This is yesterday’s post-school-pick-up, in-the-car conversation with my 6-year-old. That’s all the set-up this needs. And all the hyphens it needs as well.
BEAR: So, I have a great idea.
BEAR: You can give me maybe three hundred dollars or so, and then I can get my own iPhone with its own phone and apps, and then I won’t have to use yours.
ME: Hm. Interesting. No.
BEAR: [incredulous] No???
ME: Nope. It’s highly unlikely you’ll get your own phone for quite some time.
ME: I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it. But at six… no.
ME: Not for a while.
ME: Jeez… maybe in middle school.
BEAR: When’s middle school?
ME: Sixth grade.
BEAR: So in a little over four years?
ME: Good math. Look, I honestly don’t know when you'll get a phone. No promises. Maybe high school.
BEAR: When’s that?
ME: Ninth grade.
BEAR: So maybe seven years?
ME: Possibly. I really don’t know. Quit it.
ME: Glad that makes you happy.
BEAR: [without a pause in the conversation] May I get my pilot’s license?
ME: Your what? Your pilot’s license? Like to fly a plane?
ME: Um, someday. Sure. Though I’m pretty certain it’ll be a few years until you’re old enough. You may need to be at least old enough to drive a car.
BEAR: Which is how old?
BEAR: Forget the pilot’s license. I just need a phone so I can do my job.
ME: Your job...
BEAR: Yes, I’m going to be a cop.
ME: You are? That’s great.
BEAR: Well, okay, I’m retiring from being a cop.
ME: Already? You’re a very young retiree. I’m not sure you even qualify for social security.
BEAR: Well, it’s time.
ME: Will you have another career?
BEAR: I want to be a travel worker.
ME: Um… a what?
BEAR: A travel worker. Like you. I want to work from my house, with you, and then travel to visit people, with you.
I’ve now figured out how to describe my job to people, who always get confused when I try to explain what I do. From now on, two words suffice: travel worker.