We went out to dinner tonight at this fabulous little burger joint in OB called Hodads. The best freaking French fries on the PLANET, I kid you not. There are booths around the edge, a window bar from which my friend Kiki once saw a bum put on one hell of a show with his blow up doll girlfriend, a front end of a VW bus you can eat in, and down the center is a surfboard that seats about twenty. We usually sit at the nose of the surfboard as there is enough space for all four of us and Kiki, who is often our Hodad buddy. Tonight a couple and their eight(ish)-year-old son sat down next to us and I overheard this conversation:
Dad: Yeah, I used to smoke, but I quit.
Kid: Why’d you quit?
Dad: Because I love you.
Dad: Smoking makes you sick and you’ll likely die earlier than if you don’t smoke. It can also hurt those you love. The first time I looked at your face I knew that I loved you so much that I didn’t want to hurt you and I wanted to be able to look at your face as long as I could. I didn’t want to die early.
Kid: But wasn’t it hard to quit?
Kid: Then how’d you do it?
Dad: I just looked at your face.
Kid: That’s it?
Dad: That’s all it took. One look at your face and nothing else mattered.
Kid: ‘Cause you love me that much.
Dad: That’s right.
I did manage to refrain from kissing the man, but it was really hard.