I’m at a party celebrating the First Comm-
union of four (maybe five?) kids, who are all related to each other, and one is related to me. I know about 10 percent of the 150 people present. We’re in a banquet hall where there are other parties going on in other rooms separated by moveable walls — baby showers and another First Communion, I think. At my party, most of the men are wearing the Casual Golfer uniform (myself included): Khaki pants (the older the man, the more pleats in his pants, like tree rings) and a three-button, short-sleeved shirt (again, gray hair an indicator of whether the shirt will be tucked in).
So, buffet line. I’m last in line, until a guy with thick, salt-and-pepper hair parted in the middle (also, salt-and-pepper mustache) approaches. He’s wearing a light brown suit with matching light brown shirt, white pocket square, and white snakeskin boots. He cuts in front of me so casually that I didn’t notice until he struck up a conversation with a toddler, being held by his father (baby’s father was in uniform, 2 pleats, prob. early 40s). Toddler, blue and white pinstriped something-or-other, with a bib.
Snakeskin Boot Guy: Hey. Heyyyy. Yeah, are you lookin’ at me? What are you gonna eat? Maybe some italian sausage? Nah, they probably don’t have italian sausage. Maybe the turkey? Yeah?
Toddler’s Dad: Yeah. He’s my moose. The other one’s my bird.
Snakeskin boot guy: You’re not talkin, huh? Only Dad. Only papa. Yep. Hi! Yeah…
Toddler’s Dad: Yep. He’s tough. He’s a moose. He takes food right out of his brother’s hand. When the other one has an obstacle, he’ll think about how to avoid it or go around it. This one, he’ll go right through. A bedroom door. Like if a door is closed and dad is on the other side, this one will go right through. Yeah.
Snakeskin: Tough guy, huh?
Toddler’s Dad: Yeah, he’s a three-goose-egg at one time kid. He’s tough though. He don’t cry much.
Another guy in the buffet line (two pleats, late 30s): That’s good. That’ll be good for him when he’s in sports.