Mike Crider visits a museum and channels Al Jaffee while he’s there.
I like to enjoy a Mountain Dew Kickstart every now and then, and today was one of those “now and then” situations. I was attending a kid’s birthday party at a local museum and having drag twin toddlers into the place left me with little alternative.
I was already on edge when I entered the museum, so when the docent said, “You’re not drinking one of those energy drinks are you?” I had a Matrix moment. Have you ever seen the second Matrix movie? Neo is confronted with the creator of the Matrix who shows him every possible response to everything he has to tell him. I have a unique ability to think of something extremely witty to say after the situation has already passed. These are examples of things I could have said, and based on the circumstance, I think all of them would have been justified.
- “No, of course not. I just saw on Facebook it was National Carry a Can day, and this was the biggest one I could find.”
- “No, see, I brought this into a museum to see if you smart people could find a way to make fuel out of this since we still run automobiles on the same fuel they used in 1920.”
- “I love bright colors, and this orange can contrasts beautifully with all the shades of blue I’m wearing. Even my eyes, do you see how pretty my eyes are?”
- “Ma’am, you must be mistaken. My toddler loves this stuff, we call it ‘kick juice’.”
- “Yes, I’m drinking this today because I’ve been up all night writing articles for Good Men Project. The problem is all of them suck.”
- “WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY?? Wa, wa wa wa…”
- “No, this is not an energy drink…I emptied it out and put some Jim Beam in here.”
- “You don’t think I’ll die, do you? I’m really scared…”
- “Yes, and I’ve got another in the diaper bag that I’m going to slam in five minutes and start doing parkour through your museum. Watch me do a back flip over my kid…”
- “My doctor says I should take it easy on the caffeine, but since I haven’t had any all week I thought I’d hit my weekly limit today.”
- “Leave me alone, you act like it’s a Red Bull. It’s not a Red Bull!! LEAVE ME ALONE!”
- (Dropping to my knees and wailing) “I’m a sinner!! Forgive my transgressions!!”
- (Turning to my toddler) “They’re on to us! We gotta go now! We’ll hit Taco Bell drive thru later, we gotta lose them!”
- “Ma’am, I’m 32, I’ve got it under control.”
- “I shook it up really good, but I need you to open the can.”
- “I’ve heard there’s something called caffeine in here, and I don’t really know what that is. I just drink it for the yummy high fructose corn syrup.”
- “WHO LET THE DOGS OUT, WHO, WHO, WHO WHO?”
- “It’s only got 80 calories, so I thought, ‘well, it’s either 5 of these or a Big Mac’.”
- “No, I’m not going to drink this. I bring cans that are 84% full into buildings all the time. I cannot upset the balance of the universe.
- (In a Family Guy’s Joe Swanson voice) “Why do you ask? Are you impressed with my energy levels? Does that make me, attractive?”
- “You do realize I have more than one child this age wearing the same thing, right?”
- “Are you going to call my mom? She’s working second shift tonight.”
- (Throwing the can through the window) “I’m not now, thanks to you. You saved my life!”
- “Well, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night…”
- “My wife posted bail for me and I thought this would be a fun way to celebrate.”
But, I did not respond with any of these comments. I put the can on the counter, double-checked the diaper bag, took my daughter’s hand, picked the can back up and said, “I enjoy one occasionally.” That’s what I came up with, of all the things I could have said. I didn’t have time to analyze the situation because I had to take my daughter to the party to eat some cake. When we left the museum, I had another Matrix moment when I told the lady, “If I were you, I would hope to never see me again”. Well, ok, I told her that in my head. I actually just said thanks and left.
photo collage James Stafford