What??
Isaac: Yeah, because sharks with legs and arms and wings can fly after you even in an airplane. Those are by far the scariest animal.
[Long pause. Maddy is thinking.]
Maddy: Yeah but there's a kind of animal that's even scarier than that.
Isaac: Scarier than sharks with legs and arms and wings?
Maddy: Yes. The one that's even scarier than that is the kind of shark that can change into other things. Like it could turn into so it looks like a bus.
Isaac: (stunned) A Sharkbus?
Maddy: Yeah, it would look just like a bus, but it would trick you because it would really be a shark, so it would drive up to you and you know what would happen when it opened its door?
Maddy: You'd die, because you'd climb inside the bus but you'd actually be going inside the shark, and it would eat you.
Isaac: So you're saying any bus I see might actually be a Sharkbus, so every time I get on a bus I might actually be getting into a Sharkbus?
Isaac: Wow, that is…that is a scary thing.
Maddy: It's a scary world.
Yes, she really did say that, yes this conversation really happened, and yes it's more or less verbatim. This is why I love my job.
Also another good reason not to ride the bus. I mean…holy shit.
IT LOOKS LIKE DOMO-KUN.
Shut up, Blue Space.
Shut up, Blue Space.