Charlie Horse

We’re sitting at dinner the other night with our two boys and the boys’ grandparents, my in-laws. We were out to dinner, something our youngest doesn’t like to do. He’s a total home body. When given the choice between staying at home — even to clean his room — and anything that involves going to a place he’s never been before, he’ll always choose staying at home.

We convinced him to go out this night — well, we actually gave him no choice telling him that this is what he was doing — but once he tasted the all-you-can-eat pasta bar, he knew that his family had not steered him wrong.

This wiry eight year-old boy who weighs barely 60 pounds, and who has recently been very finicky in his eating habits, suddenly developed a hollow leg. Trip after trip he took to the the tables for salad, garlic bread, and pasta.

In between one of the trips he stopped eating and decided to engage the table in some conversation. When he’s feeling comfortable in his surroundings there’s no telling what’s going to come out of his mouth. And here it came…

He lifted up his left arm like he was flexing his biceps.

“This is Charlie.”

He kept his left arm raised then lifted his right to mirror his left.

“This is Horse.”

And without a beat he continued, “Meet Charlie Horse.”

He did this with a huge beaming smile. He knew what he was doing. What he didn’t know was the reaction he’d get. The table erupted. Everyone was howling, which made his grin even wider. The best part about it was his widening grin when he saw how successful his joke was. Even better was that we all got a gut wrenching laugh out of it, and who can’t use one of those?


RJ Lavallee is the author of IMHO (In My Humble Opinion): a guide to the benefits and dangers of today’s communication tools on sale at, Barnes and Noble, and


Leave a Reply