Ah yes, inspiration at last, now I have a number 5… Father’s Day – must have been 1993 as my youngest was in diapers and small enough to charm everyone at the party that actually liked babies. My brother-in-law (at the time) and my sister were hosting the party, so his family was there also. Very nice people, but VERY VERY stodgy (what a great word) and stiff. His father (who makes THE ABSOLUTE BEST DILL PICKLES EVER) was completely smitten with my darling and was carrying her around the yard cooing and babbling at her as if she was the only thing on the planet – ignoring even his own granddaughters to some degree to lavish attention on this darling little baby that quite frankly at that age looked a lot like a little American Indian Betty Boop with the hugest blue eyes you ever saw. So, the older children were ‘playing’ basketball – none of them were really tall enough to make a basket in the regulation hoop, the men were complaining because my anti-tv, anti-sports, very eccentric sister was fed up with them watching the Masters and disconnected the cable! – it was father’s day, but don’t let that stop her from ruining the fun of the fathers in the group. The women were spread out under her huge shade trees in various lawn chairs and hammocks gossiping and drinking some wonderful concoction of juice that my sister was serving. That’s when we heard the noise, a strange muffled machine gun noise, very loud, but yet… muffled, and wet sounding too. We saw it before Joe felt it, all over his beautiful ivory colored silk shirt – brown goo, lots and lots of wet brown goo, running down his shirt. The smiley baby didn’t betray a thing, it was if she didn’t know she had a dirty diaper – and Joe must have thought that he was sweating or something because he seemed absolutely oblivious to the quart or so of goo running down his torso. It was so embarrassing, this man dressed so dapper, and such a sweet man – and his stuffy wife who I suspect never even liked her own child** – so disgusted at the thought that her husband was sullied and she might have to be near him in a different shirt or worse yet – no shirt. The baby was actually pretty easy to clean up – we were at the auntie’s house – I just stripped her down right there in the yard – this was apparently gauche to these folks and they were disgusted with me – and then I took her in the house and bathed her real quick in Aunties bathtub (okay I was gonna use the kitchen sink – she was a tiny baby – but these people were in such shock at having seen her naked bum that I couldn’t bear putting it in the kitchen sink and getting ‘caught’). However, Joe would not go in the house dirty, lest he stink up the house. He also would not take off his shirt in front of people (for an old guy I’m sure he was in fine shape, and it was all family – sort of), in addition he was absolutely refusing to wear one of his son’s shirts, even if just for a short time while his was cleaned. So Joe wiped up his shirt as best he could and continued to wear it for the rest of the party! It was like a giant red beacon of embarrassment – can’t you keep your kids from overflowing their diapers?, what the hell do you feed them anyhow?, haven’t you ever heard of a schedule?, I don’t know, any other absurd questions you could ask that would make this MY FAULT. The woman never spoke to me again, I can’t even remember her name now! Joe quit giving me pickles – I had to steal them from my brother-in-law (with my sister’s assistance) when he was out of town… and my daughter – now 14… can still fart louder than a Gatling gun, but thank G-d they aren’t wet anymore!!
**[update, remember I wrote these stories awhile back... the ice queen's name is Mary, and I was right, she didn't like her own child that much, apparently she recently told him that she would rescind the adoption if she could! Is that one of the most hideous things you can imagine your parent saying to you or saying to your child!!!???!!!]