Okay, so then there’s the part about coming across the Dying Baby Bird on the Ground on our walk the next morning. The Dying Baby Bird on the Ground took an hour of parental problem-solving, reasoning, comforting, and bull-shitting (the parents won’t come to help it until we leave) before we could finally get a move-on as the relatively cool morning 85-degree temp crept up toward the triple-digits.
Then there was my having to pee on that same walk, and asking occasional passersby how far to the bathroom; the answers varied widely, and the bathroom got no closer. One gentleman jogger answered me in Spanish, so I queried him about “el bano?” He replied in Spanish and hand gestures, and I nodded, comprehending most of what he said, based on high school Spanish and the super powers one attains when having to pee very badly. I replied, “Gracias.”
The Little Monkey gave me a High Five, Mom! for being bilingual.
Then there was the $14.00 (plus tax and tip) hamburger at the well-worn Mom and Pop place on a well-worn Main Street in a well-worn town. We hadn’t showered, had sweated all night, had no liquid in us left to sweat, and LM chugged two glasses of ice water (after I first dispatched him to the bathroom to scrub his hands after handling the Dying Baby Bird on the Ground).
When I saw the prices, I instructed LM that we were ordering breakfast. Though we’d already breakfasted back at the campground, it was still an hour before noon and we’d stopped more for water and air-conditioning, and the breakfast menu contained some single-digit-priced items.
When the waitress (they are waitresses, not servers, in a place like this) arrived with her pad and pen, LM tried to order two breakfasts, the pancakes and the French toast. I turned to the waitress. “He’ll have the French toast.”
He gave me a sour expression when it arrived and refused to eat it.
I had visions of mama and daddy tree swallows pushing their evil-eyed, now very large child out of the nest when the hefty chick just had to say one more thing about the worms being a little dry and small. I had not exactly been miserly with starving the child or insisting on healthy choices (see donuts and milkshakes, which wasn’t the half of it).
I could have calmly said something about ingratitude, or looking a gift horse in the mouth, or I could have shrugged and let him go hungry, except that I would be the one suffering the natural consequence not ten minutes down the road.
But it’s my opinion that restaurant diners often need entertainment. And neither one of us were at our best right then.
Hence, I said what I said.
He ate his breakfast and half of mine (which was half the price and twice as big). We had a very nice breakfast.
French toast: Wikipedia, Jonathunder