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24 October 2012

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Jenny

Fathers get the babysitting question. Ask how many times he has been asked, "Are you babysitting today?" As if he weren't the father every day.

Bearing

Wow, how disrespectful! I don't think he has...

Jenny

My husband takes the children grocery shopping all the time and he got that question on almost every trip until the grocery clerks got used to seeing him. I'll bet your husband has been asked too...usually by an older woman.

Tabitha

My husband's response to that is "it's actually parenting if they're your kids!"

Christy P.

The only thing surprising to me about the fact that you are asked if your kids are all yours is that they clearly look related and look like you. Take it kindly and assume positive intent i.e. "You look way too young and awesome to be the mother of both so many children and children who are so old" :-)

bearing

ChristyP, the *best* version I ever got of that was on my way down the stairs in the Y, headed for the childcare with my four in tow. I passed a cluster of women going up with yoga mats. I overheard one of them say to another, "Can you believe she has FOUR KIDS?!?" in a tone that definitely meant "Wow, she's amazing!" I lived on that for weeks :-)

But most of the time, it's just a sort of... attempt at a joke, maybe? Small talk? Like Douglas Adams (I think) writes about a character (can't remember who) who plays the cello or bass fiddle, constantly hearing "I bet you wished you played the piccolo!" it gets less-clever-sounding every time you hear it.

Christy P.

Ford Prefect wonders if humans must continually engage their mouths to prevent their brains from beginning to work. This would help explain such common statements as "Gee, you're very tall" (paraphrase)

Bearing

Yes, that is quite close to the concept. In my case it is "gee, you have more than the average number of children." indeed.

Bearing

Found it - from The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul -


"I'm a private detective."
"Oh?" said Kate in surprise, and then looked puzzled.
"Does that bother you?"
"It's just that I have a friend who plays the double bass."
"I see," said Dirk.
"Whenever people meet him and he's struggling around with it, they all say the same thing, and it drives him crazy. They all say, 'I bet you wished you played the piccolo.' Nobody ever works out that that's what everybody else says. I was just trying to work out if there was something that everybody would always say to a private detective so that I could avoid saying it."
"No. What happens is that everybody looks very shifty for a moment, and you got that very well."

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I think I read something somewhere about this

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