Wednesday, July 27, 2011
After a 90-minute afternoon nap and a meal of peas and applesauce and Puffs, Mabel Watson Payne felt energetic enough to induce me to climb up Nob Hill and take her to Huntington Park. We carried along sand toys. A little girl came up to play with us. She was probably about four. I got the impression that she spoke no English at all. She spoke to us in Chinese. Her grandfather sat far away on a bench and occasionally shouted instructions or warnings in Chinese. Mabel Watson Payne likes company. She did not notice when her plastic teacup (white inside, green outside) got slipped inside the little girl's sweatshirt and never came out again. I could not bring myself to intervene. I just wasn't sure how to do it, and didn't care at all about the teacup itself. Probably my daughter and son-in-law will now issue me with more elaborate protocols about playground etiquette and theft prevention. But I cannot promise that in future I will pursue Mabel Watson Payne's property with any more zeal. I would prefer to buy her a new set of plastic teacups.