Monday, November 20, 2006

Freak magnet

Hey Wackos- I’m right over here!

Having a kid gives every single wack job on the street an entrée to conversation via the “How old is he” viaduct. The other night on the MAX train a guy sitting too close across from us opened up with that, then jumped directly to a monologue about his apple juice container. I made a quick mental review of escape routes and wondered what to do if he flung his drink on us.

It’s hard being in charge. I want to always be between strangers and the kid without making him a scaredy cat and without snobbing about town. Some folks get aggressive when they can see you’ve placed them firmly in the nut-job category.

The apple juice zealot wasn't our only encounter that night. We also met Teeny Chihuahua Man on that train. He sat down, cast glances up and down the car and opened a little bowling bag. Seriously, this thing was miniscule. The pup, not the man. The way he raised his eyebrows at me as the puppy appeared I thought at first he was offering me a black market purebred wussy pet. Don’t tell J, but I was almost reaching for that itsy-bitsy canine until I realized Toby was sizing it up for destruction sequence alpha charlie 4.25t.

Toddler + Trembly Fragile Life Form = just not good, okay? Just ask J's guinea pigs- oh wait, you can't, because they're DEAD. He didn't mean to, but apparently he squishicated them when he was three, killing them softly... His poor mom felt awful. I figure the best way to honor their last little weeeee weeeeeees is to take this as a lesson to my own heart and ban small pets until Toby can hurt them only on purpose. Besides, small dogs still poop and need babysitters. I can’t even find one of those for the human I own.

Does the fun end there? No, it does not. A woman randomly threw an abandoned umbrella at us, I guess because she wanted the seat and had crappy aim. Disconcerting, having things wing over and clatter your way out of nowhere, though.

Telling J about our friendmaking on the commute downtown, he remained unimpressed. “Creeps have always been drawn to you.”

“Zzzt! Like a magnet, baby. Bring me your mumbling, your shifty, your purveyors of illicit animals. All are welcome- here, touch the baby you germ ridden wierdo, I just love when strangers do that. Why do you think you were attracted to me in the first place, J- hmmmmm?”

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