As Fleegle and I walk through the park, a young woman is pushing her baby in a stroller ahead of us a few yards when her baby drops his sippy cup over the side without the mom noticing. Fleegle spots the cup first and retrieves it.
“Yuck, it’s filled with some sort of citric juice,” he says as he spits the cup out into my hand and scrapes his tongue repeatedly against the back of his front teeth.
We catch up to the mom and return her baby’s cup.
Later we pass three people carrying Starbucks cups topped with whipped cream and big green straws, leading Fleegle to observe, “Look, they have sippy cups too. Did they forget their babies, or are they the babies? They sure are big babies.”
“These days almost everyone has a sippy cup in one form or another.”
Fleegle snorts. “And a pacifier.”
“You mean their cell phone?”
“Well, you have your tennis ball. You carry it everywhere you go just like they do their phones.”
“Not always. I leave it at home sometimes.”
“Only because I ask you to so you won’t drop it and forget it somewhere when you stop to sniff and pee on things, then insist we go back and find it. Remember that time you set it down to sniff, forgot it, then we had to backtrack at least a mile before we found it?”
“That was a good tennis ball. I’d just popped it and it was almost at mushy perfection. But I chew on them, I don’t consult them for advice on the weather when I can simply look up at the horizon.”
“But you chew on them like a pacifier.”
“And people would be better off chewing on their phones instead of looking at them every time they experience a gap in their attention being occupied.”
“I can’t imagine what you’d say if you ever went to Starbucks with all the people there glued to their laptops.”
“What’s a laptop?”
“It’s a tabloid size computer people take everywhere.”
“Like a portable television? They’re never without their entertainment. And the phone is electronic gravy for their laptop. If electronics were food, people would be bedridden with obesity. Never a gap in their minds being occupied, and never a chance of having a thought of their own. I may chew on my tennis ball like it’s a baby’s pacifier, but your electronic devices do a much better job of pacification.”