My son and I dropped my wife off at the door of the grocery store, and then we parked in the lot to wait for her. Biff was sitting in the back seat.
It was a warm Saturday afternoon and my window was open. The passenger window in the car next to me was open, too, and sitting by himself in that car was a young boy of about 11 or 12. He was probably waiting for his mom.
“How are you doing?” I said unthinkingly through my window to the boy. The boy stiffened and looked straight ahead.
“DAD!” hissed my son. “What the heck are you doing?”
“Why? What’s the matter?” I said, looking at Biff’s reflection in the rearview mirror.
“You don’t DO that!”
“Do what?” I asked.
“Don’t say hi to a strange kid. Don’t you know that’s weird and creepy?”
“He doesn’t look very strange,” I replied.
“No, YOU’RE strange!” Biff whispered to me behind his cupped hand.
I sighed. “Yeah, I guess in these days you’re probably right. I was just trying to be friendly.”
“You’re going to get yourself arrested,” said Biff as he slunk down in his seat and looked away.
I rolled up my window.
After my wife was finished buying her cucumbers, she got back into the car. As we drove off, I told her what happened and asked her opinion. “I side with Biff,” she said. “You’re whacked.”
Okay. I understand. I used to be nice. Now I’m just weird.