Feliz Baba went missing late last week, causing quite a stir in my environs.
The news came out, quite by accident, one recent late afternoon right after my kids were admiring a crumpled wanted poster they had salvaged from a shipment of Florida oranges and displayed over the country map in the kitchen, because, as I was told,
“These guys could be anywhere, Mom.”
I’m going to pause here, just to say that although many of you may know my kids’ ages from other posts, or Real Life, I’m not going to highlight that information in this particular post, because, frankly, it would be a little embarrassing.
A phone call soon interrupted the conversation and my son darted phoneward, an event that invariably induces cringing from any family members who happen to be home.
This is a kid who thrives on chatting up anyone who happens to be on the other end of the line. We’ve overhead him saying things like, “Well, all I really know about health care is that I go see my doctor every year;” or “I’d love to help you, but we’re getting ready for a Christmas party right now. Could you call back later?” Recently, a researcher phoned the home actually looking for kids his age (which, you may recall, I am not revealing at this time) to question about various issues. We heard him explaining that he loved church and school and is generally in bed by 9 PM, but when asked to choose between the two, he said that he considers himself more street smart than book smart. He quite possibly used words like “ergo” and “syllogism” during the discussion.
On this particular day, we heard him engage in a lengthy discourse wherein he expressed deep regret about his inability to offer assistance. He finally hung up the phone and reentered the kitchen. “I really feel bad for that lady, Mom,” he said. “Her English wasn’t very good, and she seems really sad that she can’t find her friend. “
“Who is she looking for, Buddy?”
“Feliz Baba,” he said.
“Feliz Baba?” his sister scoffed.
“Yeah. It’s like she really expected he would be here, and I had to tell her she had the wrong number.”
His sister whipped out a sheet of notebook paper and began to assemble an ad hoc addendum to the roster of wanted folks. “Who knows? We may see him around,” she said, retrieving the caller’s phone number and city of origin from the caller ID and adding it to the poster.
Over the next hour, much talk ensued over the possible identity of Feliz Baba, what his connection might be to the foreign woman, and, most importantly, why was he was thought to be here, in our home? It wasn’t long before the phone rang again, amid general excitement which reached a boiling point when the number on the caller ID was crosschecked with the poster, and it was determined that the foreign woman was calling back.
I grabbed the receiver, deciding it was time to get to the bottom of the whole affair.
“Mees-sees Da-bis? “
Ah-ha. Mrs. Davis….the puzzle went together in my mind, even as the woman prattled on about the Time Share Special she was hocking. Mrs. Davis sounds exactly like Feliz Baba, at least to my son. Not a great listener even in the best of conditions, the boy heard his own personal interpretation in the routine sales pitch. Mystery solved.
As my daughter--who I will identify as the older of the siblings--and I shared a hearty laugh, my son (who had wandered off during the proceedings) came running down the stairs.
"Feliz Baba has been found!" his sister announced, "and is in this very house."
A look of shock washed over the boy. "Is it me?" he asked, in amazement.
No such luck, kid. I’m Feliz Baba. Feliz Baba! Such an urbane, cultured ring to my new moniker, yes?