The Polar Express

A parent with a baby walks into a restaurant. What is your immediate reaction?

A: “Awesome, now I have something to look at all night.”


B: “That’s it, we’re leaving.”


And there you have it: a world divided. Forget Republican v. Democrat, cake v. pie, or cat v. dog… baby v. no baby is the new polarity.

Don’t believe me? I invite you to come with us on an airplane, or even a mere 45-second elevator ride. Even when Little Bug is being sweet, like she is 87.5% of the time, we can almost see the thought bubbles of strangers formulating in a tight, confined space.

Pole Baby: “Omigosh, I want to poke it so badly. That’s probably weird, so I’m just going to make dumb faces off to the side of the parent and try to get the baby to smile at me. She’s smiling! I’m going to wave as though I’m air-drying my nails. Now she’s crying! Look away! Pretend like I wasn’t doing anything. Doo doo doo doo doo.

Pole No Baby: “Omigosh. #@*!. Yuck. Its face is leaking. Get that thing away from me. Gross. I’m going to sigh really loudly to express my disapproval and cross my arms just in case it tries to grab me. This ruins my entire day. Blah. Oh, now it is smiling at me. The worst. I’m going to sneer at it off to the side of the parent and try to get it to cry. Now it’s crying! Look annoyed!

Chris Van Allsburg, where are you on this spectrum?


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