Adventures in Autistic Parenthood

Friday, August 10, 2012

Strange Attractants:

I don't think I've delved deeply enough into the fascination that women, including quite a few members of the banking community, have with Dude. Wherever we go, if there's a counter with a woman behind it, Dude is the man. Some attitude, facial expression, or possibly even some strange pheromone he gives off insidiously winds its way into the female brain, around the annoyance cluster, past the common sense center and worms its way directly into the mothering instinct lobe and kicks all the caring hormones into turbo boost. It's uncanny. I've seen it happen time and time again. No matter how world-weary or jaded the women behind the counter/desk are, three minutes and David has them firmly in his back pocket. If I could bottle this stuff (whatever it is) I'd have that dude out of business in a heartbeat. Antonio Banderas and Hugh Hefner could learn a thing or two about picking up women from Dude.
   A typical outing is something like this: Dave and I walk into the grocery store/bank/something with a counter, and he walks right up to the counter, (regardless of the presence of a line, or our place in it) leans one or both elbows on the counter and says something like, 'Hey babes! How's it going?' And then he just starts talking. Doesn't seem to matter what he's talking about. (Which is a good thing since sometimes I'm not sure he even knows what he's talking about. It could be movie quotes: 'Hmm I bet she gives great helmet!', (Spaceballs) or something from the thousands of movies and games that are stuck in his head and come pouring out of his mouth. The woman/women (numbers are no defense, apparently) stares at him a moment in confused admiration, glance at me for some sort of confirmation/reassurance, at which time I make my only contribution to... whatever Evil Scheme this is. I raise one eyebrow, and smile. That's it. After that he's on his own. I'm pretty sure he doesn't need even that, because within about 2 minutes he's done it again. Made them into Dude's Robot Slaves (pat. pend).
Would you buy a used car from this guy?
  Nearly every Friday Dave goes with me to the bank to deposit my check (such as it is). My particular bank has a partnership with my favorite local grocery chain and has branches in each one, with extended hours and they are open 7 days a week (not a commercial, just a set-up), so we can wander in there just about any time we want without rushing around. There is a teller there that's a special favorite of Dude's (or the other way around) named Leah. Leah is the epitome of the young, professional bank teller. Mid-twenties, bright, cheery, friendly, but professional. The first time they met, David saunters up to the counter, puts both hands on it and declares in a firm, loud voice, 'I'd like ten thousand dollars please!' For some reason this less than subtle extortion didn't mean a stern questioning from an overweight guard (there wasn't one anyway) or immediate expulsion from the premises. She laughed and smiled and said, 'I'm sure you would. And so would I!' She began her conversion to one of Dude's Robot Slaves at that moment and didn't even know it. Over the next few weeks the demand for 10 large was repeated every visit, with Leah becoming more besotted every time. My only comment? ' Dude, if this ever works, I'll buy you any game you want.' After a month, or so, the demand became 100K, which was somehow ten times as cute as the 10 grand had been. Then the very next week he strode up to the counter and said, ' I need the 20 million dollar Lotto Jackpot!' to which I immediately replied, 'Dude, if that works I'll buy you ALL the games you ever wanted.' Which was a bit hasty, come to think about it. I'm not sure 20 million would cover that.
   When we moved about 10 miles upriver I thought, sadly, that we'd seen the last of Leah. I know that for my Midwestern friends moving 10 miles does not always mean a change of branches, because that's still the closest bank. But here, moving 10 miles is like moving to another State. A far-away state, that still has strange-speaking Yinzers (Pittsburghers) in it.I've known people here that have retired less than a mile from the house they grew up in, and proud of it.  Everything changes, with a move of more than a couple miles, sometimes even blocks. You have to get new shops, restaurants, bars, mechanics, and banks. So I was almost certain we'd seen the last of Leah. Until we walked into our new branch the very next week and there she was! David didn't even blink. Silly Dad... Naturally she would be there. Wasn't that where he was going to be?  The power of the Dude-Call is not to be underestimated.
   In addition there are now two other women in that branch that are now Dude's Robot Slaves (pat.pend) and every time (infrequently) that I go in without David I'm grilled as to why I was allowed out without supervision. The interrogation continues until they are satisfied that I didn't A: Slip away without Dude-knowledge. B: Didn't somehow lose David in some sort of high-stakes poker game. Or, more importantly, C: Let some other Robot Slave care for him for any length of time.
  Every one of David's teachers has seemingly fallen under the same spell. (Hey, it could be magic, I don't know) When we first moved here Dude went to Raccoon Elementary School for a total of two months. After living with his mother for about a year and a half (flashback) he returned to the Dad-den and then went to a different school. Not that year, but at the third year's Special Olympics we were stopped by a cry of  'David! How are you doing?' This strange (to us) woman walked briskly up to us and started babbling like a fan to a Rockstar. It took several moments for me to ascertain that she had been David's teacher's aide at Raccoon and that she had just come over to tell us how much everyone loved him there and still talked about him, and just to check on him to see how he was doing. Dave, of course, ignored everything after acknowledging his Just Due as Robot Slave Overlord, leaving me to converse with this politely concerned woman whom I'd met maybe twice, three and a half years before. I managed not to sound too much like a moron, I thought, but she was giving me concerned looks as she walked away.
Let's go check on the Robot Slaves, Dad
   Now I've talked about the Pittsburgh medical community's fascination with Dude and the several dozen new Dude's Robot Slaves (pat.pend) left in his wake in the last few months. Well we finally made it to the Geneticist this month and not only did he charm the Genetic Councilor, but 2 interns, three desk nurses, the Intake woman (and those women are no-nonsense) and the wonderful geneticist, who has a heavy India accent and could barely understand what he was saying. (That's ok, I have problems with that sometimes and I taught him how to talk) He even charmed the phlebotomist, the vampires of the medical community! She actually cut in line ahead of her partner to take care of Dude. And all he was doing was talking about the stuffed frog display beside the nurses section. I think that's what he was doing anyway. We went back into the abattoir (just kidding) and Dave (who was being very good... with my help) started babbling away about going to GameStop, and being a good boy and an involved story about how we had to go to the Mall to ride the elevators to get to the store so we could make copies... of the elevators. (Yeah, that one's still keeping me up nights trying to figure out) He never answered any of her questions, except to say 'Yeah' twice when she asked about games and GameStop, respectively, and the only time he was ever quiet was the minute it took her to take his blood pressure... And she Loved It! by the end of the 1/2 hour bloodletting she was thanking David for coming in, and being a good boy and by the time we walked down the hall back to the waiting room I had to mentally add her to the (long) list of people I have to pay attention to so they don't snatch Dude while I'm not looking. The only problem with that list is I completely suck at remembering people's names the first (fifth) time I meet them. So the list is just basically a mental snapshot album with no captions... probably not very effective.
   I remember hearing a story about William 'Bud' Abbott and his partnership with Lou Costello. From 1935-1957, Bud was Lou's straight man, and he got a lot of flack for being the 'mean guy' to the child-like Costello for all of those 2+ decades. And even though he loved Lou like a brother, he hated being the 'straight' for every one of those 22 years. But when given the opportunity to start later with a new partner and very good reviews, Bud declined, saying, 'No one could ever live up to Lou.'
   And that's pretty much the way I think about our little comedy team. I may hate being the bad guy. I may be jealous for being the 'straight man' and wish I could get all the laughs.... but No one could ever live up to Dude. He's my partner.


  1. I can see why. Very handsome dude, there.

  2. Yeah, good thing he's cute, or he wouldn't have survived this long... lol