Yeah, Brandy Meghan used to watch his eyes
When he told his sailor stories

It’s not easy living up to a name, but America’s Worst Mother&#153 gives it her all and chronicles it weekly for us. This week she takes her kids (Republicus, She-Ra, Praetoria, and Kubrick) down to the shore where she proceeds to lose one of them but not in the same way that her husband once lost someone else’s yacht. You’ll see…

Before we set the scene, we must first fix in our minds the concept of Meghan…at the beach…in a bathing suit.

Okay. Now we have to try and get that image out of our minds so that we can function as contributing members of society. Ready? I’ll wait……Okay. Good.

Back to Meghan:

Amidst the beach chairs there is a companionable silence. After a moment, Blythe and Will’s father speaks.

“Your daughter,” he remarks, nodding towards Molly, “has such beautiful manners.”

“Why,” I say, some time later, “thank you.”

We watch the happy beach scene a little while, tranquilized. He says, “Today when we were figuring out where everyone ought to sleep, she threw up her hands in a charming way and said, “Wherever you would like to put me, that’s where I’ll sleep.” He smiles approvingly. I smile too, and squint at the ocean.

As we can see here, Meghan and Mr. Meghan do have friends including men who use the phrase, “…she threw up her hands in a charming way” which is, you now, how guys talk in real life when they’re not throwing back their heads and chortling in merry delight.

Back to the ocean:

Then we are all diverted by activity far off shore.

“Dolphins!” goes up a cry along the beach, and Paris and Will and Molly stand in the water, transfixed.

My husband comes up the sand, his face alight. “Do you see them?” I peer out over the waves. Our host stands up, and the two men scan the seas like seasoned salts, which, as it happens, they are. My husband once he sank a yacht in the Mediterranean. Alas, it was not his yacht. That is, phew, it was not his yacht. Alas, for he did not have, and doesn’t have, and has no prospect of having, a yacht of his own to sink. Of course, as his wife, if he had one, and sank it, I would be cross and recriminatory, so it is probably just as well.

Well, yes. I mean why should we buy Mr. Meghan nice things when he just going to lose them?

Back to the dolphins (who have mistakenly shown up at this particular beach looking for Peggy Noonan):

“Um,” I venture, knowing how foolish it sounds, “Are you sure? What if they’re — ”

My husband turns to his companion and says affably, “Meg saw Jaws in 1975 and ever since then she sees sharks in swimming pools.”

“Barracudas,” I correct, “I see sharks in salt water, and I always think there are barracudas in swimming pools.” But I ask you, is that so bizarre? All Egypt thinks Jews were warned not to go to the World Trade Center on September 11th. All France thinks Michael Moore is a sparkling raconteur. Surely a barracuda in chlorine is much less of a reach.

That would be the obligatory political reference that keeps NRO sending her a weekly check or ‘modest stipend’ as I’m sure she refers to it.

Next comes our weekly AWM&#153 moment which occurs right after Mr. Meghan heads back to town to be with his mistress:

“Wait,” I say, “Let me get this. Just have to dash back to the ATM,” which, with a quick encompassing gesture towards the children, I do. Jog through the throng, nip inside an arcade, punch the ATM buttons, slip the cash into my wallet, and sprint back. I am just opening the wallet again when my host asks worriedly, “Do you have Phoebe?”

What do you mean do I have Phoebe? Why, she was here a minute ago. I thought you had Phoebe — runs through my mind like one of those scrolls on CNN but all I can say is, “No.” Immediately he dashes back along the boardwalk. I go in the other direction, turning this way and that, exuding calm.

“The police are on their way,” our hostess says, circling the other children. “Funland is on alert,” her husband calls back. Molly’s face is red and streaked with tears and it dawns on me that Phoebe has been missing for several minutes already.

No problem, I’m sure she just wandered off to see the ride-em ponies. Hmm…no sign of her there, what about over here? Phoebe, Phoebe, Phoebe, oh God, Phoebe — Don’t be silly, everything is going to be fine. But what if it isn’t? Dear God, I will never be irritated with her ever again if only she — “Phoebe!” I call in a strangled voice.

An anxious woman emerges from the crowd, “What are you looking for?”

“Two year old, bright blonde hair, about this tall — ” I gabble, looking past her.

Yes. Meghan has finally managed to lose one of the kids, Praetoria or She-Ra, it’s hard to tell.

A car door slams and someone guns an engine, close by. My heart contracts with a sharp pain. What if — I find myself running into a nearby parking lot, my hair in my face, hunting frantically. Dear heaven, she could be anywhere, and as I sprint back into the crowd, dimly aware of two policemen talking to a curly-haired man and taking notes, the anxious woman emerges again and grabs my arm, “I think they have her.”

“Oh, darling — ” is all I can manage.

“I want a gumball!” demands the prodigal toddler.

“Why are you crying, Mummy?” Violet asks.

“A pink one!” Phoebe insists.

“Everyone can have gumballs,” I weep happily, handing Molly a ten-dollar bill and crushing Phoebe to me again.

Thankfully (or ‘blessedly’ if you’re one of those religious kooks) the child is reacquired, ten-dollar gumballs are passed around, and everyone has a jolly laugh. But just off the shore (cue ominous music):

The next morning, there’s a small false-alarm item in the Washington Post. “Swimmers at Rehoboth Beach were evacuated from the water briefly yesterday morning while officials investigated a possible shark sighting,” I read aloud, triumphantly. “See?”

“In the end,” I continue, after a sip of coffee, “Authorities believed the animal was a ray that was possibly sick or wounded.” Just as the old salts had said.

At night when the bars close down
Brandy Meghan walks through a silent town
And loves a man who’s not around
She still can hear him say…

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