February 10th, 2013
A six year-old girl, very, very pissed-off at her mom. “I HATE Ihop, mom.” “Well, that’s where we’re going, Olive.” They were standing at the same corner where I was waiting for the bus. They were waiting for dad to show up. Olive was near tears. At the top of her voice, “I HATE everything they have at Ihop.” “No,” her mother corrected her, “there was something they made with waffles that you liked.” “No,” Olive said, “I only liked the syrup.” “Good.” Mom said, “You can order something and put syrup on it.” That set the child to screaming and begging for pity. “Don’t go to Ihop, please please please.” Mom let out a long breath. “Alright, tell me where you’d rather go. We’ll ask daddy if its all right.” Mother pulled out her cell phone and hit the button.. The girl was flummoxed. Completely at a loss for words. She looked up and down Union Street, then at Fillmore Street as far as she could see the storefronts. Finally, she pointed across the street at a restaurant. It had no name visible on the front, only a big hamburger logo. Mom said, “I can tell you, were not going there.” That set Olive off at an intensity she hadn’t come near. Mom tried to shush her. I heard her say into the cell phone, “Hi, Olive is adamantly opposed to Ihop. Can we go somewhere else?” At that moment the 45 bus came and I got on. I looked out the window and saw mother and child. All had changed in the fifteen seconds it had taken me to board the bus. Mom had lifted Olive up and was kissing her. Olive appeared to be happier than that witch in the Geico commercial. All I can think is the father must have come up with some miraculous solution and I’ll never know what it was. All I know for sure is she was right about Ihop.