Wednesday, May 10, 2006


There are heroes whose jobs have them saving lives. There are those who mistakenly think their jobs involve writing. And then there are those whose jobs make others miserable. I met one of those guys today. I met someone whose job involved making kids cry. Maybe he didn't realize it. Maybe he was just seriously devoted to achieving the perfect camera shots. Maybe he really wanted to be a nightclub doorman. Maybe he just needed another smoke break. Or maybe he was the next Coppola and I'm too ignorant to realize it.

At the park today, we had the misfortune to run smack into a production crew filming footage for a show that airs on Nickelodeon. I had no idea who these people were, but a fellow mom informed me that one of the individuals on the "set" looked like the new guy on Blue's Clues. So, I'll go with that. Blue's Clues decided to film on a playground in New Jersey. And not just any playground - a park. A park that happens to have at least three other playgrounds designated for children above 2 years old. They chose not to film there. They chose to film in the section of the park situated directly next to the under-2 play area. For the uninitiated, many playgrounds have recommended age guidelines, which are useful. The older kids, whose play can get a little rough, have their space. The babies and toddlers have theirs. Everyone's happy.

Or so I thought.

Every time I turned around, a man from the crew ("Mr. Shoo!") came over to ask us to move, because we were in the shot, or asked us to make our children be quiet (right, let me yell at my monkey who has the audacity to giggle as he runs around), because they were recording. I swear, I cannot for the life of me ever recall a time when someone suggested that the playground was a place where kids should use their "indoor voices." We complied a few times. I actually took the monkey out of his baby swing and moved him to other equipment. This is a task easier said then done, btw. Monkey loves him some swing. Still, kicking and screaming, I took him away. I even at one point, early on, left that area of the park and brought him over to the train ride (choo-choo!). Which, happens to cost money, so I can't spend all day there. Then we tried sections of the park designed for older kids, but as expected, monkey is a little small to fend for himself among the bigger primates. So, back to the baby section for us.

Until, I just couldn't take it anymore. After being told, again, that we were in the shot, I just picked up the monkey and left the park. Mr. Shoo won this round, but I'll be damned before I ever watch Blue's Clues again.

ps - the production trailer parked across the entire width of handicapped parking spaces in the lot across from the playground. I just had to add that. And no, they did not have a parking pass for it. Good thing all the physically challenged people chose to stay home today. I hope they weren't watching Nickelodeon.

Despite being unceremoniously kicked off the playground, the monkey holds no grudge.
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