Friday, June 18, 2010


The scream smashed through the air like some tornado ripping up an old oak tree and thrashing it about an otherwise peaceful garden.

“Can’t you tell I’m angry?” he screamed at her. “Now leave me alone!”

“I know honey,” she said in as soothing a voice as I’m sure she could muster. “But right now I need you not to be so angry because it’s upsetting other people.”

“Do I look like I care?” he screamed. “They’re stupid people anyway. Now leave me alone!”

“Honey, you know I love you, don’t you? And you don’t really want to upset people, do you?” she said, still sounding soothing.

“I don’t care! I don’t care!” he continued screaming. “Leave me alone!”

A gentleman in a blue shirt and tie walked up to the child’s mother. “Excuse me,” he said politely and gently, “but would it be okay if I spoke with your child?”

“He won’t listen,” she said with resignation. “But you can go ahead and try.”

“Thank you,” he told her. “And what’s his name?”


Then he turned and faced the young boy. Nick stared at him with an angry intensity I have seldom seen. “Leave me alone!” he screamed at the gentleman.

“Nick,” the gentleman said in a voice I can only describe as eerily commanding. He bent over, grabbed the shopping cart by the handle and looked straight into Nick’s eyes.

“You really don’t want to p!&s me off because if you do I’m going to tell my security guard to rip you out of that shopping cart and drag you into the back of the store where you will be beaten until you cry like a baby for mercy. Now shut the f#(k up and if you so much as make another sound before you get outside this store, you won’t be able to sit on your a%s for a month.”

He stood up and turned to face Nick’s mother. She looked at him in stunned silence.

“Spare the rod,” he said, “and spoil the child.”

The aisle remained dead quiet.

The gentleman turned back to face Nick, and gave him a look that said, “Never, ever doubt me.” He turned back to the mother, gave a slight nod, then walked out of the aisle.

Young Nick made not a sound. He looked genuinely scared, perhaps for the first time in his young life.

The mother said nothing. But the hint of a smile flickered in her eyes.

The rest of us simply continued our shopping.

I will leave it to you, my dear readers, to decide the wisdom of the gentleman’s action. Incidentally, he was not the store manager, but just another customer.

1 comment:

  1. Would that all such children could be silenced with but a firm word and the look of death.