To Catch a prEDator


Taking a break from all this Ed Zone’s Funniest Home Video nonsense, I interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to post one of those little slice o’ life pieces that I like to draft every once in awhile to remind y’all that behind this goofball facade, an actual human resides. The latest check of the Nielsens shows at least three of you are grooving to the continued adventures of the DWG so all I can say is hang tight, something big is coming. And by the time I am done posting it, this site will likely be bookmarked by crickets and tumbleweeds the world over.

But that’s for another day.

Today, I wanted to drop you a note to let you know how things were going in the Humphries household. Of course, with 22000 cc’s of triptofan on the docket for this week, we all know the holidays are just around the river bend – meaning I have to get to work drafting the annual Christmas letter. You’ll forgive me if I withhold some of the choicest details and simply sprinkle a slight anecdote here. There’s only so much ‘A’ material rattling around this brain pan.

Last month, as I documented in my Hunt for Red October post, Andi and I loaded up the Family Truckster and headed North to Limerick, ME for our annual Columbus Day weekend getaway with her Dad and his family. On that Saturday, we decided to take a little day trip from Limerick to Freeport (LL Bean’s final resting place) to do a little shopping. Although the weather was promising a soaker, the dark clouds were kept at bay by little reservoirs of blue sky for the majority of the day, granting us a pleasant mid-Fall afternoon that fortunately for the Maine economy, buoyed our purchasing power. So the afternoon was spent hunting for winter coats, boots and mittens. At least that was the goal. Seeing as how the calendar had just crested October, most of the stores had swept aside their festive fashions in favor of the Spring line. So that meant Andi was granted carte blanche to fill the cart with all manner of Capri’s, sarongs and chamois.

At the end of the day, just moments after I applied the final Bungie to the Sherpa we ended up hiring to haul back our loot, Andi gave the order to unleash hell. Or at least her own version of hell – meaning the day’s shopping was complete and we were to head for home. I latched the kids in their car seats, made sure my wife was riding shotgun and not still shopping at Schotz Guns and Apparel (it is Maine, after all) and put the pedal to the metal. As we cruised down Maine’s Route 1 (like all of the nation’s Route 1’s – it’s dotted with an equal assortment of car dealerships and Amazing.Net adult video emporiums), I finally spied salvation – the on-ramp to Route 95. Never did an Interstate stocked with rocketing chrome death look so safe and welcoming.

Roughly 1,000 feet before the exit, just as my hand caressed the directional switch, Andi’s voice rose.

Andi:   “Wait, wait. Pull in there. Pull in there.”

I didn’t have time to pretend I didn’t hear her.

Me:   “Pull in where?”
Andi:   “IN THERE!!!”

I followed her gaze and ran through the vast menagerie of expletives at my disposal. Under my breath, I muttered a silent prayer.

Me:   “mutha monkey f&#ker’, who the f%&king hell $h!t put a f#4king Carter’s right before the mutha f%&king on-ramp to f$%king Inter-f%&king state Ninety-f$%king-Five.”

In the back seat, I heard someone say something about a monkey.

(Wait, did I just say that out loud?)

Anyway, I recalled my wedding vows (I knew putting that “I Do” response on Auto Pilot would come back to haunt) and pulled into the parking lot.

As Andi and Aria headed to Carters to locate His and Hers Hoodies for Colin and Aria, Colin and I journeyed to the adjacent Shaw’s Supermarket to purchase the necessary accouterments for that evening’s S’more roast. As we worked the aisles of Shaw’s, my personal treat hound, Colin, and I hunting for the chocolate and marshmallow delights, we made quick work of the grocery list. With the cart full, we headed towards the store front to join our place in the busy lines.

And that’s when the chill settled in.

As Colin and I were standing in line, surprisingly the only testosterone in a sea of She, Colin looked up at me and in an inquisitive voice said:

Colin:   “Are you my Dad?”

A hushed pall came over the crowd. Heads pivoted (some doing complete 360 rotations) towards my exact coordinates. Torches and pitchforks were handed out. Somewhere, a record player scratched (and somewhere further, someone asked “What’s a record player?”)

Me:   “Wha-wha- what?” (For the love of all that is good and decent, stop stammering. And why did he have to ask that question in the middle of a MAD (Mothers Against Dads) meeting?)

Me:   “Of course I’m your Dad… Ca… co… (Damn’t, why can’t I think of his name?), errr… little guy.”

Now granted, much of this is hyperbole but the scenario is far from exaggerated. Of course I know my son Carter’s name but when you are confronted with that wide-eyed question in the midst of complete strangers, your brain freezes and all rational thought exits. Two choices present themselves.

1.   Leave him and Run
2.   Grab him and Run.

What we have here is a failure to communicate and the only response on behalf of the brewing mob mentality is for someone to call Chris Hansen.

Fortunately, the mob fury subsided when some level headed matron sized the two of us up and quickly deduced that this cute little boy had those baby blues on loan from his Dad.

For my part, I could only offer a sheepish smile, one that I knew would broadcast the message loud and clear…

“Kids, they say the mutha$%$^$^ %^&%&%&% %&^%&^%&ing darnedest things.”

Comments now closed (5)

  • So…did you ask Colin what prompted that thought in his little Humphries head? And did you ask the Mrs. how SHE would have answered the same question?

  • If that had been me and either of my kids I would have been screwed. It looks like I kidnapped them both, they couldn’t look less like me.

  • Oh I asked him all right, but if I believed every thing that boy told me than all I would do at work is imagine the wild keg parties (attended by all manner of milkmen, postmen, pool boys and cabana guys) that apparently rage while this cat’s away each day.

    Wait a minute…

  • @Stacy – I’m dropping a dime on you and collecting the reward. I have accouterments to purchase after all.

    (Off topic – apparently The Ed Zone needs To Catch an Editor. I just looked up the definition for accouterment and found that it doesn’t fit the context in which I was using the word. That is – unless Colin and I were shopping at Shaws for articles of clothing or weapons. Yeah – that would really help my case!!! Buying the boy some new clothing. Me some weaponry. And then he asking me if I’m his Dad. See y’all in 15 to 20 years – maybe sooner if I behave.)