Messin’ With Strangers

When I was little, my father used to take great joy in messing with us in public. There were times when we would be seated at a booth in a restaurant and just as the waitress would approach the table, he’d seize the opportunity to grab the sensitive spot just above the knee cap, prompting a ticklish spasm from whomever his victim was. The waitress would look horribly confused as he’d ask “You didn’t take your medicine today did you?”

That didn’t work so well when we got older, so he’d wait until we were in the grocery store, then straight up tackle one of us onto the floor of the store! My mother would usually leave the scene, mortified, and we’d be laying there roaring with laughter or embarrassment as some poor stranger would come around the end cap and see a kid randomly laying in the middle of the aisle.

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

Yesterday, we left the grocery store, and as I popped the trunk of the car to put the bags inside, I said loud enough for any of the several other store patrons to hear me “Okay boys, whose turn is it to ride in the trunk?”

The Narrator played along beautifully. “It’s my turn! He rode in the trunk last time!”

(No, I do not put my kids in the trunk. Ever.)

I’m reasonably sure that one day, I’ll have the police called on me. But until then- I know exactly why my father did it.

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