Back in 1996, I was forced to go to a weeklong class that was five hours from where I lived. I would have rather chewed glass and then gargled with rubbing alcohol afterward, but as it was part of my employment there was no getting out of it at all. At that point in my life, I owned one cat and no dogs so getting a pet sitter wasn’t a real issue. But the cat, sensing that I was about to escape for a week, chewed a hole in my best belt. I had to get a new one so I stopped in Albany Georgia, on my way out.
I can’t remember where I stopped but it was likely a K Mart or something like that and I had no idea the store would be crowded in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, but it was. I had snagged a new belt, some water, and some snacks, but the line was killing me. Whatever was going on in Albany that day required many people to buy a lot of things, and the waiting in line thing was never something I was good at doing, even on my best days.
The reason I rail against children being allowed in stores, generally speaking, is they have no idea at all what it takes to make money, yet they have a very good idea about how to spend it. Actually, children have no concept of money they only have a concept of desire. They’ve been raised by televisions whose sole purpose is to create desire, and parents who have sold their souls to this device in the name of temporary peace which always has a price to be paid in the end.
In this case, the kid wanted a toy truck, one of those Matchbox toys and he was making his case louder and louder to his mom, who kept taking the toy out of the shopping cart and putting it back on the shelf. Decibel by decibel, the kid edged up his campaign and his voice became more demanding and shriller as the line got shorter and shorter and the time became smaller and smaller for him to get his way.
When it became clear to him that he wasn’t getting the truck he took a few steps away from his mom and the cart, screamed, threw the toy on the floor and then stomped on it and kicked it away from them both, as his mother simply ignored him.
I very nearly walked over to her and handed her the belt I was buying.
What’s scary is that if the kid was six years old at the time, and he may have been ten, then that means at this very moment he’s old enough to have had kids of his own, and possibly even more than one. Somewhere out there, the Truck Stomping Brat might be raising a family, breeding indiscriminately, and teaching his kids that volume and fit throwing and destruction are all part of negotiating for what you want in life.
What’s the worst fit you’ve ever seen a child throw in public?