Strange Encounters While Carrying a Baby

Disclaimer: These two tales don’t really have to do with working out.

Although, it can be argued that carrying our kid in the shoulder harness is a workout.index

Anyway- Encounter #1:

Scene: Brownline “L” station.

Situation: This station butted up against a bunch of houses, and my son and I were standing on the platform waiting for the train to arrive.  From out of what I can only imagine is one of the back windows of a house I hear, “Hey mister!  The redcoats are coming!  The redcoats are coming!”

I look around.

Sure enough, it’s only me on the platform with my boy strapped to me…and underneath you can see my bright red sweater.

Haha…really funny.  Good one, girls.  Obviously some sleepover happening.

Then out of the turnstiles comes a young father with a toddling child my way.

The girls are back at it again, yelling, “Hey mister!  Watch out for the redcoats!”

“It’s a sweater!” I yell back.

Giggling from the darkness.

Then, “Hey mister!  Your daughter walks pretty well!”

As the young dad passes me he says, “He’s a boy…”

I chuckle and loudly inform the girls, “It’s a dude!”

The train pulls up, and me and dad get on the same car.  I sit down by the door, and dad and son come and sit next to us.

And then he does the unimaginable…he begins talking to me.

“So, what’s his name?”

This is breaking all sorts of dude codes, but I say, “Findley.”

“Oh! My son’s name is Phineas!”

Yes…we both call them Finn/Phin.

But then he says, “So, where did you deliver?”

My brain misfired at this point because that is a) not a question I was expecting nor b) a question I’ve ever been asked.

So I just stammered, “Uhm…I didn’t.”

And then the train stopped and I left.

In retrospect, I wonder if dad with toddler needed a friend.  Our generation is really pretty bad at making friends because we’ve pretty much kept all of our friends from childhood through social media.  He was a nice guy; we could have had a beer.

But don’t ask me where I “delivered” unless your an OBGYN and you’re checking in on the reputation of a colleague.

Encounter #2

Scene: Starbucks

Situation: Finn and I have just left his daycare, and dad is stopping off for his version of a “nite-cap” (aka: coffee)

We sit down next to a woman, and I notice she’s reading the book of Revelation from the Bible.

I immediately say to myself, “Shut up, Tim. Don’t ask anything.  You don’t want to know…you don’t want to know…”

But I don’t listen to my own advice, and as I’m unharnessing Finn I say casually, “Weird book you have there.”

“The Bible?” she says, half offended.

“No.  The Bible isn’t a book.  It’s a library of many books.  I mean Revelation.”

…yes, I’m a pretentious jerk from the get go. Not by best moment.

“Oh, Revelations.  It’s amazing, right?”

“Yes, well, it’s amazing that REVELATION (emphasizing that there is, in fact, no ‘s’ on the end of the name) made it into the Bible at all.”

…I’m still on the pretentious a-hole kick at this point because, well, that day was not particularly great at work.  Please note: I am not proud of this fact. I am amused, but not proud.

She says, “Do you go to church?”

At this point I begin laughing kind of like Clark Griswold does in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when Mary at the lingerie counter asks if she can “pull something out for him.”  It’s a laugh like, “Oh, you have no idea…”

And then I simply say, “Yes.”

And then she says, “You should come to my church! We have great programs for kids!  I teach his age group.  I would be all over that little one!  He should come sit on my lap. As Jesus says, “Suffer the little ones unto me…'”

At which point I turn to Finn and say, “See buddy…this is why you need to learn to crawl.  So you can suffer yourself on up to Jesus.”

And then I grab my coffee, thank her for the invitation, and leave.

On the one hand, I’m a jerk.  On the other hand, I’m a jerk.

Really, there are no two ways about it.

But honestly, she had a weird super-happy-creepy vibe to her, and although I think she was just being nice, you’re not going to get me to put my kid on your lap by comparing yourself to Jesus and then utter the word “suffer.”

I applaud her for her zeal.  A+

Her delivery? D-

My attitude? G.  Because it was much lower than an F.


Don’t Be Surprised When I Punch You and Call You Ronaldo

There’s something about the gym that really bothers me.51379a86d2184.image

Well, there are a number of things.

One of the most prominent is that there are “Re-rack your weights!” signs everywhere, and no one does it.  Which means I’m constantly taking weights off of bars and putting them back on racks because the big-neck-little-head dude who just lifted before me apparently either can’t read or greatly overestimates my abilities.

But I don’t want to talk about that today.

I want to talk about the fact that no matter where my locker is located in the locker room, it never fails that when I come back from the shower there are at least two guys using adjacent lockers sitting right there where I’m going to try to change.

Today was no exception.

But today was kind of funny.  It was obvious that the two guys knew one another and were chatting when I showed up, awkwardly shouldering my way between them because, well, I’m not going to hang out in front of the mirror until they leave because I will not be that guy who hangs out in front of the mirror in a towel.

I will not be that guy.

They’ll either move or deal with it.

…unfortunately they decided to deal with it.

But it was funny today because they were chatting, and the one dude with the beard was talking to the other dude with the smelly shirt, telling him about how yesterday at a Starbucks in a Target some lady came up to him and just started chatting as if she knew him.

And then he said, “And you know what?! She did it again today!”

Now, at this point I had many questions.  Primarily I wondered why he had to go to Target two days in a row.  Because we all know that you can’t get out of Target without spending $50. Who can go two days in a row?  Somebody’s got some money!

He had a beard, but he didn’t look rich. I didn’t expect it.

He went on:

“And then, I’m walking in here today, and some guy comes up to me, punches me in the gut and says, ‘Hey Ronaldo!  How you been?’  I didn’t know the guy at all!  I guess I just have one of those faces…”


Of all the names in the world to call this guy, Ronaldo would not have made the top 100.  He was about 5’9, white as Casper, and had a reddish beard.  Seamus?  Sure.  Larry? Likely.  Jerry? Jou know it.

But Ronaldo? Hell no.

See, now I have a dilemma.  Because I’ve heard this story.  And I’ve heard it annoys this guy.  And now I have this urge, when I see him again at the gym, to hit him in the gut and say, “Hey Ronaldo!”

And I will do it because, well, let a guy change in peace and move over next time!

He asked for it.  Next time take a hint and take your story to the stair climbers, guys…guess you just have one of those faces.