The other day, I'm walking around the dog park with Jenna. We're heading back, and I'm thinking of how--just moments previous--I made the wittiest of comments in the history of dog parks. We're rounding a corner, and out through a gate in the fence comes this long-haired dog exuding the spirit of a high school cheerleader at a pep rally. He/she comes galloping toward me and time slows down kind of like the scene in "10" where Dudley Moore sees Bo Derek running on the beach. In a disconnect from brain to mouth, I just blurt: "You're right out of a dog food commercial." The couple behind his/her majesty smile warmly, perhaps thinking of the years of therapy their royal subject is going to need in order to erase the memory of that encounter.
We wind our way through a fragrant p-patch comprised of flowers and vegetables. Jenna leans down to smell echinacea. I follow suit only to be stabbed in the nose by it, right as Jenna says, "Be careful, it'll stab. . . oh, Mike." We smell lavender, Jenna looks to her right and comments on a cloud. "It looks like the face of God," she states.
We come upon a group of four teenagers in a small version of a Roman amphitheater thing. Two of them are winded, two are standing behind a video camera. I'm like "Oh, it's that thing where people jump off concrete," I say to Jenna. Jenna is confused by my phrasing, but she already knows the proper name for this activity.
I walk up to the young 'uns, and in my aged wisdom say "Hey, are you guys doing that sport where you jump off concrete?" They look at me like I'm dad. It's the equivalent of me asking them if they want to hang out and listen to Godsmack in a moment of father/son bonding. "Yeah, parkour," one says.
It sounded like he said "hardcore," and I thought he was being sarcastic. "I know it's called something, but not hardcore," I think. Being half-deaf when I'm half paying attention, I say, "hardcore?!"
"No Parkour. . . it's French." Odd silence ensued for what seemed like a minute. They all kind of turn their heads down and in toward each other. They might have well just told me to get a hearing aid and a walker. Did you renew your AARP membership today, Pa?
Shunned. Totally uncool. The Plague Incarnate. Hi, I'm the Plague; nice to make your acquaintance.
We walk away. Jenna is not saying anything immediately. It's obvious. The minute hand has just moved forward and stuck. The click it made is still resonating loudly in my ear. She kind of pats me on the shoulder and says, "It's okay, Mike. . ."