Our intentions were pure.
We left the house at 7:00 AM having mutually agreed that a trip to our gym would be appropriate.
At least I think it’s still “our” gym, as we haven’t been there for, oh, three months or so.
I don’t know.
Roughly halfway there, I realized that we had neglected to bring workout towels.
Not sure how your gym operates, but at ours towel-less members are denied access.
More’s the pity.
We didn’t really feel like driving the four miles back to our house to retrieve the missing towels, so my wife suggested we go to St. Arbuck’s instead.
A capitol idea if ever there was one.
So, fighting our way through more people than I’d previously seen at St. Arbuck’s, we somehow managed to find an empty table, sat down and had our attention immediately captured by a young father and his two year-old son.
That the fellow was a Brit was unmistakable by his thick Liverpool accent.
That the little boy was a handful was unmistakable by the father’s constant wrangling.
“Oy, matey…put the mug down…down…no, no, no…don’t take the man’s newspa…stop…put the trash back in the…oy…come sit over here by you’re da…come back inside…inside…don’t hold the door open…put that back…put it…put the creamer back on the…”
The guy was fighting a losing battle with the energetic little tyke, who wore a gleeful expression the entire time as one adventure turned into the next, and into the next…
Something had to happen.
The father did what any man would have done in that situation.
The child was bribed!
Blatantly, unquestionably bribed.
“If I gave you some cake, would you sit down?”
The child’s eyes lit up instantaneously as he nodded an energetic affirmation.
Like a magician revealing a quite baffling trick, the dad produced a paper bag seemingly out of thin air.
Then, with dramatic flair he slowly opened said bag and withdrew a tantalizingly moist slice of frosted lemon cake.
The child could barely contain himself so great was his joy.
Planting his tiny bottom on a chair next to his dad, he consumed the cake piece by delectable piece.
“You like that, Sport?”
The father’s cell phone vibrated and he looked at the caller ID.
“It’s your ma.”
He said hello, made a bit of small talk and then asked if she wanted to speak to the boy.
She apparently did for he handed the Blackberry to the child who immediately announced, “Mommy, I’m eating cake!”
While I couldn’t hear her end of the conversation, my imagination is pretty good.
MOM: Cake? Really? At 7:30 AM?
CHILD: Yeah. Daddy gave it to me.
I suddenly felt like we were in the middle of an old Bill Cosby routine!
MOM: He did, huh? Well, honey, can you give the phone back to your dad? He and I have something important to discuss.
The father had a rather smug and satisfied smile on his face as the boy handed the phone to him…a smile that ran away faster than a politician from a campaign promise!
His pathetic attempts at justification failed epically as witnessed by his wife’s verbal flogging, snatches of which could be heard from where we sat six feet away.
For his part, he took it like a man–meaning that he blamed everyone but George W. Bush for the offense.
After suggesting he bring home a Grande Cinnamon Dolce as a peace offering, she seemed to calm down.
I assume that was the case, as we could no longer hear her.
He said something on the order of, “Alright, then, luv. See you in a bit.”
Returning the phone to his pocket, he smiled conspiratorially at the boy.
“Want some more?”