Osiris, meet Jesus. Jesus, Osiris.

Yesterday I was a guest speaker at my son’s school. Each week a new student becomes The Chosen One, he/she whose ego shall be inflated by week’s end. This was my son’s special week, so I volunteered to come talk to the class about my job, specifically about my work in Egypt. I figured that’d be more interesting to four-year-olds than, say, XML or Gantt charts.

Now, I’ve given presentations to CEO’s and government officials, to audiences skeptical and outright hostile, but I gotta say prepping for the preschoolers ranks right up there in terms of pre-show jitters. I mean, blowing a pitch to a client is one thing. Embarrassing your child the very first time you get a chance in front of his peers, that scars for life.

I now realize that talking about Ancient Egypt to a group of kids who don’t understand the concept of death is extremely difficult. How to explain the mummy? (“The wrappings keep the Egyptians cool when they take forever-naps.”) I did get a bit of a kick out of introducing the class to some of the Egyptian pantheon of gods, especially as this is a Catholic school. I had visions of the tots explaining to their parents that they learned about Osiris, Lord of the Dead, at school. Multiculturalism, kids. Teach the controversy.

At one point I introduced a finger puppet of a pharaoh. I explained that he was the leader of Egypt, that he wore a headdress that made him feel powerful like a lion, and that he ruled everything he could see with absolute power. At this point one of my son’s friends exclaimed “Just like President Bush!” No, I’m not kidding. I only wondered if he meant the puppet part or the absolute power part.

“More than you know, kid, more than you.”