Yesterday was j’s school trip to the Land of Make Believe (in nearby Hope Nj, for anyone who grew up around here) and we were almost on time. I was a little itchy because I saw the bus where we were to meet the rest of our troupe, but I was stuck in the line of cars waiting to get into Old MacDonalds parking lot, to be told where to park by (and I make a slight assumption here) Old MacDonalds minions.

I parked where I was told, and in a sea of minivans and SUV’s, I happened to park next to a tiny old Chevy. I took note of this for two reasons (and you can make the third reason that I took note at all, and you would be correct), the first were the bumper stickers on his tiny car. The first proclaimed “Worst President Ever”

I had no idea to which president he referred. I’m not really sure it mattered.

I won’t go into the rest, they all made the same point, semi-puzzling attacks on the government with little to no indication as to what had angered him so deeply.
The second reason I noticed him was because as he extracted himself from his tiny vehicle; and extracted is the right word, he must have been six foot two, he was old and alone. No kids.
I was immediately distracted from Creepy Old Guy by my children and the humidity (ah humidity, my greatest nemesis). One in the stroller, the other was walking and Mom immediately soaked in sweat. I wore the white shirt, I don’t know why I wore the white shirt. Thank God I traded the purple bra for the tan one, or I imagine this post would go in a whole different direction.

Thank God I traded the purple bra for the tan one, or I imagine this post would have gone in an entirely different direction.

Off we went. We met up with some other mothers and got our tickets.
My son has no grasp of “personal space”. He was trying to hug, hold hands, and otherwise molest the girls in his class. I made a mental note to talk with him about personal space.
I looked like… Well, I don’t rightly know what I looked like, but I know I was mopping myself every several seconds.
We went in and introduced K to the carousel. The first fit is pitched after ride number 1. We decided, in the interest of keeping the peace, that we would ride a second time. After K pitched a second fit, holding on to the pony with her baby fists and feet (I had to pry her fingers off one at a time) over getting off her carousel horsie at the end of the second ride, the other moms slipped away.
I was blacklisted.
The other moms walked around in twos and threes, but I was alone.

I could totally live with this banishment.

I got K calmed down, and J went on the dragon ride. Guess who’s there? Creepy Old Guy. I stared. It’s impolite, but, well fuck, that’s just how my day was going. He seemed to live in that cloudy space between biker dude and dirty hippie where I am sometimes confused. Or, the third option, which I was suppressing in my brain, was that he is an ax murdering child molester.
Of course. That’s completely plausible.
We adjourned to the roller coaster. He showed up there too. I worked up the courage to ask:

“Are you a dirty hippie or a biker dude? I’m sorry to have to ask, but I may not sleep tonight if you don’t tell me.”

Okay, I didn’t really ask that, but for the record, I did not sleep well that night. I did ask:

“Which group are you with?”

There are thousands of rugrats running around there, each group in a different colored shirt. He had to be with one of them.

“The Y” he said. The bright green shirts. The place is crawling with those.

“Oh. That’s nice.” I said. Clearly I am very suave in these situations.

We walked around some more, and when we got back to the roller coaster (and when I use the word “roller coaster”, I use it in the loosest possible sense) he was there again! But this time he’s leaned up against the bars of the ride facing the coaster and evilly stroking his disgusting beard. I thought I saw something struggling to get out of there – The beard was so unkempt, that it might have been a child.

I could have made the whole thing up, right? Maybe he’s just some old geezer who likes to come to the Land of Make Believe and spy on the little children. Although that doesn’t sound too good either, actually.
Time to wrap it up.
“Pick three rides to go on before we go” I said to J, modeling the Good Mom books I have read regarding getting your child out of an amusement park.
He does, two of them are the roller coaster.
Fuck me.
Finally, it ended. The roller coaster was safely in our past. We walked out of the park by way of the gift shop. This, of course, is the only exit.
Touché Land of Make Believe.
I was just happy to be out of there. When we get to the car, both children tucked away in their seats, I consider keying his car.
Just on principle I suppose, for being a presence in my day.
And for being a scary ax murdering child molester, of course.
I suppose I could be wrong about that last one, though. there’s a chance. A SLIGHT chance, I suppose. Maybe.