“Look, Dad,” Clara held up a toy she had just taken off a nearby rack.
I could tell by the flippant way that she was holding it that she was not happy about something, so I stopped what I was doing and looked. “What’s wrong with it? It seems fine. It’s just a little doll like all the other little dolls here.”
She rolled her eyes and put it back. “No, it’s trying to be like these ones over here. It’s such an Off Knock. I hate Off Knocks.”
She started to walk away and I called her back. “Okay, I’m almost afraid to ask, but what is an Off Knock.”
“You know, Off Knocks. Like, someone makes something good that people like and so these other people come along and make something similar. But it is always worse because they don’t actually understand what makes the original thing good.”
I nodded. “Oh! You mean a Knock Off. Yeah, that’s a Knock Off.”
Her face twisted dismissively and she shrugged. “Yeah, whatever, I call them Off Knocks. It makes more sense to me.”
She started to walk off again. “Wait,” I chased after her. “How does that make more sense? Come back! I need to teach you about irony quick. No, stay here for a second while I explain how weird you are for making up a Knock Off term for Knock Offs!” She kept walking, pretending to not hear me. “You are the Off Knock in this situation, little girl! You have become what you yourself profess to hate!”
But she was already gone.
“I’d ask, ‘Who’s there?,’ but I’m afraid to!”