Saturday, July 25, 2009


I needed to run a few errands so we all decided to go. I had a coupon for one of my favorite restaurants and we decided to stop for lunch. You would not believe what happened to us. Our boy is very likely scarred for life. We saw him (and I use the word him very loosely) before we entered the parking lot. He was standing on the side of the road shaking, well, his groove thing to be precise or vague or, well, whatever. Initially, our son was intrigued by his enormous head. When he first saw him he was concerned by the apparent elephantiasis of the head. I have to admit, in his current state of three, The Rock Star could not stop starring at the sheer mass--and redness--of this thing's head. His grin was plastered to his face almost stupidly and he locked in on Garrett right away.

Of course, being the kind of parents who want to encourage our child's acceptance of things he may not quite understand, we allowed him to walk toward us and, in fact, we took several steps toward him. Garrett clung to me, terrified of the the guy's green--yes green--hair. This no was common person we were dealing with. As we approached, the "man", not saying anything to us at all, held up his hand. I said in a weirdly high pitched voice, "Give him five. Or her. It might be a girl." Yes. I actually said that. Honestly, I just couldn't tell. He/she/it was wearing a green jumpsuit. It was extremely gender nonspecific. Well, The Rock Star smiled and gave it five. Then we turned to walk into the restaurant.

That is when all the underworld broke loose. The swollen headed, groove thing shakin', jump suit wearin' thing followed us. I must admit, the pace at which we were followed was a bit disconcerting. Not too fast, not too slow. Much like the villain in a horror movie that somehow seems to keep up with the sprinting protagonist without picking up the pace and without breaking a sweat. Although long sleeves, gloves, and a jumpsuit in Utah in July ought to have induced perspiration. Garrett, realizing that we were being followed, freaked out. He screamed bloody murder, buried his head in my shoulder and sobbed. I whispered that it was okay. We were fine.

The giant tomato was not going to get us.

Garrett was beyond crazed. He ran into the restaurant and hid in the corner, sobbing hysterically. The tomato just needed to come in from the heat for a little while. It waltzed around the restaurant waving at patrons. We managed to get to our table. We started eating. It appeared around the corner and Garrett literally lost his mind. He was kind of trying to climb the wall and tears instantly flowed with wild abandon down his barely three-year-old-andnowhecostsmoneyatthisparticularrestaurant face. Our entire meal was spent keeping tabs on the tomato. Was he outside? Was he inside? Was he near? Were we in imminent danger? At one point Garrett exclaimed, "Let's go to another restaurant with no May-toe. Somehow, by the end of our Sweet Tomatoes dining experience, we had convinced Garrett that the "May-toe" was a friendly, upstanding citizen and a model employee.

"You can tell by his smile!" We told our boy.

When we left, I asked him if he wanted to give the tomato another high five? He did. Of course, all the while he was vice gripping my neck in a half-nelson and imploring me with his big round eyes to get him out of there alive. Whatever it took. At all costs. I was not allowed to let the walking tomato get him.


  1. sounds like your brother and Chuck E. Cheese.

  2. Okay, seriously...I thought you were being followed by some sort of freak or something and kept thinking, why would they encourage him to give a freak a high I am laughing!!!

  3. Heather: Oh man, it looks like the Kool-Aid man's cousin."

    Seriously, though, hilarious story.