Sunday, October 21, 2007
Hello From L.A. Where Everything Is On Fire Except Chuck E Cheese’s
Today had promise. We were meeting two other 1-child couples (just like us) at this really great pumpkin patch that’s been family owned for, like, over 300 years.
This place has to be the ultimate pumpkin patch (Lombardi Ranch) this side of the Mississippi. They have tractor rides, pony rides, live music on 2 stages, ‘real’ farm animals, corn mazes, stagecoach rides, homemade organic-corn, and I think bands like “Huey Lewis and the News” kick off their world tour concerts from this place. Yes, it’s that big.
We’ve been talking about it for days and my daughter was looking forward to it like a Doodlebop was moving into the den. She woke up this morning singing “Pumpkin Patch! Pumpkin patch – hooray!”
Then came the winds. And then the fires – everywhere (this is my one big complaint about living in L.A. – whenever we get winds, everything catches fire!) Our drive over was immediately stopped because the police were evacuating the pumpkin patch. You could see this huge black ash cloud looming over the horizon.
Me: “Sorry, the Pumpkin Patch is on fire…”
Note to self – Never tell a toddler that anything is on fire. I guess it could have been worse; I was about to say the animals were on fire.
We met up with the other parents in a nearby parking lot and tried to figure out what to do with a bunch of disappointed kids.
Me: “I guess we can go to that Chuck E Cheese over there?”
Note to self – Never suggest Chuck E Cheese after the first crazy experience we had (read about that here.)
Chuck’s was packed! Obviously everybody else there was on the same boat. Later I wondered if maybe Chuck went out and started the fires himself to boost business (I wouldn’t put that past the rat!)
Overall the kids had fun running around, winning tickets, and jumping (dancing?) to an off-key animatronic rendition of Gloria Estefan's “Rhythm’s Gonna' Get You!” It played twice within 30 minutes (maybe that’s how they clear people out after eating…?)
The only unusual experience I had was running into this 3 or 4 year old girl wearing a t-shirt that said “Full Of Sh*T” on it. At first I thought my mind was playing tricks on me again. But no, it really said that. And from the look of her Mom (ganster? couldn’t have been older than 19 or 20) she was probably proud of her toddler wearing it.
I know these so-called kid attitude shirts are big (I find some entertaining myself) but come on – who buys a shirt like that for their toddler?
That's the kind of stuff that should catch fire (without the kid in it... or any animals.)