never make the cow eyes at Colonel Sanders

May 17, 2013

A few weeks ago Jon, Jude and I celebrated a perfectly lazy Sunday morning by hitting up McDonalds to mack on some breakfast-freaking-burritos. Yes, sorry hippy dip gluten-free-organic-dirt-covered-free-range friends, I'm normally on board with your colorless gloop schemes but I'll also freely confess to breaking my chemical-poison embargo before 11am on selected weekends. (And also any time I really need to feel the beautiful plastic caress of a McFlurry in my esophagus. It burns so good.)

Jon went up to order our food while I ran interference with Jude at his preferred table ("with the puffy seats, Mom!"), and as he was blabbing my ear off about how Optimus Prime is his best metal space-brudder a man in his upper 70's in a filthy, tea-dipped t shirt walked in the door just in front of us. Within a fraction of a second the guy had zeroed in on Jude, who was obliviously chattering away 2 inches from my face, and started veering towards our table, crooning in a sickly sweet voice, "SUCH A PRETTY LITTLE GIRL. HEYYYYY SWEET GIRL...."

I've mentioned it briefly before, but I don't bother correcting strangers when they mistake the Jude for a girl because of his longish hair, even though it is A) really not that long and B) he is the bro-est bro that has ever bro-ed C) what the hell go away. I shot the guy a single steely-cold glare and refused to respond to his cow-eyed advances until he finally proceeded around the corner to do whatever the fuck it is aggressive old people do at McDonalds at 9:30am.

I shook off an involuntary shudder and breathed a sigh of relief when Jon whipped back around the corner with our food. We went on to eat our burritos and panclocks in relative peace, minus all the times Jude tried to eat butter straight out of the plastic bin and then rub it on my face.

When we were ready to go I went back up to the counter to ask for a refill on my coffee, but as soon as I turned and saw that guy hovering around I knew it was going to be crabapple bad news. I stepped up to the edge of the register to get someone's attention and Creeper McCreeps made another immediate beeline in my direction, crossing at least fifteen feet to get my attention.

"You have such a pretty little girl. Sooo pretty. How old is she?"

"Uh..."

"Let me show you these videos of my granddaughters dancing that I keep on my phone to look at while I'm all alone in my shed in the woods at night while I touch my ...arrangement of rusty saws."

And he pulled his crusty cell phone out of his pocket and tried to show it to me with his meat paws also maybe I made up that last part but it was totally implied I could tell.

"Uh..." I shifted backwards, handing my cup across the counter and leveraging some serious side-eye. I angled slightly so my back was towards him and made a scary clown-smile at the manager. As soon as my coffee reappeared I bolted for the door, snagging Jon and Jude on my way through and glancing over my shoulder. "We need to leave. Now."

Never, never, to that point in my mom-career had the screaming red alarm in my gut shaken bell tower that loudly, and fuck if we didn't need to get our kid as far away as possible from that dude right that very second. I would have stabbed someone in the face to steal their bicycle and never looked back.

In retrospect, I can't help wondering if I was maligning a kindly, misunderstood old grandpa with no social skills. Was I thinking the worst for no reason? Paranoid? I mean, just because he comes off like the creepiest human of all time, surely that's an unfair characterization or something, right?

Except. Except. Except I have never, ever had a skin-crawling reaction like that before. Except, all joking aside I fully believe in the powers of a parent's intuition. Except, the undeniable SOS my heart was sending to my brain said no. goddamn. way.

So sorry random old man that we will (hopefully) never see again, but I refuse to feel guilty for not being "polite" to you. Maybe you aren't a creeper after all, but probably you should considering being less of an extreme perv alert, because that shit's not on the up and up 'round here. No way, no how.

Tell me: Has your gut ever sent an emergency mayday to your face? Have you ever had your HIGH ALERT alarm bells go off?
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