There is a very very short list of people with whom I would not enjoy goofing around. That Russian guy with all the chins...Tom Brady...Martin Shkreli and Bill O'Reilly. That's about all of them.
And I tend to talk a lot, a habit which makes more sense if there are other people around to a) hear it and b) respond in kind.
Therefore, it was off-putting the last time I went. A young mom had left her son in the waiting area where I was waiting my turn. She made sure he had his iPad, and he was enjoying looking at Weird Al videos and playing games on it. I thought he was about 7, which is the perfect age for me to talk to, as people of that age might not have heard all the jokes I have been forcing people to hear since Eisenhower was in the White House, many of which have to do with Eisenhower in the White House.
And as his mother left to donate, she turned to him and said, "Remember! Don't talk to strangers!"
Being the only stranger within 100 yards, I felt singled out. And he played with his electronic device and I amused myself with Instagram photos of friends in pools, friends on vacation, friends drinking coffee. If there were no pictures of mugs of coffee, there would be no Instagram.
By and by, it came my turn to get hooked up to the Dracula5000 blood removal device, and it happened that the kid's mom was on the next cot, and we chatted as we watched him play happily. She said he has social anxiety, which is another sad byproduct of the way we all live.
She also said, and this makes sense, that she has to remind him every day of "stranger danger," which is one of the worst shames of our modern time.
You just don't know what people are up to, and it doesn't help that people who should be housed firmly away from the rest of us often are not.
And it's not just evil people that she needs to worry about; she told me her son is allergic to peanuts and milk and several other things as well. So she has to fret about what food he comes in contact with, and this has resulted in him being a picky eater.
He wants to be a drummer, and loves to go to Chinese restaurants so he can make drumsticks out of chopsticks.
I want to tip my cap to all the mothers and fathers out there who give an effort into raising their kids. It's clear this young man will have hurdles to jump, with his allergies and anxieties, but with care and love, I think he will be all right.