“Do you have a credit card minimum?” I asked the young gentleman behind the counter of Wetzel’s Pretzels.

“Nope.”

“Oh good.  Because I have no cash.”

This morning I ordered a plain buttery pretzel and a pink lemonade to share with Little J.  It was, oh, about 10:30am.  Unhealthy?  Yes.  Tasty?  Absolutely.  No sooner did I hand over my payment, three other mothers strolled up with their brood.  A few of these women carted two children each.  We were all pretzel bound.

“It’s a shame they closed the mall playground today,” I said to one mother standing a few feet behind me.

“What??”

“Oh yeah.  Closed all day.  For maintenance, it says.”

She looked back at me with mild panic.  Her friend (also in line) suggested that they run across the street to the playground outside Barnes and Noble.  That one is outdoor/sandbox/jungle gym and geared towards the “over 5” crowd.  Good deal for her.  Her kids looked older.  Downside was it had rained tigers and bulldogs the night before in LA.  Nasty rain that bent one of my trees over.

“That’s awful.  I mean, it’s the reason we’re here,” she said.  (The playground, not my tree.)  I agreed with her.  Indoor playgrounds are so nice.  “Maybe they’re cleaning it.”

“Maybe,” I said.

Doubtful.

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