Archive | 8:03 pm

Proof that men are born that way.

15 May

Last week Alan almost kicked a ten year old’s ass.

We were checking out a beer garden with live Irish music in Arlington. Sitting on bench with our backs to the building, we toasted each other and began scanning the crowd. A woman sat eating dinner with her two sons at a nearby table. She had her nose in her iPhone, and one of the boys stared at us.

I don’t mean our eyes occasionally met and we both awkwardly looked away. He STARED at us. Constantly. And they didn’t appear to be sweet little boys… we’d seen them before they were seated, raising holy hell with their soccer ball and climbing all over every available bench. They ran the joint like spoiled rich kids – which – given where we were – they probably were.

I noticed  him staring and continued scanning the rest of the crowd. When my eyes got back to Alan, I saw that he was fully engaged with the kid, having a stare-down.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“That kid won’t stop staring,” he said.

“I know,” I responded. “But do you have to stare back at him?”

“Actually,” he explained, “I do. It’s not just a staring contest, it’s a male dominance thing.”

“Really? Because it LOOKS like a staring contest,” I challenged.

“No,” he informed me, “That little shit knows exactly what he’s doing.”

I looked back at the kid and – sure enough – he was brazenly staring at Alan, not blinking, not  flinching, with a bored/cocky look of entitlement on his face, shoving french fries into his mouth without even glancing at his plate. I could kind of see Alan’s point.

Alan continued to stare at him and I could tell he was actually getting irritated.

“This is ridiculous,” I said. “I’m not buying the dominance thing. Besides – he’s a kid. You’re an adult. Why are you even engaging him?”

“Because it is RUDE. Someone needs to set him straight – he’s way too cocky. I’m tempted to walk over there and ask the mom if they know me, then – when she says no – then ask why her kid has been staring at me non-stop. At least she’ll understand he’s being rude.”

We then spent a few minutes laughing as we imagined how that conversation would go:

“Your kid has been staring at me.”

She ignores us.

“Lady, get your nose out of that phone and look at your rude kid!” 

When we finished laughing, we looked back over and the kid was STILL boring holes into us. Alan, frustrated, ran his hand through his hair. And in turning his head ever so slightly, he happened to notice the flatscreen television screwed to the wall behind him, broadcasting a hockey game.

As it turned out, I saw it at the same time. We both looked at each other with sudden awareness, eyebrows lifted.

Mystery solved.

“So,” I asked him. “When I write this for my blog, should I title it, ‘Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of Mistaken Dominance?’ Or should it be ‘The Case of the Rude Child?’

Apparently he thought BOTH were fantastic ideas, because he didn’t respond. Or maybe we’re having a Silence Contest. I’m really not clear on these things. Must be a guy thing.