Monday, August 27, 2012

The Playground Conspiratorialist

They want to watch it again.

My kids are now officially obsessed with that Thomas DVD. From the moment my daughter got up she started asking to watch it. I managed to fob her off with breakfast and talk of going to a playground later. But that only lasted twenty minutes until her brother got up and he's acted like her reinforcement. Now I've capitulated and they're staring brainlessly at it while I try and figure out which playground to go to.

Speaking of which, yesterday I met a woman at a playground who went from pleasant to unusual in record time. Before explaining that though I should mention that when I told this story to my wife my son interrupted and alluded to the fact that I went home with this woman. He even said that he and his sister played while I and, "the grandmother" did whatever we did. Then he made a grunting noise. Obviously I didn't do that. But she did flirt a little and I did mention that to my wife. I also noted that the two people recently who have openly flirted with me have been this woman and a very young cashier at the grocery store who chanced her arm even though she knew I had two kids with me. You should be flattered about these sorts of things. But considering the woman yesterday started talking all mental and the cashier asked me, "are they your kids?" I have some reservations. Actually in hindsight I really wish I'd said to the cashier, ".....No. I found them over in the cereal aisle. But you know what they say - finders keepers..."  Actually my wife made a woe-is-me comment about how people don't randomly flirt with her like that. But considering she spends 99% of her time at work that's hardly surprising. But I should remind myself to tell her that I've sold loads of those old naked photos of her at various stages of pregnancy (those ones that all women take and NEVER EVER look at again) on Craigslist - so she should feel pretty good about herself.

Anyhoo - back to the playground Grandma. After some small talk and whatnot she asked me about the differences between "the England" (she actually used that phrase) and the USA. I went with "there's a vague undercurrent of violence and terror in the US. And by that I mean during the morning weather there are commercials on for television shows that are basically 30 seconds of explosions, people being murdered and constant, gruesome violence as titillation. All delivered over breakfast. Whereas in the UK we swear a lot, have hundreds of words for willy and there are nipples EVERYWHERE on television." Then I made her laugh by saying that I think the swings they have for very young kids look like medieval chastity underpants.

 After some comments about how she thinks the US is collapsing into a pit of apocalyptic despair she changed track entirely. I had just made a reference to my wife finding hiring very good people a challenge when the lady leaned forward and whispered, (as if what she was saying was dangerous) "I don't think anyone is unemployed...."She only slightly expanded on that by saying she thinks the whole recession and economic crisis is entirely made up by the government so they can do all the nasty little things to us that they want with a good excuse. As is usually the case in these situations I desperately want to get to the point of that so ask the very important, "Why?" I've never once had a good reason given. I've heard variations of , "...he wants to bring this country to it's knees.." (and to be fair - I heard mentalness like this 5 years ago too) and, "he's trying to make people completely dependent on the government.." But never have I heard the Why part of that. Which to my mind is incredibly important and necessary before you can have the paranoid, David Koresh-style "he wants to turn us into Soylent Green!" gibberish. But alas - as is always the case she rushed off to help her grandson down from a slide and the conversation moved on. But not before she strongly hinted that if I'm ever around she lives right over there and I'm welcome any time.

Instead the kids and I went home and played in our own backyard - free from conspiracy theories and pensioner passion. Although the neighbor did pop over to advise that I don't dig somewhere because it's probably riddled with poison ivy (it isn't). My kids spent almost three hours rumbling toy trains around outside. They were in heaven and actually allowed me to do a few things that needed doing. At the end of the afternoon and around the time their mother might call to say if she'll be late (it's that time of year where there's no such thing as a day off work) they both ran inside to put Band Aids on. Nothing wrong with them but that's the takeway from visiting the doctor last week - Band Aids fix everything.

They've carried their medicinal behavior this morning too. Right now my son wants to give me a physical. But considering he's modified his doctor's kit slightly to look like this I'm nervous about letting him.

What exactly is he planning to cut off with that saw? And where is that blue ant going to be put? If I make it through I'll let you know later....

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