Geoff was coaching Paige's soccer game and Isaac and I had arrived at the playground, bat and ball in hand, to play. As soon as I pulled up, I became leery and the needle on my shadester radar went all the way to the right. From a distance, I could see there was no one around but a white male in his mid-20s wearing a backpack and a trucker hat, drinking from a water bottle. I glanced at our bat. It was plastic, orange, cartoonishly large, and destined to be totally ineffective as a prospective weapon, particularly when wielded by me.
I tried to call an audible on our plans, but Isaac would have less than none of it. Well at least this is a teachable moment, I thought to myself. I launched into my "stranger danger" lecture as we approached the play structure, giving Magic Mike a wide berth.
That's what I named him, for reasons that will soon become apparent.
Isaac began peppering me with a series of questions about Magic Mike. Who was he? I don't know. What was he doing there? Same answer. Where was his kid? He doesn't have one. Why was he taking off his shirt and walking on his hands? Wait. What?! Holy shit! He WAS taking off his shirt and walking on his hands!
As we passed this display, Magic Mike winked and tipped his hat in a decidedly non-threatening manner. He then began to perform a series of acrobatic maneuvers all over the playground equipment, which he was using as an ad-hoc gym. Pullups on the monkey bars. Walking hand-stands on a strip of Astro Turf from which he'd carefully cleared all the pebbles. Situps with his legs locked onto a bench. All of this shirtless, and with an extensive smorgasbord of abs, pecs, and lats exposed for all to see. And by "all" I mean "me and my four year old son."
"Mom, look at me!" Isaac called from high atop his precarious perch on the spider-web climber thingie. "Not now honey," I mumbled distractedly, since at this point I was a more than willing private audience to Magic Mike's bizarre, impromptu cirque-du-soleil one-man Chip N' Dales show. After about ten minutes of this, Magic Mike donned his shirt and jacket, took a sip of water, packed up his things, and left without even waiting for a tip.
I thought about explaining to Isaac that this wasn't how the typical stranger-danger type situation unfolded, but he'd long ago moved on to the swings.