Over the weekend, Sam gave Paolo and himself their annual summer buzzcut. A freshly shorn Paolo is about the cutest thing in creation; I can barely look directly at him without my eyeballs melting. On the other hand, the same haircut makes Sam look a bit like a thug, and I think it's gone to his head. On Saturday, he kicked a cat. At least that's the report I got from Paolo. Our neighbors have a cat they keep outside (which incidentally VIOLATES CITY ANIMAL ORDINANCES), and this cat has a most annoying habit of trying to run into our house every time the front door opens. Apparently, Sam and Paolo were about to come inside, and the cat was preparing to bolt, so Sam put his foot under the cat's belly and scooped it into the air. It flew impressively across the yard before landing on its feet. It hasn't tried to move in with us since. To Paolo, however, it will always be the meow-head that Daddy kicked. How funny was it at the pet store on Sunday (just visiting; no plans to adopt) when Paolo announced loudly, "That meow-head looks just like the one you kicked, Daddy!" in earshot of shoppers and employees? Totally hilarious.
Act II of Sam's new thug life took place Sunday afternoon. We were walking to the car after exiting Target, Sam carrying Paolo and a bag, me a few steps behind with another bag. We were well into in the crosswalk when an SUV shot past, inches away from Sam and Paolo. Having his hands full, Sam swung the bag into the side of the SUV. The driver stopped, brakes screeching, and opened her door as Sam marched around the back to yell at her. "HEY! You almost hit me, and you almost hit my son. This is a CROSSWALK. Do you see these yellow stripes? You have to stop when there are people in the crosswalk." And he swung the bag against the SUV again as he walked away. The driver's response: "Do you want me to call the cops? If you do that again, I'm calling the cops." As if that weren't amusing enough, Sam yelled back, "Why don't you back over my pregnant wife, too?" I was still chuckling when we got to our car and I noticed the SUV that almost ran down my family double-parked in the handicapped zone a few rows over while the driver, I'm sure, furiously dialed her cell phone. Oh, to be a fly on the windshield for that call: "I was speeding through a crosswalk when a man carrying a small child, who I guess I almost hit or whatever, assaulted my car with a plastic shampoo bottle and yelled at me. God, it was terrifying! Can you, like, arrest him or something?"
In the car Sam lamented that he was not setting a very good example for Paolo lately: kicking a cat and screaming at a crazy driver. I assured him they both had it coming, and it's important for Paolo to know his dad's a total bad-ass.