Scene #1, Joshua Tree National Park. I am juggling. A little girl walks over and speaks in the kid-version of English that only their parents can understand:
Girl: [Unintelligible jibberish, clearly happy and excited.]
Me: “I didn’t understand some of what you said. Can you say it again?”
This exchange repeats a couple of times, then her mother walks over.
Mother: “Oh gosh, she is speaking in Polish! She really likes your juggling though!”
Scene #2, Albuquerque BioPark. I hear a woman excitedly say to the child in her stroller “Whatcha doin, monkey?!” I then walk by the front of the stroller and the kid smiles at me.
Me: “Hey, Monkey!”
Kid (looking AMAZED): “How do you know my name?!”
Me: “We are at a zoo… and I just guessed.” (Woman bursts out laughing, kid is unexpectedly satisfied by my answer.)
Scene #3, Capitol Reef National Park. Kid rushes over and tells me that his dad is “38 plus 2 years old” and tells me the name of the street in Wyoming where he lives. He immediately gets distracted but comes over again later and introduces himself as Uinta, clearly having forgotten that we had already met.
Me: “Hey, Uinta, I bet I can read your mind.”
Kid: “No way!”
Me: “I bet I know how old your dad is.”
Kid: “No way!”
Me (a bit surprised): “Hmm… how about… thirty-eight-plus-two years old!”
Kid: [Eyes widen, jaw drops almost to the floor. From the look on his face I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had peed his pants.]
His family saw the whole thing. After struggling to contain their laughter, they invite me over for dinner. They were cool people and had pretty good food.