For those of you who don't know, which is probably most of you, Elijah was born on Halloween. For him, the nine-week period between Halloween and New Year's is the childhood equivalent of a guilt-free orgy accented by top-notch drugs with no side effects. Not only does he get Halloween, but he gets his birthday party a few days before Halloween, and then he gets eight days of Chanukah, plus Christmas. The lucky shit.
Elijah has made a decision about what to be for Halloween, and hence for his birthday. He will, after a little coaxing from us, be dressing as Hot Man. The Elijahverse continues to rack up new superheroes and villains, but Hot Man remains the central character. One day recently, I emerged from my office to find that Regina had sketched out a Hot Man costume.
Hot Man, apparently, wears yellow tights, orange shorts, and a yellow long-sleeved T-shirt. On the shirt is the image of a fire-breathing dragon. Hot Man also has a blue mask and flames painted on his cheeks. This, Elijah informs us, is because he lives in a volcano.
Also, Hot Man gets sick sometimes. When this happens, he turns into an ugly yellow knight, whose breastplate depicts "a nasty snake who shoots fire out of his butt." Regina persuaded Elijah to go as Healthy Hot Man for Halloween.
I saw that Hot Man, according to Regina's illustration, wears a belt with a circular buckle. Around the circle were written the words HOT MAN.
"Hot Man starts with B," Elijah said.
"Elijah," said Regina. "You see how to spell it. H-O-T-M-A-N. Hotman."
"NOOOOOOOO! It starts with B. It really really does!"
"It does not start with B. It starts with H."
I saw that Elijah was becoming agitated, so I entered the fray.
"Regina," I said. "Hot Man does start with B."
"The B is silent."
"The B is noisy!" Elijah said.
"No, you are noisy. The B is silent," I replied. "But Hot Man starts with a B."
Regina started to protest. I shushed. At least, I said to her later, he cares about letters. Someday, he'll get it right.
"Bush Man starts with B, too," Elijah said. "And he steals people's money and tortures them."
"Actually," Regina said. "He tells other people to steal people's money and tells other people to torture other people. Which is even worse."
"Bush Man is very bad," Elijah said. "I must defeat him."
Bhotman! To the rescue!