The region has been working on putting new sewer lines and water hookup to a part of town for what seems like forever (and is actually a matter of months now) and my kids love the flagmen. Love to wave, love to have them wave back. I hate the waiting. The site is dusty, dirty, and too long.
Today when we pulled up I was distracted (concentrating on my day ahead) and didn't notice there was a new flagmen. Cass noticed, though. From his seat behind me came 'Rosey, look! That's not the guy from last week!'
Rosey pressed her nose up against the window and agreed.
They were both waving as we got to the head of the line (stopped again, damnit) when C faltered.
'Mom....' (a pause, then a steathly whisper)
Rosey! Look at his pants.
Rosey considered, nodding. Poiple, Tass. Poiple. See, Mama?
'Oh! I guess they are!' They were actually kind of mauve-ish....
We all studied the flagman in the poiple pants. He was sort of squat and square, barking into his transmitter, turned toward the other flagman, who was busily waving at the kids. Cass said, flatly, 'Those aren't purple, Rosey. They're pink. Mom, why does he have pink pants on?'
'Maybe he likes pink.'
Then the worker turned around and waved us forward - and suddenly the pink pants made sense. Because the flagmen was a squat, square, hard-hatted, steel-toed wearing woman.
Rosey rolled down her window. 'You're a girl!' she told the surprised woman as we thundered by.
(I'm pretty sure at that point I was the same color as her pants.)
And I'm very sure that on the way home, we'll be taking the other road.