Sunday, September 7, 2008

Con Job

**First, quick update on my nightly run: I could only "Wal*mart walk"--no running at all--for the last two nights. I didn't know I had leg muscles, but apparently I do because they hurt like a mother. Me suspect someone will have seriously toned legs soon. Anthony wondered aloud if my arse hurt as well--sounding a little too hopeful. I don't know what he's getting at.**

So, on Saturday, my kids begged me to take them to Panda Express for lunch. I was feeling lazy--it was already noon, and we still had to shower and get ready--but I went ahead and gave in. The kids were showered and ready in 15 minutes. I was still feeling lazy and moving very slow. Finally, at around 2PM, the boys dragged their weak bodies into my bathroom--where I was lazily blow-drying my hair--and begged me to feed them, cuz they were STARVING.

I looked at the clock and *guiltily* realized how much time had passed, and I was like, "OK, OK, lets go, geez," shooing them out the door.
Gus spun around and said, "No, YOU geez. It took you 2 hours to get ready and now we're starving!"
I was still feeling guilty, but I just said, "Look, do you want to eat at home? I can make you a sandwich REALLY quick." And that shut them up.

We drove in silence to Panda Express--they were seriously annoyed with me, and they did look quite hungry. When we got there, they went straight to a table, sat down, and rested their heads on the table, too weak to stand in line with me. Once I brought them their food, they started to quietly come out of their weakened stupor.
Every bite they took sounded like this:

"This is SO good."
"This is the best thing I've ever tasted."
"Mmm. This is good."
"They have the best food here."
"You have to try this Gus. It's probably the best thing I've ever tasted."
"MMMMM. That was good Cord. Try mine."
"Wow. I can't decide which one I like better."
"We can share."
"Thanks. Mmm, that's good."
"I love this place."
"They have the best food ever."

Now, to me, the food tasted kind of greasy--all I got was a big plate of chow mein--but I guess they were so hungry that it was the tastiest meal they had ever had.

The restaurant was very noisy--there were kids running around, out of control, screaming, throwing fits, but my three boys stayed calmly in their seats, quietly expressing their gratitude for the meal in between every bite.

Of course, I knew why.

And that's when this husband and wife approach me.
The husband hands me a twenty dollar bill, and I stupidly take it without even thinking, my mouth full of greasy chow mein, and he goes, "I just wanted to thank your boys for being so good and treat them to some ice cream for desert. I have never seen such well-behaved children. Good job mom! The world needs more mothers like you."

I choke down my wad of chow mein, and manage to say, "Wow. Thanks. It's not really necessary..."

"Oh, we insist. Your boys are so polite and appreciative, and they deserve a reward. Kids take going out to eat for granted nowadays, but we can tell your boys are genuinely grateful. We overheard them..."

At that point, I exchange a knowing glance with Cord (meaning, we both know that he and his brothers had been starving to death). But Cord totally stepped up and played the part. "Gee, thanks sir. Gus, are you finished eating? May I take your plate?"

So the couple stuck around and talked to the boys for a few minutes, and I could barely recognize them, they were so proper and polite--even Homer. Then the couple waved goodbye and I walked the boys to the Cold Stone a few doors down.

Man, I'm glad the couple didn't follow us.
They might have demanded their money back.
The boys were super hyped about getting 20 bucks, and there was a HUGE line at Cold Stone--total chaos.

But here are my perfect little angels, quietly enjoying the fruits of their starvation:


Amanda said...

They probably thought you were a homeless family and took pity on you guys. Oh well, their stupidity.

Markie23 said...

Can I borrow your kids for awhile? I could really use some extra cash!

Landee said...

You didn't find this man and his $20 to be at all creepy? Maybe he was like Lloyd Christmas on Dumb & Dumber and was just handing out $20s to anyone he saw. That is the weirdest story I have ever heard.

That being said, if anyone deserves this kind of generosity it is you and your freshly blown-dry hair. Because even if my kids were starving, there is no way they would have shown their gratitude between every bite.

Memzy said...

Freshly blown dry hurr.

This happened to me once in a local bookstore. The summer blues were getting to me and the kids were driving me crazy. I found a gift card from the kids school the year before for $10 to this bookstore. Figgered I'd make a "date" out of it.

My kids happened to be really good in the bookstore. I'd given each of them a $5 budget to buy a book with. Brains was bartering for a bigger budget since The Hobbit that he wanted was 7.99. I was in the "i've got to teach my kids to stick to a budget" mood so we were discussing this. In the meantime Cracker and Char kept running up to the table where I was lazily sitting at to show me the interesting books they'd found. Each time I was checking the price on the back and talking to them about what they could and could not have. The entire time there was an old guy "resting" at the next table.

After awhile the old guy walks up to me and hands me a 20 spot and tells me that my kids are so well behaved, so cute and sweet (there were some kisses from Char Char), and that he knows how young families are often on budgets and you just can't put a price on a kid wanting to read.

The funniest part is that when i told Shed this story he was disappointed that I didn't take the money.

ajesplin said...

So, you think we can pass for homeless people? Er, thanks Amanda. But trust me, there were kids in there that looked more "homeless" than mine did.

Mark--you can borrow my kids the last weekend in October.

L&M--it was totally awkward and uncomfortable, but the people were so insistent, it would have been rude (and even more uncomfortable) if I didn't accept their gesture, so I just took the money. (The guy had a serious wad of cash in his hand anyway.) And the kids WERE being very good, so I thought it would be a good "lesson" for them as well (<--teaching mode). They are still talking about it. Really, they're always pretty good in public (knock on wood), and it was just his comments about me being this amazing mother that made me feel like it was a con job.

Landee said...

You should have said "Really sir, I can't take your money. They are being this way because they haven't eaten since 8am this morning... at least I think they ate then. I really wouldn't know since I didn't wake up til noon. So srsly, stick that cash back in your pocket and walk away."

Cristin said...

sweet nice con job! I'd take the money too and I would have went straight to cold stone. cold Stone rocks!

Amy Thurston said...

I don't ever take my kids out to eat until they are starving. That is the only way to ensure good behavior. So like, if we were going to eat on Saturday, then I would feed them sometime Friday afternoon, then call it quits until our Saturday meal. That goes for Sams Club food samples too. You will understand it better when you read my book.

sarastrasser said...

I get the opposite reaction from people in public. They usually ask me for money because they had to sit in the resturant with my kids. I usually hear the muffled, "Get control of your kids, lady."

Vegas Family said...

I think it is the oil in the Panda Express, it calms me as well.

michelle said...

What to say...I have so many thoughts after reading this story.

I would have LOVED to have seen your face when the man approached you with the $20. And if I would have been there when Cord did that, I would have died laughing!

Your kids are extremely well behaved, which is why I enjoy being around them so much.

Maybe next time suggest they fix a snack while you do your hair. LOL!!

hayley said...

uh Coldstone is overated.
Im more of a Goldenspoon fan.

Katie said...

I got a $100 tip once from a couple that looked like they couldn't afford to give $100 tips. All they saw was my HUGE pregnant belly, and they couldn't resist. I later saw them at Walmart. They asked me how I spent their hard earned money. I felt guilty for looking so nicely dressed and unpregnant. Of all the time I have gone to Walmart in my worn out maternity pants, why did Have to be dressed this time?