Chooch, looking forlorn at McDonald’s, moments before he befriended an autistic boy whom he dubbed “Hey Kid.”
When I was growing up, we weren’t a McDonald’s family (and the audience yells, “Then how’d ya get so fat, Erin?”). We’d go occasionally, but never actually eat inside. However, now that I’m a parent, I still don’t endorse the place but we do take Chooch there occasionally in the winter just so he can play with other kids. (Otherwise, his only play mate is his sixteen year old brother and that always starts out well but then Blake gets carried away and teases him mercilessly. Like an older brother should, in fact.)
It’s exciting for me to watch my kid interact with others, since he isn’t really around children his own age very much. (Alarmingly, I am usually the only parent who seems aware of what’s going on. One time, there was an againg wigger-dad who texted the whole time, only stopping to shout things like, “Get your ass over here and eat this!”)
The intricacies of child-interaction are pretty amazing to me, like being in the monkey house at the zoo. Interestingly, the older kids always seem to take him in under their wings, and they’ll even wait for him to catch up. When we were there last week, Chooch honestly had his own crew. He fucking ran that place and it was amazing to watch. He’s eithe rgoing to grow up to be a politician or a Blood kingpin.
I wasn’t like that as a kid. I always stuck around the adults, too shy to join a group of kids who had already established a clique. But not Chooch; shit, he dives right on it. And god only knows what goes on in those mysterious Playland tubes and tunnels, because at one point some small girl with a babydoll approached Chooch and yelled, “And don’t you hit me again, baby!” to which Chooch responded by laughing riotously in her face. You beat those bitches, son.
Thankfully, he stayed clear of the children who belonged to the table of washed-up strippers. One of the daughters was around 8 and totally not wearing any underwear, I fucking swear to shit. She’d bend over and her entire crack was smiling for all the see. Henry’s sister thought I was exaggerating, but later she goes, “Oh. Oh god. I know exactly what kid you were talking about.” She seemed scarred, as she should be.