"What would Barney do?"
The trip back to Minnesota from California was less eventful than my trip out,
although we began to measure the distance in "Barneydo" miles after a
budding grade school comic cornered my acquaintance and I in the
"What did Barney do to the cow?" Answer: "He kissed it. Haw haw
haw." "What did Barney do with the barn?" Answer: "He
kissed it. Haw haw haw." Everything that caught his eye became a Barney target: "the barn", "the freight car", "the telephone pole". Barney as the osculatory bandit.
Henny Realyoungman had also been appointed to take care of a 2-year-old girl, and while he was going through his 14th "Barney do" repertoire she looked at me, teddy bear tucked under her arm. "Kill him", she recommended solemnly. I don't know whether she meant her babysitter or Barney, but it was...certainly advice.
The 7-year-old second-grader kept his routine up for about half-an-hour, but finally left to the applause of heartfelt sighs of relief. A nap and 100 miles later, the peanut comedy gallery showed up again.
I grabbed for my bottle of wine after Barney Leno started his second set, at which point my acquaintance observed "I imagine happy hour sales are going to skyrocket now." I finally told the boy that there was a hunting season for purple dinosaurs in season in Montana and North Dakota, and that we didn't want Barney to get shot, so would he please quit! Then his dad came and got him. At last.