I know I’ve mentioned that we’ve been going to the park to walk lately, and I wanted to share a few of the borderline-bizarre things that have happened while at the park in the last few days. I absolutely love people-watching and I never dreamed that Wilson Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas would be a prime place for such entertainment–
1. Monday afternoon. There were 4 boys (older than 18 and old enough to know better) taking turns jumping onto a rope they’d tied between a tree and a street lamp. First, I thought they were trying to jump over the rope — but upon closer inspection, discovered they were indeed attempting to jump onto the rope and walk it like a tightrope. We watched this for several minutes on our way around the park — and didn’t see a single one of them perform what I would call satisfactorily. In fact, it looked pretty painful. They were barefoot, and most of them tried to “mount” the rope by running toward the tree, running up the tree, and landing on the rope. We decided they were fledgling acrobats as on our next lap around that corner of the park we noticed one of them walking around on his hands…
2. Tuesday afternoon. We were finishing up our last lap and almost back to the car, when (for the 4th or 5th time that day) a kind little old lady caught up to us and – making the common assumption that pregnant women are public property – struck up a conversation with me about the baby. I am fairly used to fielding questions such as: “When are you due? Is it a boy or a girl? Do you have a name picked out?” After that, the conversation usually fizzles out, because – afterall – we are strangers and what else do you really say?? But people are very friendly, and I don’t really mind it. So this poor, unassuming lady catches up to us and is working her way through the usual questions. She was very sweet — telling us that she was sure we would have a beautiful baby as we were both “lovely people” and telling me to be sure and take care of myself “in this heat” — all harmless, all nonsense. Well, apparently someone had had enough of our chitchat as right about then – a huge, hot pile of bird poop landed on me from above. 100% of it landed on me – hair, neck, arm, back – but I think my sweet new friend was more startled than I was! She immediately got all flustered and started frantically going through her empty pockets for a napkin or a towel or something that I could use to clean off the poop – with no luck. After that, she didn’t really know what to say. It was a really awkward and abrupt end to our baby conversation — but she kept up the same pace as us, all the way to the car! We just kept walking, side-by-side – perfect strangers, one of us covered in bird poop.
3. Wednesday afternoon. I walked by myself because the boys went to a concert at Bud Walton for Shareholders. The same people typically walk at the park around the same time everyday so we are starting to see a lot of familiar faces on the path. There are several older people who walk (almost) as slow as we do – and yesterday one of them decided that I looked lonely and needed a conversation. He was walking the opposite direction than me, so I’d passed by him a few times. The third time, he stopped me and told me how much he admired me for “hoofing it around the park”, but warned me (while pointing at my belly) that “all this walking’s not gonna do anything for that gut of yours!” — everybody’s a comedian.