I think if I ever wrote a suicide note, this would be it: "I just can't live in a world where people change a baby on top of a picnic table". Yesterday we were having a perfectly nice day at a local park with some friends. The park has a playground, a few rides and a concession stand. When they re-did the concession stand a few years ago, they decided to hoidy-toidy it up and replace french fries and Mountain Dew with hummus and mineral water. So yesterday as I was eating my organic muffin (grown on a pesticide-free muffin farm no doubt) among several other crowded tables, not ten feet away from us were three pleasant-enough looking adults all taking part in changing a baby on one of the picnic tables. At first I was in denial... this couldn't possibly be happening... I mean, I'd seen this once before, years ago, at a Wendy's in Queens. I expected more this time. After all, I didn't just get a free Jr. Frosty with a coupon I got trick-or-treating. I'm eating a seven dollar muffin here and I'm not even at the airport. The thoughts flew through my head in rapid succession.
1)This can't be happening. They must be just fixing his clothes.
2)Oh no it's really happening. It's the Wendy's horror of '93 all over again.
3)Could this be my fault? Thoughts become things. I've had this deep-seated fear of re-living the Wendy's incident toiling in my subconscious for twenty-two years. Something's gone terribly wrong: The universe and I haven't conspired to bring me fame and fortune... just a dirty baby on a picnic table.
4)Three adults. Man and women. Not teenagers- Adults. At least in their thirties. Three of them. And not one of them mentioned that this was a bad idea?
5)It takes three adults to change one baby?
I looked around. So who among the concession noshers was going to say something? Would it be the native Southerners around us? No, they were busy silently self-flagellating for not only not refusing to purchase the overpriced snacks, but for having a smile on their faces and a "God Bless You" in their hearts while forking over the forty-two dollars. Clearly, the task would be left up to me.
And being that I'm from NYC, I didn't even have to inconvenience myself by getting up even though they were ten feet away.
"Hey! People have to eat off those tables!" I called over.
One of the offenders commented that the naked baby was on a changing mat on the table so technically the naked baby was touching the 1/8 of an inch thick changing mat, therefore it was the 1/8 of an inch thick changing mat, not the naked baby that was touching the table. (I had to take her word for it. I had no interest in going over there to confirm.)
Anyway, as you can imagine, that made all the difference in the world to me. I lobbed over:
"It's just nice to eat without seeing someone wipe a baby's butt, that's all."
To which she replied:
"There was no changing table in the bathroom."
To which I replied:
"There's a whole huge grassy area right there next to us (I point.) You couldn't have found a spot over there?" (I didn't throw in the fact that she must have given up her search for a changing table in a hurry because other restrooms nearby have them. I also chose to omit the timeless rhetorical question: "Would you eat your lunch in the toilet?")
As my entourage and I vacated our table and passed by the diaperers en route to the recycle bin, I offered a parting remark: "Classless" and headed to the swings.
All and all, it was pretty genteel repartee between the Fox family and the Pig family. I guess I've matured since 1993 when I called the girl in Wendy's a "Nasty Whore" and the sixteen year old manager had to pry us apart with his spatula.