Why does E.T. have a glowing finger? and whats wrong with his voice? - Anthony, New York
First, let me say that the Papa Say column is really to field questions about parenting, and how to raise a smart, well-adjusted child like mine as effortlessly as I seem to have done it. But since Anthony was the only one who responded, I'll field his question today.
The glowing finger, Anthony, is what scientists call "Stanky Finger." One gets Stanky Finger from putting one's finger where it does not belong. The nose. Ant hills. Other aliens. Symptoms include a bright light emanating from the tip, and also a mucusy cough. God knows where ET picked up his Stanky Finger, but that he's got a really serious case of it is clear. That's why for me, the most frightening scene in the film is when he tries to touch the boy without any protection; the gloves worn by lunch ladies, for instance. ET may call this "phoning home," but I call it irresponsible.
Now with his voice, I don't know. Probably cigarettes. Really, really strong cigarettes, like the ones Kathleen Turner uses. Really makes you wonder why the mother was so intent on saving what was clearly a really bad influence on her kids. But she had her own issues, didn't she?
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