I’m starting to wonder if I’m one of those people that look incredibly gullible. Perhaps, I have “Pick on me – I’m a sucker” tattooed in indelible ink on my forehead, visible only to con men and the likes. Perhaps, on the other hand, I just look like a desperate mother (but all the time???!!!) that wants to get rid of her kids.
After I’ve taken Rainman and Too-fast-too-furious surfing, we have to stop and have snacks and hot chocolates to the value of a small holiday home. It’s a great little joint which has recently acquired a new waitress. Now just to clarify, I have nothing against waitresses. I too have waitressed. Also, I have nothing against tattoos. I too have some. Same goes for piercings.
We pull up a perch. The new waitress comes over. She launches right in. ‘So, what do people do with their kids over New Year?’ Ah, I think to myself, she’s looking at me thinking “whoa, what a party animal, I'll bet she really wants to cut loose on New Year.’ Then I reconsider, having just remembered that I don’t look like a party animal at all. I just look like a mother. Mmm, perhaps she’s just making polite conversation (a.k.a I’d like a big fat tip for being chatty).
‘Oh’, I say, ‘since we've had kids we kind of hang at home, have one or two beers, shoot the breeze, maybe cut some rug on the kitchen dance-floor’. ‘Well’, she says, ‘I’m kind of over the whole drink-till-you-fall-down thing and thought I’d offer babysitting at my house for parents who’d like to go out and party.’ I nearly blurt out, “you have a house and not a caravan?” but catch myself just in time.
I’m trying to hide my “are-you-effing-insane face” and am fighting the urge to say, ‘Ja, for sure and totally man. I’m definitely going to leave my kid on New Years Eve with a broke, tattooed waitress, whom I hasten to add, is also a stranger. Not only that, but I’m gonna tell my mates to do it too, you bleeding eejit!’
Instead I say, ‘the tricky part might be when the intoxicated parents have to come and pick up their kids and see them to bed. I don’t think Goodfellows are game for that kind of thing.’ I consider suggesting that it might, in fact, be more lucrative if she ran “hangover sitting” for the morning after, but decide against it. I’m also bewildered as to why she hasn’t clocked the part about me saying that we normally stay home.
I think it’s important to mention that at no stage has she bothered to engage her potential clients. The actual kids. Not even a “Hi guys, how was the surf? Cowabunga dude”.
What’s more, I have to tell you, this isn’t the first time that this has happened to me. When shortie Jnr. was a baby, I was walking down the street when a transvestite asked me for a cigarette. After explaining that I didn’t smoke, s/he said that s/he’d be equally happy with some cash or some wine. I explained that I didn’t have any of those either. Her/his parting shot (as though we were old family friends) was “I also do babysitting hey”. WTF!!! Do I look like I’d hand my baby over to you??!?!
I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I think it’s fairly safe to judge them by their impossibly short skirt. And, just as a word of advice to all would-be babysitters - have you ever seen an airhostess that looks like a member of hells angels? Nope. So if you want the job, for Gods sake dress the part and cover up those dang tattoos, just till you've got the job. And please also remember, not being a total stranger normally counts.