Benjy, my niece, and I were riding in the car the other day when Ben said, "Did you know there's a new fastest animal in the world?"
I raised my eyebrow in the rear-view mirror. "Oh?"
"Yeah. You wanna know what it is?"
"It's not a cheetah?"
"No," he said patronizingly. "It's a beetle."
"What?? A BEETLE?" niece and I chorused.
"Yeah. It runs 80 miles per hour."
"Uh --" I said.
"It was just discovered in 2010."
"Okay then," I said. "The Cheetah-Beetle."
"I don't remember its name, but it's NOT THAT."
Later, my niece asked me if I ever check out his endless supply of factoids. The truth is, I sometimes do. And 8.5 times out of 10 they can be verified. The other 1.5 instances are works of fiction.
My niece Googled the 80 mph beetle. Of course it does not exist. There is, however, a beetle that clocks in at 1.5 mph, and it is the fastest insect in the whole insect universe.
Figuring out the workings of Benjy's mind is an ongoing challenge. I feel like if I do it I'll be awarded a Nobel Prize in Neuro-Creative-Cuteness-Psychology.