Random Acts of Strangeness

Errands tonight. At the store the wife and Child 1 went in and Child 2 and I waited in the car, mainly because he doesn’t mind it. He crawls back and forth from the front seat to the back seat, pretends to drive, etc. I had him on my lap and he was ‘driving’ – the car was on because it’s freezing outside. We were facing some guy standing behind his suburban tallying up his receipt from his groceries. Child 2, because he is two years old, hits every lever, presses every button. We bright this guy, then turn the lights off, then turn on the hazard lights. Turn signals. Windshield wipers.

Our interior light is on (all lights on, all lights off, all lights on) so the guy can see me, but my son is short and he can’t see his head. So I kind of lift him up so he can see it’s a kid doing all this, not a jerk looking for a fight. He doesn’t see him.

At that point I’m sure he thinks I want to rumble. I’m bracing for him to come over and be embarrassed when he saw my son. He stands and stares at me for a while then as he takes his cart back he comes by the car.

From about 10 feet away he calls out, “You okay?”

I go to roll down the window or open the door. My son had locked the doors. I unlock them, and then open the door and apologize and point at my son.

“Yeah, I can see that now. I just wanted to make sure you weren’t having a heart attack or something.”

“Nope, I’m ok. Thanks, though, sorry,” I say.

Then, without saying anything, before he pulls away (the parking lot mostly empty by then) he does three donuts for Child 2’s sake. By the second one I notice and by the third I pull Child 2 up and show him. His face lights up. I wave at the dude, who I don’t think sees me. He drives off.

2 thoughts on “Random Acts of Strangeness

  1. I have to say that this story is quite compelling. Particularly the tension of the dude ready to fight, when he was just trying to see if you were all right. Says so much about our expectations of our reality versus what that reality might truly be. And the kids playing around in the car the whole time just adds a whole ‘nother dynamic.

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