Remember that episode of Seinfeld when Elaine gets trapped in a terrible conversation at some crappy party, and she suddenly starts channeling a deranged variant of Meryl Streep-as-Lindy-Chamberlain in A Cry in the Dark? You know: “Maybe the DINGO ate your BAY-BEE!” Crazy-eyes grin and Australian accent and everything…
I’ve always admired that.
Now, as a parent of very-smalls, I don’t get the chance to attend many crappy parties anymore, and if I did, you can bet that I’d now be the one trapping other party-goers in terrible conversations. (It takes practice to be an interesting grown-up. I didn’t realize that.)
But just in case I ever get the hang of things enough to be on the receiving end again, I now know some fail-proof ways to enjoy myself right out of it. Here are a few…
Primo conversation-stoppers I learned from my preschooler:
1. Why? Why? Why?! Why? WHY? Why? Why? Why? Whyyyy? …Oh!
2. Hey! Let’s play “hide-and-seek!”
3. This is my so-pretty necklace, but if I pull it like THIS, I might die.
(My teacher told me that.)
4. Is there a baby in your belly?
No? Are you suuuure?
5. This is not a good story. Do you know a better story?
Can you tell about when Queen Elsa made that SCARY snow monster?
6. I’m SO hungry. Give me that thing you have.
I want it. GIVEITTOME.
7. Do you know my mom? Hmn. Do you know my cousins?! NO?! Do you know my papa? Do you know my brother even?
Do you know ANYBODY?
8. I puked in the car that one time.
But it wasn’t our car, so…
9. My belly button used to be a tube to my momma.
Then it came off, and I drank from her milk-boobs.
10. My little brother smells like blood and dinosaurs.
But I smell like raspberries.
Have a great weekend, everyone! And if you happen to see me out, don’t feel obliged to listen to me ramble on and on and on about who woke up how many times last night to… wait, where are you going? No! Don’t close the browser! Come baaa—
DISCLAIMER: I acknowledge that A Cry in the Dark was a brilliantly acted tribute to the unspeakably heartbreaking story of Lindy Chamberlain’s maternal grief. Certainly not, in itself, funny. However, through the character of Elaine Benes, and applied to the doltish “fiancé” of an intolerably smug woman, probably anything could be made atfunny.