It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…the kid with the scrum cap and the Rasta hat…

I skipped J’s trip to the store yesterday evening because I was feeling a bit under the weather.  Apparently, it was a lot more fun than usual.  The knowledge that he had cash burning a hole in his pocket led our young protagonist to (and the quotation marks indicate I’m quoting verbatim here) “dance in the aisle and giggle loudly while trying to choose a movie.  And he looked at ALL of them.”  I suppose that it can be concluded from this particular bit that J does like to have purchasing power.

At the register he pulled out his wallet and, from what I hear, performed a combination of dancing a la Donald O’Connor, prancing a la Steve Martin and giggling uncontrollably like Ed Wynn as he floats around the room in Mary Poppins.  I wish I had been there…

The lady at the register is no stranger to us.  She sees us just about every weekend as we parade in and out of the store, a band of three or four shoppers armed with a Velcro-dotted shopping list and enough determination to make this “quick and painless.”  The quick refers to our desire to return home with plenty of time to cook dinner and the painless refers to the impact on our wallet.  Because she recognized J from our previous trips, she was engaging him in conversation and thoroughly enjoying his exuberance.

I was flooded with little vignettes about what I missed.  It sounded infinitely more fun than when I’m there, but -of course- this is true of everything and everyone in this household: you HAD to be there to get the full effect of whatever it is we did.  I’ve seen people MOPE when they hear about how awesome a time we had at the public library.  This is not because we are in any way, shape or form entertaining, but rather because absurd things tend to either happen, or occur, to us while we’re on outings and we end up with some weird anecdote about going to the grocery store.

Take, for example, J’s newfound desire to properly enunciate certain words and say them even more loudly than he would in normal conversation or at home.  A few weeks ago, as I checked to make sure the contents of a container of eggs were in sound condition, J decided to say EGG very clearly, very loudly and very suddenly.  The sudden loudness of it made me grip the container a little too hard (as I was startled,) and a crack was heard from inside.

During another trip, I was shopping for shampoo and -because the economy is using us as bongos being frantically beaten- I bent to find the “cheap shampoo” in the bottom of the display.  NO NO NO NO NO NO NO said J loudly and people stopped in the main corridor of the store, leaning in to see what I was doing to that poor child.  This, of course, is a step up from what he did when he was about eight and we were navigating the tight spaces of the food court at a mall in Orange County; back then, we approached a table where a young lady was sitting with her jeans riding a little lower on her hips than I’d advise, and her…well…there was some butt-cleavage being revealed.  J walked by and, fresh as a daisy, tickled this girl in the exposed area and (upon hearing a loud whoop!) I pulled him away and we kept walking.  In the distance we could hear her saying “I don’t know what happened!  Maybe something fell from the ceiling!”

On Monday, a news crew will be at the school to do a story on Dog Bites Bakery.  The kid with the scrum cap and the Rasta hat might become more recognizable if people around here tune in to that channel rather than the one from Pittsburgh.  J loves cameras.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but J will stop at the sight of a camera and pose.  The only cameras he hates are the ones they use at school for school pictures, and that’s because of the extra light and the reflectors; if he sees any other camera, J seeks it out and poses.  Can you imagine what might happen on Monday when the news crew arrives?

I have visions of J hamming it for the camera.  He loves watching his brother on stage, and he is very musical.  What if he breaks into song?  What if he decides to steal the show?  Thank goodness he’s grown out of that phase where he’d strip and run around naked…that could be grounds for arrest at his age.  It would certainly turn up on You Tube, wouldn’t it?

Our first night in town we stayed at a hotel.  Well, we stayed at TWO hotels, but that’s another story entirely, and it’s not without humor, but it’s not germane to THIS story.  Anyway: as we stood in front of the reception desk at the first hotel, the lady behind the counter tried to be as dignified and welcoming as she could be considering she had US, looking ragtag and worn out, standing in front of her. J picked that particular moment to let go the loudest, longest, most obvious fart you can possibly imagine.  It was the kind of fart that makes people stop in their tracks ever so briefly and ponder how to move on from the spontaneous “slamming on the breaks” reaction.  All 250 lbs. of J were unfazed, of course.  Because this was not a “cute” little kid farting, I tried to speak in a tone that conveyed “that is NOT acceptable behavior” while trying not to laugh (because it WAS pretty funny) and not faint dead away (from sheer mortification.)

Since the teacher told me the news crew would be visiting them, I’ve woken up in a cold sweat a few nights in a row.  The dream is always the same one.  Mr. or Ms. Cub Reporter earnestly covering a human interest story about Special Education students who run their own dog treat business from FFFFfffffffffTTTtttttttggggggghhhhssssssstttt.

J smiling broadly while wearing everything that makes him recognizable as horror spreads over the faces of his teacher and classmates, and the reporter tries to look like they deserve (nay, WANT) to cover news in Afghanistan.

Somewhere in town, a hotel employee sits up on her couch and says “Wilbur!  Wilbur!  That’s HIM!  I told you about him!  Remember!  It’s HIM!”  The video goes viral.  Matt Lauer and Anderson Cooper come calling, wanting an interview with the kid who farted on TV and became a You Tube sensation.  I hope they all have dogs…we have dog treats to sell.

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