Monday, January 10, 2005

A Series of Unfortunate Events

#1 A Curious Incident
Saturday night. California Pizza Kitchen at the mall. As a family.

We weren't the only family. There was a large group sitting at the table across from us. Multiple families, small children, food everywhere, adults drinking as fast as socially acceptable (see reasons earlier in this sentence). Closest to us were a little girl and her brother. The girl, about three years old, was wearing a very pink dress with ribbons and bows, and she was clutching a baby doll from the very popular "Hey, My Head is Enormous!" series. She was rocking the "baby" and stroking its head.

You know--soothing, sweet, maternal, blah blah blah. Girl stuff.

Her brother looked a little older, maybe four, and he wanted to hold the doll. She asked, quite clearly, "Do you PROMISE to be sweet to the dolly?" and he solemnly nodded that he would be.

I looked down to pick up a piece of pizza, then started talking to Gloria, and after a few seconds I heard a repetitive banging sound. I looked up and this boy looked like Norman Bates with a knife in Psycho, raising the baby doll up as high as he could possibly could, then slamming the doll's head onto the table with the force of every ounce of his weight. Repeatedly.

The difference between boys and girls. Illustrated.

#2 The Fate of Mankind is at Stake
After dinner we went to Pottery Barn Kids. Eli 3.5 loves this store because it has all kinds of toys he can play with--mostly trains and a full line of kitchen toys (blenders, toasters, dishwashers, etc.). We're talking and Eli is blissfully using a hand mixer. Suddenly, a rail-thin employee sprints past us and disappears into the back room.
"What was that?" I asked.
"I don't know," Gloria said.
"This is Pottery Barn Kids. What situation could possibly require RUNNING?"
"Microwave popcorn in the break room?"
"Dude looked like he was in The Andromeda Strain and had ten seconds left to hit the button and stop the release of the plague."

A few minutes later, he walked out and returned to the register. Eli was still obsessing over the mixer and a nearby toaster. Then we looked up and the running man was blasting past us with a small wicker basket, again disappearing into the back room. "Run, wicker basket man, run," I said. "Save us from the doom that can only be stopped by wicker picnic baskets. Save us!"

He did not return. I only hope he was in time.

#3 Bueno
At the weekly Pancake House breakfast on Sunday mornings (boys only), Eli 3.5 and I sat down in our favorite booth, ordered our favorite food, and sat back to relax.

Unfortunately, in the booth just behind us was Shouting Throat Clearing Man.

You all know Shouting Throat Clearing Man. He's the lifetime smoker who sounds like he's coughing up half his body weight in phlegm every thirty seconds. This particular Shouting Throat Clearing Man looked like he was in his late sixties and was breakfasting with a female companion. As an added bonus, he yelled everything he said, so we got to hear every conversation. His side of them, at least.

At one point, a Hispanic lady who is one of the busboys came by to take away some plates. "BUENO BUENO BUENO!" he shouted. "BUENO AH HEH BLECH HACK HACK HUHHHHHHH."
Aghast, the lady tried to smile politely as she cleared dishes.
"SeƱora," she said, walking away.

Meals were abandoned in record time.

Site Meter