Written in 2007
So I met and hung out with some new people over the weekend. These 6 or so people were friends with my cousin, who I was hanging with that night. Some of these people I had kind of known before, some of them I hadn’t ever even seen before. We were all hanging out at this bar in Burlington called The Buffalo.
One of the women in the group had a young son. In the limited interactions I had with this woman, she spent the majority of the time telling me various stories about her son. She was obviously very proud of him, which is great! All parents should be proud of their children.
Eventually, she dug into her purse, grabbed a picture of her son and proceeded to show me the picture. In this picture her son, who appeared to be 2 or 3 years old, had a toy of some sort and had a huge grin on his face. He was obviously bewildered by this toy and was having the time of his life. He looked like the type of kid who has a lot of personality and has a funny sense of humor. My first impression of her son by looking at the picture, was that he appeared to be the type of kid who may grow up to be the “funny kid” of the group or the “life of the party.”
I genuinely got a kick out of her son in this picture, so while I was looking at it, I say to her without thinking, “haha, that’s neat. Your son is a real funny lookin’ little kid.” And her son did look funny, but not in a bad way. He just looked like he was the type of kid who had the ability to make people laugh. Ya know, “funny,” as in “haha, that kid is a funny person.” A compliment.
(There was a noticeable awkward silence in the group following this statement, but I was too air-headed and drunk to connect the dots as to why there was one).
This woman’s expression changed from proud and happy to disgruntled, butt-hurt and agitated as hell. She replied with, “excuse me? Did you just my son is funny looking?” Still too naïve to catch on to what she meant, I responded enthusiastically with, “yeah!!! He looks funny!!!” And motioned to her with my face/eyes in a manner that implied, “funny!! Isn’t that awesome?!?!”
(The awkward silence among the group continued, but the majority of the group had, “WTF?” expressions on their faces. I still hadn’t caught on as to what was going on. What a dumbass).
Her expression painted the face of a woman who was blatantly pissed off and she responded angrily while pointing her finger and swaying her head back and forth with, “well, to ASSHOLES like you, he MAY look FUNNY! However, to me, his MOTHER, he happens to be a very, very beautiful kid and his personality makes him even more wonderful! You know what? You can fuck off, you asshole!! Fuck you!!!”
I was surprised by her outburst. However, it finally hit me as to why she was wigging out on me so badly and why the entire group were giving each other, “WTF is that guy doing?” expressions.
I thought to myself, “Oh shit, this woman thought I was insulting the appearance of her son when I referred to him as ‘funny looking’ when I really meant that he appears as if he has a funny sense of humor.” Panic-stricken, I said to her, “no, no, no, no, no, NO, NO, NO!!! I didn’t mean it THAT way!! I didn’t mean that your son looks funny, as in has a funny or strange appearance!!! I meant that he looks as if he has a funny sense of humor!!! Look at the expression on his face when he’s playing with that toy! It looks to me as if he’s having the time of his life and is being silly. He looks like he has a funny personality!!!”
She didn’t buy it. I was being honest with her and she still wasn’t buying it. She replied, “yeah right, I’m sure that’s what you meant.” She walked away from me, and throughout the remainder of the night, although we were hanging out in the same group of 7-10 people, she made sure she stayed a comfortable 10 foot distance away from me at all times.
That one stupid statement which led to a tragic misunderstanding resulted in a pretty freaking awkward night.
* PROPS to my youngest brother Brennan for playing the role of young Rick below…funnier than probably anyone else in the world could make it.
Believe it or not, when Rick “The Mullet Man” Suave was known around the area he grew up in as “funny looking kid.” Due to his crazy exploits growing up, he actually got his picture taken and put in the newspaper on many occasions. In the newspaper, he was always referred to as “funny looking kid.” Whether he made the paper for something heart-warming like trying to provide food for his family or disobedience usually related to dumpster diving, he received his fair share of attention from the local newspaper and as a result, the community knew him as the “funny looking kid.”
Below are some old newspaper photos of Rick as a kid and their captions which referred to him as “funny looking kid.”