Monday, June 1, 2009

Lock up your children! Don't let them near him!

Many thanks to Lauren's Aunt Anne, Uncle Rob (of lady-pants interest), and cousins Julianne and Caroline. They hosted a wonderful barbeque in their Long Island home, complete with every staple a barbeque enthusiast has come to enjoy. From the first 'd'oeuvre-slingin', up and over mountains of potato salad and fresh fruit (certainly a tour luxury), through the boggy muck of cheating vegetarianism (another tour luxury?), all the way to the rivers of coffee and banks of s'mores, we had a backyard feast. Lauren's dad Mike, brother Ryan and his girlfriend of many names (though I think Emily was the favorite), and a few other friends joined us, though couldn't have anticipated the giant game of Cowboy, Ninja, Bear that would soon follow. For you blogospherians that haven't played, it's like Rock, Paper, Scissors with your whole body. Cowboy shoots Bear, Bear mauls Ninja, and Ninja stealthily kills Cowboy. There are silly ways to settle draws. And when those three characters are exhausted, the game can evolve to any three you can imagine! Zombie, Pirate, Robot Ballerina! Giant Eyeball, Dance-floor Laserbeam, Sea Monster! After dinner we headed to the street to play a Lauren favorite, Spud. Since her aunt and uncle live on a dead end street, traffic isn't really an issue. Nor is anything remotely threatening. Neighbors on dead end streets are keen and watchful citizens ready to thwart evil however evil rears its ugly head. After many rounds of Spud we realized an increasing number of neighbors were converging in the middle of the block, talking softly, gathering their children, and pointing to the dead end. One of the concerned mothers informed us there was a man lying in the last yard who may be drunk and passed out or possibly dead. 

Everyone was thinking about how to approach a homeless crackhead or dead body but no one had investigated or simply asked the man if he was alright. Lauren began to walk down the block and many of the mothers said we shouldn't let her go alone in case he's alive and dangerous! I slowly approached the figure on the grass and realized it wasn't a crazy homeless man, it was...PAUL! And he definitely wasn't passed out or dead, but was just relaxing and talking on his phone! I relayed this discovery while cracking up and some of the eagle-eyed detectives returned to their porch perches, others repeatedly asked Nick if he knew the man. "But do you know him? Do you know who he is? Do you know that man? Is it ok? Do you know him?!" I told Paul he should probably come back to the house so he walked through the middle of the street, still on the phone, confused about the commotion surrounding him, and raised his hands in innocent confirmation of his harmless intentions. 

The mothers told us they had kept their kids from scootering down to the dead end and called the family at the end of block warning them of the suspicious, or dead, man on their front lawn. Better safe than sorry? Better get to New York City before we inadvertently alarm any more super-citizens...

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