Friday, August 19, 2011


I just wrapped up a fascinating and enlightening conversation with a two year old boy in a coffee shop.  I think he won.

As many of you know I routinely do a lot of my writing in coffee shops.  There's just something about trying to concentrate above the noise of a continuous cappuccino machine that I find helpful to creativity.   

Anyhow, as is my custom, I was sitting along the back wall  tip-typing away, feeling (and appearing) very productive and important to all around, when I sensed somebody very short, and slobbery staring at me.  I looked up and saw a shirt-less, 2 1/2 foot, tow-headed, 2 year-old boy in light blue overalls and sandals smiling at me and pointing at my computer.

"I Colby!" he announced.

"Hello, Colby," I said, "I working."

Then Colby screamed with delight at this hilarious joke.  It was then I realized just how intelligent he really was. Intelligent people always "get" my jokes. 

I then pretended to choke on my coffee which really brought the house down.  My coffee choke bit rarely fails.  I was on a roll with this kid. 

Of course, Colby's ever-present parents were nowhere to be found.  Apparently they were of the mind that having named their offspring after their favorite cheese, their work as care-takers was finished.

"Where's Mommy, Colby?"  I asked.

Colby looked at me like I had gone stupid.  Wasn't it obvious?  Then in all seriousness he said, "Blah wah, sping tater wah tah nah?"

I realized there was no need to call the police with this vital information.  They wouldn't have known what to do with it.  And my GPS would be no help either.  So I decided to excuse myself from the situation before being accused of a kidnapping cover up.

"OK, well you better go find her.  Go find Mommy, Colby.  Go find Mommy," I said, as if he had suddenly turned into a Pound Puppy.

"Go find Mommy, Colby" I said again.

Then Colby flung his scrawny, little body backwards, as he lifted himself up on his tip toes and screeched, "Wah goo soo dskfsdljflkdjf!!!!!" 

Then he laughed hysterically.

"OK, have it your way, Mouthy" I said.  "But you know you're supposed to have a shirt on in here.  This isn't like those other dumps you usually get your coffee from.  This is a NICE dump. Go find Mommy and your shirt."

To which Colby responded, "Sha sha sha shoe shee shoe?"

It was an excellent point.  One I had not considered before.  Then he shook the table where I was sitting and made a monster growl.

"I think I see your point," I said.  "I was just informing you on store policy.  If you wanna go all Maverick and shirtless, it's on you.  You do what you want, Tough Guy.  But if they kick you out, don't blame me."

Then he started walking around in circles hummin' a tune.  I knew it was time for a new approach.

I said, "Colby, sha shoe shee shing ting do dah do?"

His head snapped around and he looked in my direction, a huge smile on his face.  I knew what he was thinking: at last, a fellow native speaker.  The old man was one of the tribe.  We spoke the same language.  We understood each other.

"Sah bah blwa boo" said Colby.

"Bing a ding do dah shing," I said.

"Wah woo ding, ding, ding, ding," he countered.

The kid was right again.  He was unbeatable.  What a mind.  Then I heard a man's voice calling, "Zander?  Zander?"

Colby had gone back to walking in circles.  I had tried to go back to writing.  Then the man came up to Colby.  


Then Colby/Zander looked at me and pointed.  I pointed back at him.  I wasn't fallin' for THAT old trick. I wasn't going to go ANYwhere with that strange man.

Then the man said, "Zander, come with Daddy, right now.  Mommy has hot chocolate ready."

Zander/Colby screeched and skipped to his dad who scooped him up.  Had I known there was hot chocolate I might have reconsidered.

"He wasn't any trouble," I said.

To which Daddy said, "Zander, stop sucking your fingers." 

I love parents.

"Bye Colby," I said.

Colby/Zander laughed and said, "Sho zing dah pah dah?"

"Shing zoo too," I said.  

Then Colby/Zander just looked at me and smiled.

He knew I was right.  Who could argue with that? 

As together we stand and sing.