This is more of a public service announcement than anything. The public service being providing you with some snappy go-to retorts to one of the stupidest questions I've heard since the delivery room resident extracted Baby and then asked, 'Hey, do you want to know what it is?' No, you know what, I'm kinda hungry; let me grab a meatball hoagie and then we'll talk. Seriously, though, that was a high-stress scenario, it could have been a question of hierarchy, etc. She gets a free pass.
This is about who doesn't get a free pass. I'm out with Bub the other day, him in the stroller and me pushing. Due to our physical statures, this is the usual and preferred arrangement. A middle-aged woman approaches us on the sidewalk with a wide smile.
"Oh, is that a BABY in there?"
Now I didn’t know this woman, she could have been crazy (survey clearly screaming YES at this point), and you never upset Crazy. So I politely say yes, it is. And then, interpreting my terse response as some sort of veiled invitation to BFF Land, she helps herself to pulling back Bub's wind blanket to oodle all over him. At that point, I browned out for a while, as ancient King-penguin-blizzard-egg-sitting-instinct took over, and, long story short, I roundhouse-kicked Crazy in the solar plexus. You can never be too careful when it comes to your kids.
But this whole ugly incident could have been avoided if I had only had a good comeback, something to detour Crazy, a red herring, something to send her home minus the roundhouse kick to her solar plexus. So here are 10 solid responses I've started piloting ever since "the incident" that seem to have me winning the war on random acts of stupidity.
"Oh, is that a BABY in there? A cute little nookim?"
1. Nope, it's actually loaded up with Beefy Beefaroni. Jewel had a helluva sale, and apparently I fit the "shopping cart thief profile" a little too well.
2. No, I just never got to do that Flour Baby thing in middle school, and I really want to do it the right way.
3. No, I'm actually the new mailman. Cutbacks, you understand.
4. No, but I've heard of those. Don't they sell them at Ace Hardware?
5. A baby what?
6. No, and frankly, I don't appreciate the insinuation, missy.
7. Yes, but have you ever seen Rosemary's Baby? (Pointing emphatically) WAY more evil.
8. Yes, but he's allergic to annoying strangers.
9. I think so, but you'd better fuck off just in case.
10. It's either that or a really ugly chihuahua. In a onesie.
Postscript: Shout-out to Frank Henenlotter, the man behind the excellent feature film Basket Case. If it's unavailable in the current medium on Netflix, I have a copy on VHS available to loan.