Suburban Fun-Park Hierarchy Extravaganza


Hello ladies at the park.

Yes, I am a man at the play-area with my sons. Please, don’t attempt to disguise your scowls. Throw them my way—I hate to feel welcome, especially while indulging in a family activity!

I have indeed brought along two gorgeous boys of my own. I had them simply to lure your children closer to me, as I’m obviously some kind of molester. My wife has absolutely no idea of my true motives, which you have seen straight away. Mind you, what kind of a mother is she, letting a man bring his kids to a park on a weekday, am I right?

A man being the primary care-giver is wrong. Especially on a weekday. I should be in an office. Who the hell do I think I am?

What’s that, darling 5-year old girl who has come over? No, I’m sorry; I would love to push you on the swing, especially since your mother has paid you absolutely no attention for the last 15 minutes. But I can’t.

If she saw me lifting you into the swing she would probably call the police. Or at least scream an alarm–call for the others. Jessica? Is that right? Jessica? Go ask your mother if she’ll push you on the swings. I’ll vacate the area. Come on boys, let’s go explore this brutalist climbing frame that everybody else is avoiding.

What’s this? I see there’s one lady here on her own, but she’s heading straight for me. How odd. I wonder if I’ll find out what her deal is within five seconds of chatting to her?

“Oh, you’re recently single?” Boys, run.

“Yes, it must be difficult.” BOYS, let’s get moving.

“A real surprise, yes.” BOYS, COME ON NOW.

“I bet it is lonely, yes.” BOYS—NOW. MOVE!

“None of them understand, oh, how terrible.” BOYS! DADDY IS LEAVING!

“Listen, great meeting you, but I’ve suddenly remembered I’m meant to be at the office. Good luck!”


Simon Pinkerton is a contributor at Queen Mob’s Tea House, duh. Also at McSweeney’s, Minor Literature[s] and Maudlin House among others. Love him @simonpinkerton on Twitter and on, um, Tumblr.

Submit a comment