Pancakes and Telescopes

On Sunday I was part of the “Breakfast with the Pirates” event. This is basically a pancake breakfast, with pirates wandering around talking to people having breakfast, or sitting with them while eating. This event started off on a sour note for me personally, as the first kid I interacted with ended up scared and crying, fortunately he was 1 of 2 for the entire morning out of probably 50 + interactions. You can’t win them all I suppose… Anyway, after getting to close and frightening the kid I decided I needed something that would work from a distance. I then hit upon the idea of using my telescope. I’ve never actually had an occasion to use it, despite bringing it with me to just about every event. It turned out to be a big hit. I would stand a safe distance away from the table, extend the telescope and aim it at a plate of pancakes… then I would announce “I spy with me little eye… sometin’ pancakey”. It usually got a bit of a giggle out of the kids. I would then move in a bit closer and “ahh yes, look et dat, there be pancakes dere, and over dere, and some dere too… oh wait, nope dat ones gone now…” This also seemed to get a giggle or a smile. Occasionally there was a kid that looked uncomfortable with me getting closer and in those cases I backed off again and moved on. Once I was able to get closer I would comment on how the pancakes were just the right size for the kids, and it didn’t look like there would be any left for me… “wait a minute I got’s me an idea…” I would then spin the telescope around and point it at the kid… “dere we go, no I made ’em all tinay like and the pancakes all big so now there’ll be plenty left fer me!” I then would raise up my fork and reach in to grab a piece of pancake, and in doing so let the telescope slip from my eye… “oh… rats… now he’s all big again… ” This almost always got a big laugh.
Other times while I was spying pancakey substances… ‘pirate number 4’ AKA Bilgemunky would wander over with his eye patch on… he would then question me as to what it was I was doing. I would explain that I was spying pancakes… “you don’t need a telescope for that, they are right there!” I would respond with “well of course they are, but this makes em bigger!” or some other remark designed to get him to take the telescope. He would then place the telescope up to his eye patch covered eye and state “I don’t see nuttin… all i see is black” “black, are ya sure… i see pancakes…” “not nutting but black…” if the kids didn’t catch on I’d try to prompt them to notice his eye patch… once they did they would inevitably try to explain that he had the telescope on the wrong eye. “Ohhhh the wrong eye ya say… ok hold on…” he would then hand me back the telescope, and take off his hat, and switch the eye patch to the other eye, I would once again had him back the telescope… “Nope, still nuttin but black…” “what are ya kids playing at, he tried the other eye and it still don’t work…” this usually got a at least one kid to to point out the eye patch specifically with, “nooo the eye patch!!!!” “what, oh his eye patch?” oh ya got your eye patch on wrong… of course!!!! try putting it on the end of the telescope then… thats got to work…” the kids would yell “NOOOO!!!” to which Bilgemunky would then either insist I was trying to sell him yet another defective telescope, just like the last 3… or ask if I had recently changed the batteries. We would then walk away arguing over the defective telescope. We repeated this with some variation to just about every table in the place with mostly favorable results. One variation had me spying pancakes while Bilgemunky would sneak up and wiggle his fingers in front of the telescope. When he did that I would immediately leap backwards with a “GAhh!!! Theres some sort of an octopus or giant squid in there.” I would then let a kid look and see if he could see it, they always said no… So then I would take it back and try again, Bilgemunky would again do the finger thing, I would again get startled.. and hand it to him to have him look.. we would then go into the whole eye patch bit. The kids always seems to think it was funny. Sadly, about 1/2 the kids never noticed the eye patch themselves thus requiring some minor adjustments to move along, but it always worked in the end. Over allit was a hit, and my telescope got quite a workout.