What’s on first

The boy and I, in the car to the store. We pass by a wooded bike trail.

“Hey,” I say, “we should come here for a bike ride! Would that be fun or what?!”

“What what?” he asks.

“What are you talking about?”

“What? You said ‘what.’ What is the what?”

“What do you mean? I don’t understand!” I’m getting a bit frustrated. “What what are you talking about?”

Exasperated, he spits out, “You said, “fun or what.” What is that what?”

“Ohhhhhh,” I say, finally understanding. Smiling, I reply, “It’s an expression, kid. It just means that it would be really fun.”

“Oh, but why do you say ‘or what?’ ”

“I don’t know. You just do.” I’m also a bit tired of relentless questions all morning long.

“Okay. Well, can you say it again?” he asks.

“Sure. Let’s go biking! Would that be fun or what?”

“What,” he deadpans.

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