Last week Mr. Zoom and I joined some friends at the County Fair. Ms. Sparkle, a co-worker pal of mine came with me. I was to meet Mr. Zoom and the others there, since we all came directly from work and/or various locations.
Everything was going great. We had our beers and our big fat pretzels, when I saw something that stopped me dead in my tracks.
Coming towards me was my Formerly Amish Mom (FAM) and my Dad. Don't get me wrong, I adore my parents. I don't mind running into them unexpectedly. What gets a little uncomfortable is not knowing what they will be saying to the people I might happen to have with me. People that haven't been given the "here's what to expect" speech. And signed the release.
I waved at FAM and Dad, and introduced Ms. Sparkle to them. They exchanged introductory pleasantries. Before I go further, let it be known that my family is not the kind of family that believes in racial bigotry. Unfortunately, exposure to my parents without a lot of explanations might lead people to believe otherwise. Hence, much squirming from me when I see FAM and Dad approaching me at the fair when I've got an uninitiated friend with me.
My dad launched into recommendations for exhibit viewing. "We went and saw the baby piglets, and OH MY that was a good time! They were nursing, and you wouldn't believe it. This black lady kept screaming at the piglets 'you get that tittie, you go. GET THAT TITTIE!"
By the time this little gem of a story registered in my consciousness, Dad had his new cell phone out and was showing Ms. Sparkle the "Cool GPS technology that came with it." He was also trying to explain the history of cell phones - beginning with the Pilgrims. Poor Ms. Sparkle oscillated from smiling politely to raising her eyebrows in what I pray was mostly amusement, not stifled screams of terror.
When my parents announced they were catching one of the free shows, I jumped at the chance to RUN AWAY. "OH, well we won't hold you up any further, you might be late. ok.nicetoseeyou. ok BYE!"
Turns out, that which goes into a show must eventually come out. Out they came some few hours later and magically appeared at my side once more. This time the entire group was assembled.
This time Ms. Sparkle's unfortunate "wrong place at the wrong time" type luck held strong. I went over to Dad and said "Hey, let me buy you a beer!" I was trying to keep him busy. Bad idea. He practically screamed out "Oh, no thanks. I just shed water off the taters and that wouldn't be a good idea."
Confused, I stupidly asked "Pardon?" He said "You know, peed! I just got done peeing. Your grandfather in his Irish accent used to say that all the time when I was a kid. 'Shed water from the potatos. taters.'"
"Ah" I said. "Yooou betcha. Ok then."
Funny. Grandpa obviously didn't often say that out loud and in front of a ton of people he didn't know, or else I'm pretty sure I'd have been far more familiar with that phrase.
At some point when I was talking to Mr. Zoom - probably begging him to stop the WARNING buzzer that was going off in my head - my parents slipped away and headed for home.
How can two people, whom I legitimately view as unpredictable powder kegs of loony talk, be missed so much when they just slip away? That's the magic of my parents.