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.

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17 Responses to “Proof that men are born that way.”

  1. Kimberly Pugliano (@GisSilent) May 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    Hahahahaha! Surprise ending!!! Can you re-write it and end it with some sort of confrontation?

    • popdialectic May 16, 2012 at 8:49 am #

      Any ending with a confrontation would actually end with me sleeping on the couch.

    • pithypants May 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

      Well, by the time we left, the kids were back kicking their soccer ball around. It came in our direction and Alan debated grabbing it and casually lobbing it up onto the flat roof of the pub. Not EXACTLY confrontation, but would’ve been kind of awesome.

  2. pouringmyartout May 15, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    This one made me laugh and think. Awesome.

    • pithypants May 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

      Let me guess: you were thinking what you would have done in that situation? And the conclusions was??? Stare down a 10 year old?

      • pouringmyartout May 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

        I still haven’t figured out what I would do if a kid wanted to play that game. But the mix up was freekin hilarious. I get myself into those kinds of situations a lot.

  3. The Byronic Man May 16, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Doesn’t mean it’s not true, though. Especially around 10-12? If a boy is staring at you intently, it’s Go Time.

    • pithypants May 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

      Go Time? CLEARLY a man phrase. Pretty sure women don’t have the equivalent of that. I point that out so you can add it to the notebook of things you’ll need to teach your daughter.

  4. skippingstones May 16, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Hahaha!! That’s brilliant! A television behind you *wipes tears from eyes*. But Alan is right, though – and that dog, too. Once you engage in a staring contest, you gotta keep going. It’s a matter of pride and dominance and, above all else, nyanya-nyanya-nya-nya.

  5. Danielle May 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    HA! Love it. (And high five on the Encyclopedia Brown nod! I haven’t read those books in ages!)

    • pithypants May 17, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

      I loved them – but then this flowchart reminds me why: because they were the only mysteries I was capable of solving.

      • Danielle May 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

        HAHA! I know, right? I know what you mean.

  6. Nicole Smeltzer May 17, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    This is hilarious 🙂

    • pithypants May 17, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      Glad you think so. Alan? Not so much.

  7. cassiebehle May 17, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    If women didn’t have men, what would we do for entertainment. …wait, that came off wrong…

    • pithypants May 17, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      Actually, men probably like your attitude!

  8. Madame Weebles May 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    That Encyclopedia Brown algorithm kills me. And I’m sure my husband would be tempted to try to outstare the kid too.

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