Since it’s that season, Dano, Patrick & I all moseyed on down to the ice cream stand one recent Friday evening. We arrived and there were families, a demographic with whom I have little interaction, so it’s always a little weird as I have not been routinely around children since, say, I was a child.
As we waited in line, a toddler was playing with a toy ambulance that zipped along and made this awful tinny shrieky ambulance noise. And his parents, god bless them, were so patient, letting him make his way from the window to the picnic tables, one foot at a time, one shrieky noise at a time. And I laughed at each irritating step of the way, not because it was endearing, but rather, if I failed to put the situation in the space of bemused tachment, I might have slapped that goddamn thing out of his fucking hand.
After procuring a sundae and a bench upon which to enjoy it, I continued judging local families like the asshole I truly am. Some kids showed up and began jumping off of this rough 4′ cement wall, which is no skin off my back, except these terribly negative Mom Ideas kept popping into my head. Like “that kid is totally going to slam the front of his teeth into that wall,” “that girl is going to jump on top of that other girl’s ice cream cup, breaking her hand in the process, and there will be a *Scene*,” and “we should probably get the hell out of here before the traffic picks up, i.e. an ambulance is blocking the exit.” These appraisals were hardly from a caring place, oh no, to the contrary, they had more to do with the annoyance that any one of these tragedies might cause for myself and my party, which makes me a bad person, but whatever, I never claimed to be otherwise. Meanwhile, Shrieky Ambulance Kid is about 20 yards away ignoring his ice cream and inducing awkwardly manic giggling through clenched teeth on my part.
I would have been concerned about parents noticing my obviously shitty attitude toward these kids, except that some hipster rolled in wearing a shirt that said something with the word FUCK in it, so they were all busy gasping and pointing it out to their significant others rather than watching their own kids.
Just keeping you in the moment, there.
Upon the visit’s conclusion, I pulled out of the parking lot and noticed a guy sitting in a gold Corvette who I can only assume is a pedo because a) he drives a gold Corvette, b) he was eating his ice cream cone alone in his car, but most importantly c) he craned his neck to watch a van full of children being trucked off to the next amusement, licking his ice cream (presumably) longingly as they departed. Alternately, I suppose he could really be regretting how his mullet has held him back from having someone to make children with all these years, or stalking his ex and the son he has no legal rights to see, but the gold Corvette makes a strong statement in favor of my original evaluation.
And that, right there, was the icing on the cake, that cake being “If, for whatever reason, we are unable to have children, I’m pretty sure I can live with that with minimal irritation.” At least that way I won’t be tempted to actively destroy the psyche of some progeny who just wants to play while waiting for his ice cream. And as a bonus, I will never have to worry about pedophiles fucking with my chi.