Sunday, I went to the grocery store. I go in the middle of the afternoon, and it’s literally triple-digit heat out there. This is a good thing; most people will not brave that sort of heat for food. I park well away from the front door, near the cart corral, and in I go. The place is deserted. Almost.
The store recently became possessed entirely of the Satan so they moved everything around. Aisle shuffling, I’m told, increases sales, but it also increases the likelihood of someone pouring olive oil on themselves and setting themselves ablaze. Clean up on aisle four, I mean five, damn, where is the guy on fire?
So I’m staring at the shelves, trying to find olives stuffed with garlic, because it is of the Gods, and there’s a woman pushing a cart. She has two kids in tow, and a Crotch Goblin in front of the cart, pushing back against her. This is the most apt description of children I could possibly imagine. There that woman is, doing her best to buy food for this kid, and there he is, working against her as hard as he can, for no good reason at all. Back in the day, Mom would have beaten me bloody for such behavior, and the people in the store would have had no problems finding what aisle to clean up.
And it would be Summer. I’m just passing through the junk food aisle, because potato chips and I broke up recently, and I don’t want to be on friendly terms with them anymore. Potato chips are proof no matter how much you love someone, they can be really bad for you. But there, ahead, is an entire pack of Crotch Goblins. There’s five, no, six of them, and they’ve fashioned the Goblin Gang, that formation of children that renders any aisle of any store impassible. Yet they are there with two adults. Why didn’t one of the adults keep the Goblins outside, in a car with the windows rolled up, and the AC off, and not create this mess?And it would be Summer. One of the female Goblins, clearly pre-teen, is wearing a thong bathing suit bottom. Her butt cheeks are clearly showing. This is a child, in every sense of the word, and you took her out in public like this?
I don’t bother. I just back up and go around the whole hot mess, wondering if I’m going to run into that kid with a kid in a couple of years. If the Prosti-tot was raised to be a Crotch Goblin, what on earth will her daughter become?
Back into the heat, and into the parking lot, I feel the oven-like intensity of the asphalt. I’ve been working outside in the Summer heat for twenty-six years, and this year is the first time I haven’t had to get out into the open often or for long. I retire this year. I wonder if being inside more has made me more aware of how kids act, or if it’s just part of getting older and have less patience with younger people?