When to quit
I went to Disneyland today (one of my favorite places in the world) and saw a few of these unfortunate children tethered to their parents. What's even more bizarre, is when the parents have multiple children. It's not a pretty sight when the kids get all tangled up. Strangely, most leash kids seem to be old enough to be somewhat on their own. Most of the ones I saw today looked like they were at least six or seven.
Anyhoo, the point of all this is not to bash leash kids or even their parents. Today, I was reminded of a painfully awkward moment that happened in Disneyland a few years ago. I came across a seven or eight year old boy with a leash and made a crack to my (then) girlfriend. The joke went something like, "I wonder if the kid has had flea shots or if he just wears a collar." I seem to remember expecting to hear her laugh or at least chuckle. What I got was silence. I figured her lack of response was due to the possibility that either she didn't hear me or maybe the flea joke was too obvious. Either way, I felt I needed to make another attempt. So, in my ever-present lack of discernment and general stupidity, I went in for the kill.
"I wonder if he has his own dish or if they just keep the seat up for him?" This time, instead of just silence, I got "the look". I think every man in the world knows what that look is like. Surely my toilet seat joke hadn't been too obvious.
In my characteristically unthoughtfull and ill-perceptive nature I frantically tried to think of another zinger. Had I actually thought before I spoke, I would have saved myself more trouble. In my mind, there wasn't time to think, after all, comedic timing was at stake here; leash-boy was walking (actually, being led) away. Thankfully, before I could think of another joke, she cut me off.
She promptly informed me that she herself had once been a "leash kid" and she really didn't appreciate my comments.
And so the silence began.
Words cannot describe the feeling I felt in my gut. The closest thing I can relate it to is the way it feels when you're in a car that has just rear-ended another car, only my feeling lasted the rest of the day. I'm not sure who spoke first but, I do remember the silence lasted quite some time. In telling this story, I cannot help but think of James 3. And now, whenever I walk by the teacups, I'm reminded of that awkward silence and my foot shaped mouth.
Labels: stupid people