My friend Bethany tells really great stories. So great, in fact, that sometimes they end with “And that’s how I accidentally dated a Venezuelan exchange student.” She always introduces each story by saying “Here’s a funny story!” or “This is a sad story!” which is very helpful so you’re prepared to brace for hilarity or gird your loins in the face of looming tragedy. Anyway, in Bethany’s honour, here is a funny story.

We are now members of the big new YMCA in Waterloo. Last week, I took Ellie for the first time to a drop-in program they have called “Playnasium” wherein they fill up one of the gyms with gymnastics mats and tunnels and scooters and climbing wedges and you can let your kid burn off some energy. I THOUGHT it was an innocent gathering of like-minded preschoolers who enjoyed jumping and climbing and scooting around a gymnasium but I think I accidentally stumbled across the seedy underbelly of the YMCA. At very least it seems to be the hot new pickup joint for the under-4 set.

Ellie was minding her own business, bopping on her knees on one of the mini trampolines, when a 3-year-old lothario in an orange t-shirt and cargo shorts pulled up alongside us in one of those plastic cars you power Fred-Flintstone-style with your feet and asked me, “Would your baby like to go for a ride in the back of my truck?” I politely declined and thanked him for the offer, and am now writing this from beyond grave because once he drove off I laughed so hard I died. I figured I’d have at least a dozen years (hopefully many, many, MANY more) before I had to worry about Ellie getting in the back of some boy’s truck, but here we are.