diary of a mad
househusband

2 september 2000

 

 grand ams, thongs, and kindergarten

Because we're temporarily a one-vehicle family, it fell to my lot to take The Breadwinner to work. As we stopped for the traffic light four blocks from home, we were somewhat surprised to see four identical red cars parked side by side in the nondescript little shopping center at the corner.

When I returned to the intersection as I neared the end of the 28-mile round trip, I saw that three of the red cars were still there. Naturally, I had to investigate.

There were no markings to indicate any deeper connection between the Pontiac Grand Ams than their make, model, and color scheme. In fact, one bore a conventional license plate; the others had temporary dealer plates-- from two different dealers. Curiouser and curiouser...

It was near 11:30 when I returned home, to one of my few brief interludes of total privacy-- briefer than usual on this Early Dismissal Day: I'd have to pick up the Heir at 2:10, instead of the customary 3:10. A detailed but concise report of a bug at the MP3.com site was absolutely the only productive result I managed to achieve before it was time to leave.

Shortly after 2 PM, I was again stopping at the traffic light-- behind a red Grand Am. Had it pulled out of the parking lot, just in front of me? I hadn't noticed. There were no other red cars parked there now.

As I followed the normal, inevitable, only route to the school, I found I was also following the Grand Am. It turned left where I had to turn... It turned right where I had to turn... It slid into the parking spot I'd have taken, if it hadn't.

When the driver emerged, I recognized her as the mother of one of the Heir's classmates. I also recognized, as I followed her across the street and up the sidewalk to the school door, that if she wore anything at all under the shorts which covered, though scarcely concealed, her Proper Womanly Behind, it had to be of the thong variety. Oh, the legs were loose enough, but where it mattered, those shorts could have been paint. By the time we got to the school door, I was in no frame of mind to ask her about Grand Am groupings, gaggles, gatherings.

In a concerted effort to avoid looking more like a fool than I already did, feeling my hatless, shaved scalp searing in the unobstructed 107°F/42°C sun, I glanced around at the other waiting parents. Not for the first time, I thought about the differences between the Heir's first two weeks of kindergarten and my own, half a century ago. When my classmates and I emerged into the blazing sun in those days, we weren't greeted by grey-bearded dads with earrings (I'm not the only one) and moms with tattooed ankles and thighs and painted-on shorts (she wasn't the only one). In fact, most of us weren't greeted at all; we just walked or ran home unescorted, through the dirt streets of 1950 Coulee Dam, Washington.

The Grand Am driver and her daughter followed the Heir and me across the street. Turnabout's fair play, and there was nothing but me under my shorts, either, though they weren't nearly as closely fitted. I got the Heir into the car, and opened my own door-- but my curiosity outweighed my fear of making a fool of myself. I asked.

No, her Grand Am wasn't one of the four in the parking lot.

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