what i did on my memorial day weekend
we did many things this weekend, my wife and child and i. we had many brunches, saw many babies, went to many parks. it was a nice long weekend. a rare weekend wherein mrs nice guy and i had not two but THREE consecutive days together. what a novelty!
anyway, as you can imagine we spent a whole bunch of time taking the kid to playgrounds. there is one lavish tot lot in particular -- the tot lot at 3rd street in prospect park -- where we frequently found ourselves. you brooklynites know what i'm talking about: toddler nirvana. nirtoddla. toddvana. or something.
the one problem i had with this weekend? it was too goddamn hot. TOO. HOT. i am a scrawny white translucent honky cracker ronald mcdonald carrot-top golem albino crybaby. the sun and i? we are not on speaking terms. when i take the baby to the tot lot in the middle of the day, the baby gets a wee dollop of spf 45. strong stuff, right? well, i get super-secret NASA-brand experimental beta-sun-colonist spf 739. i require about 4 applications of sunscreen per hour.
so on sunday afternoon, mrs nice guy and the baby and a couple of friends visiting from out of town and i were playing in the tot lot. it was 9,266,349,726 degrees outside. after about 3 seconds in the sun (with whom i may have mentioned i am not on speaking terms) i announced that i needed to go into the shade because i had suddenly discovered that i had stage 8 ovarian cancer. everyone said "ok. buh-bye." and let me wander off to find some shade alone. they were having too much "fun" in the "life-giving sun" to hang out with me, "mr. darkness," in the "soul-destroying" shade. such is my life.
i went off in search of some shade. would you like to know how much shade there is in the tot lot at 3rd street in prospect park? you would? let me tell you: VERY FUCKING PRECIOUS LITTLE.
i trundled off to a very very (very) far corner of the playground by myself. i trundled alone by myself. i found a bench in the shade. i sat on the bench. i looked across the vaaaast expanse of playground and i saw the antlike figures of my wife and child playing gleefully with love for each other. i felt very alone. i began applying, again, some sunscreen.
and then it dawned on me: to everyone in the immediate vicinity i appeared to be nothing more than a 31-year-old male with massive sideburns, sitting alone on a bench in a crowded playground, rubbing himself. with lotion.
would you like to know what i did? i didn't stop. i kept rubbing. a little girl, about 6 years old, ran up to her father, about 3 feet away from me, and said "daddy, i'm tired!" he pointed at my bench without looking and said "why don't you go sit over ..." and then he looked directly at me. and then the finger with which he was pointing redirected itself to an entirely different corner of the tot lot and he said "over there." the little girl looked at me (the nice, shady place he was pointing at in the first instance) and then at the distant corner of tot lot (the sun-baked lifeless hell-place he was pointing at in the second instance) and the wheels turned in her head. then she adjourned to the latter locale. gold star for her.
me? i picked up my creepy-man lotion and silently creeped back over to my family where their presence would make me appear less creepy.
ok, fine. you know what? i may have been Creepy Lotion-Rubbing Lonely Bench Guy at the tot lot. but! at least i wasn't Hot Pants Man. who, you might ask, is Hot Pants Man? why, he is a certain gentleman whose wife let him out of the house wearing shorts like THIS:
and also like THIS!!!!:
oh, Hot Pants Man. what happened to you? what made you like this? not only are you wearing a pair of shorts that are far shorter than anything in my wife's wardrobe, but you also are apparently partial to glittery man-sandals. "we wear short shorts" indeed! i mean, come on Hot Pants Man, this is brooklyn. who wakes up in the morning, gets dressed, looks in the mirror and says LOOKIN' SHARP!, especially when what he is seeing looks like THIS:
i was fascinated by this question. so fascinated that, as you can see, i was compelled -- much to the horror of mrs nice guy -- to take as many surreptitious pictures as possible while i was sitting on the bench, rubbing lotion into my porcelain-white skin.
you have to hand it to Hot Pants Man: he's got nice legs. tan. firm. not too furry. every time he came near, i tried to catch a little snippet of his conversation. here's what i learned: he's got a thick british accent. he's not american! fuck! this officially exculpates Hot Pants Man from his fashion transgressions. i mean, he is not of this place. he is not a native. cultural differences explain the shorts. he dresses not as he would at Grimaldi's or Peter Luger. no. he dresses as he would upon the Thames, or at the Old Vic, or whatever.
i, on the other hand, have no excuse. i am from here. i should know better. there is no good reason for me whatsoever to be sitting alone on a bench in a far flung corner of a playground, rubbing lotion into my tender lily-white thighs as i take pictures like this:
none! just arrest me now, ok?