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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Monday, May 22, 2006

Raised by Wolves

So I was moving through Target with the hoards yesterday, snatching up "hurricane" items.

I admit I was much calmer about it than when I first moved down here, last October, two days before Hurricane Wilma arrived. Then I was grabbing stuff off store shelves like it was going out of style. This time around I wandered more slowly, scratching my head and asking myself what makes a particular item a hurricane supply? I didn't come up with anything deep and scientific - just that if I would be using it during and after a hurricane, it must qualify as a supply. Of course, the sales clerk who was calculating what would be taxed and what wouldn't didn't agree that my beef jerky, magazines, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs were hurricane supplies.

Anywho, we heard a commotion in the store and thought a shelf had fallen over. When it moved closer, my wife saw first that the noise was coming from a crowd of teenagers having "light saber" fights with those long foam floaty things. Aside from beating the crap out of each other, they were knocking over everything in sight and leaving the stuff where it fell.

It wasn't my stuff, but it ticked me off so badly when my wife pointed it out that I teased with her that I was gonna say something to them.

For the record, I say teased, because I ain't stupid. It's a shame. Back in the day you probably could say something to a group of kids like that and they'd get bashful, pick up their mess, and pipe down. These days say something to someone else's kid - even if that kid is wrecking something - and you're likely to get smacked, cut, or worse.

So I had no intention of actually saying anything to these kids, 'cause Mama Wolf could've been lurking nearby waiting to feed on someone. But out of curiosity I stuck my head around the corner just to see where Mama and Papa Wolf were located, and what did I see? Mom and Pop with a smaller kid kicking a beach ball back and forth in the middle of the store and knocking stuff over in their own right and laughing their heads off.

No wonder the older kids were tearing stuff up. They had a great example of triflin' in action.


  • AH HA, so there are civilized people who understand. Once again I must tell you that this is part of a retail workers average day. We have one family with 3 small boys and the adults just laugh and tell us how bad thay are and they will make sure that the store is still standing when they leave. Merchandise thrown on the floor, and won't get off the cell phone in order for us to give them the assistance they have requested. Children playing chase, throwing fits because they are tired. I have thought recently about starting my own blog - Life in Retail. The stories I could tell would curl your hair. Keep up the good work James. I hope people pay attention.

    By Anonymous llh, at 9:22 AM  

  • Oh,I totally say something if I'm really, really pushed to it. Some things are beyond unacceptable, and I have no problem speaking up about it! (to the parents)

    Otherwise, a dirty look suffices. Just because we live in a world where you can't scold other children doesn't mean that the parents should be able to get away with allowing their monsters to misbehave.

    By Blogger Tere, at 9:31 AM  

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