Tuesday, May 01, 2012

A Failed Filibuster

Kids probably should be seen and not heard and in a lot of cases, not even seen ... at all.

One of the cases is at a man’s favorite watering hole. The place where he goes to seek refuge, camaraderie and enjoy a refreshing adult beverage.

I love kids. I really do. But a child, a young child, does not belong at a man’s favorite watering hole. Especially not my favorite watering hole.

A week or so ago, on a beautiful Saturday, I put the top down on my car and headed out for a ride with my wife and adult daughter.

We decided to stop at one of the aforementioned watering holes to have a beverage on the patio and enjoy the sunshine. This particular place has a large outdoor area complete with a tiki bar, swimming pool and several sand volleyball courts. It’s a great place to check out for a little while, work up a sweat and relax with an ice cold beverage.

Since I’m not big into sweating, I decided two out of three ain’t that bad. We ordered our drinks and while we waited, we each turned our faces skyward to feel the warmth of the sun.


When the drinks arrived, we imbibed. When they were near empty, we ordered another round. The volleyball action was really heating up and I contemplated actually joining in on the play. If I wouldn’t have been wearing my good gym shorts that day, I might have.

The second round of drinks came and we hit a little snag. Two kids wandered up from the patio. I guess these two came to watch their parents play volleyball and roam the premises.

Okay, not a problem, I thought, just watch your language and drink your frosty beverage.
As the bible might say, the kids came nigh unto us and started sneaking into the pool. One of the kids’ alert mother said, “Don’t you go near that pool.”

The little girl, being an obedient child, stuck her foot in the water, laughed, then went back from whence she came. The little boy followed.

Before long, the boy was back with another group of boys. This time it was the boy, I’ll call him Bart because I don’t know his name and Bart is a fun name to say, who decided to sneak into the pool. He went a little further than the girl and stayed for a few minutes while all of his buddies sat around the edge of the pool, casting nervous glances toward their busy parents.

I never did figure out who Bart belonged to. For all I know he may have driven himself to the bar.
Soon the other boys went back to whatever mischief they were doing before. But not Bart. Bart lurked.

We ordered another round and tried not to make eye contact with Bart. But it was too late. He smelled the blood in the water.

“You want to see something funny?” he asked my daughter.

“Sure,” she said.

He started gyrating like John Travolta (not “Saturday Night Fever” John Travolta.  I’m talking “Pulp Fiction” John Travolta).

And I’m sure in the proper context, the moves would have been funny. This was not the proper context. It was a watering hole.

Bart babbled on for a few more minutes toward my daughter, then got bored and left.

We continued to enjoy the day.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Bart doing what he obviously did best: lurk. Oh, how that kid could lurk.

My two favorite women saw it too and got up to perform a closer inspection of the pool. I soon discovered that the pool inspection was a ploy to leave me alone with Bart.

He came nigh and sayeth unto me, “Why don’t you play volleyball?”

I tried to tell him that I gave up volleyball because of the political nature of the U.S. Olympic volleyball team trials.

I was trying to bore the kid to death so he would go away. I soon realized, you can’t bore a kid who is already bored. Bart had a new project: me.

He tried to pepper me with questions and I went into full on filibuster mode, trying to get Bart to stop first.

I made up a story about how I tried to make the U.S. Olympic volleyball team but because of politics and corruption, I quit and went home.

“That’s when I switched to water polo,” I told Bart. He continued with the questions like a rabid prosecuting attorney.

This went on for three or four minutes. Finally, I said, “That’s why I quit volleyball and that’s just sad.”

Bart picked up my cue.

“You know what’s sad?” he asked.

“The commercialization of Christmas, that’s what’s sad,” I responded.

“You know what’s sad?” he asked, without batting an eye.

“Global warming,” I said.

Bart barely took a breath.

“My cousin died,” he deadpanned. “And my Grammy. And my soccer coach.”

I slithered under my chair like the serpent I was.

You’re right, kid, that is sad and so is this total twit sitting in a bar trying to enjoy the sun and bore a little kid.

You win, Bart. Well played, sir. Your debate skills cut right to my heart.

And that’s why kids should be seen and not heard, especially at a man’s favorite watering hole.

No comments: