Imaginative Lives of Others

The muppets had energy oozing out of their pores. So we decided to go for a family hike.

Two hours. Two miles. But fear not future park patrons! Nary a rock remains on any part of the dirt trail we canvassed this afternoon. (Back at our homestead, our washing machine began quaking across the garage in anticipatory fear of the quarry bounty now stored in all the tiny pockets.)

We set off in the direction of the local nature preserve, an intention to take a jaunty stroll over to Deer Hollow Farm, a working farm with a cow, pigs, goats, sheep, and chickens – because that worked out so well last time. We will be the picture perfect postcard of suburban familial bliss.

As we made our way down the winding paths, ever so slowly with Search and Destroy meandering back and forth across the pedestrian walkway like two tiny drunken geologists, I began wonder about the lives of those flying by us (you know, at anything more than a mile per hour).

Admit it peeps – you totally take in the snippets of conversation you hear and fill in the backstory. Some of the story starters we heard today:

Mommy? Why does that mommy have TWO babies?
– Spoken by a pre-K little boy to his parents.
(It’s hard enough answering the question, “Where do babies come from?” How do you explain THAT? Good luck with this one folks!)

Man, I’m hurtin’ today – only running an 8-minute miler
– Spoken by a shiny sweaty shirtless early-20-something dude to his buddy (who was wearing a shirt)
Show off. Obviously trying to impress his bromance partner. Let’s not underestimate the impressiveness of a sub-15 minute mile thankyouverymuch.

Did you stick it? Or did you stutter step? How many points deduction is that?
– Spoken by 30-something woman to elementary age daughter (still in leotard top and tight glittery gymnast bun).
Future Olympic gymnast? <imitates landing victory with hands above head>

I’m not a big heavy drinker, you know? But I’m not exactly a moderate drinker.
– Spoken by early-20s co-ed to early-20s male friend.
So are you a teetotaler or raging alcoholic?

Amanda! Stop throwing rocks at your brother! Let’s go!
– Spoken by exasperated mother to elementary age daughter. (A younger brother went flying by moments later.)
A kindred spirit. Clearly. Just wait until the brother catches the dirty rock and licks it. (For those following along, said thrown rock was immediately collected in the cargo pants pocket of a muppet.)

Both boys have potential, but they’re still a year younger. So next year they’ll be on a level playing field.
– Spoken by heavily made-up power-walking middle-aged blond woman in powder blue compression tank top and LuluLemon yoga pants to heavily made-up power-walking middle age blond in purple compression tank top with LuluLemon hoodie tied around her waist. (Not a diss toward the workout clothes. I own LuluLemon yoga pants – they make my bottom look perky.)
It’s likely all the coach’s fault. If only he’d given Johnny a chance to play first base more…

Moose and squirrel!
– Spoken by middle-aged dad to teenage daughter.
Trying to educate the younger generation about Rocky and Bullwinkle?

Kill him.
– Spoken by man on Bluetooth headset, in black three piece-suit, standing next to a black Lincoln town car – still running. (Full disclosure: he was speaking a language other than English so “kill him” may have been a mondegreen. But we’re gonna stick with my paranoid interpretation.)
Hmmm, maybe this game wasn’t such a good idea after all…

We left. Quickly.


Filed under Family Stories, Stories

4 Responses to Imaginative Lives of Others

  1. Haha – I totally do this as well. Then I wonder what people are thinking about me 🙂 Listening to what other kids are asking or saying to their parents is the best sometimes, very funny and I can often relate!

  2. Joanne Hamann

    Love it -how fun!!!

  3. Nancy Welker Caracciolo

    As usual….your post made my day. Thanks!

  4. Ha, I think you stumbled into a covert operation. We went hiking with the boys the other day. Half a mile, that’s how far we got, and we ended up carrying the 4 year old on the way back.

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