It’s probably not the children’s fault, but it’s hard to feel that way in the moment. It’s how they were raised, it’s who raised them, it’s society. Yeah, that’s it. We’ll blame society, so I can kill everyone and not feel bad about it. Because someone NEEDS to be punished for this. Today I was visited by a pair of walking, talking, screaming advertisements for birth control.
So I was standing at a register when they came in. I was at the register because my young assistant wanted nothing more in the world than to not be at register today. And I’m a nice guy, and I was willing to help out and… I shouldn’t have done that. They came in screaming at their mother. Their mother was indulgent, shouting back at them and winding them up. This group of three only got more rambunctious as they careened through the store, grabbing whatever the children wanted and putting it in the shopping basket.
When they came to my register, I got a good look at the kids. One was six, one was seven. I know this, because of things she yelled at them as they were shouting their way through their shopping excursion. The elder was what I would call over weight. Not chubby, not a little big, but genuinely obese. I have a problem with this, because it’s just so sad to look at. This isn’t a fat little kid that needs to have a few less meals, or maybe a run around the block or something. This isn’t a fat kid like the fat kids we had when I was his age. Not just some kid with a gut and a big ass. This was a morbidly obese child, who could barely make a fist because of the fatness of his fingers and had trouble walking because of the massive legs.
Someone, at some point, must have gotten the idea that blocking his mouth was a good idea because the child had a pacifier that he was screaming incoherently around while he was angry as hell at getting his way. His brother was near tears with the frustration of no one telling him no and giving him a good smack across the head. I’m firmly against child abuse and am willing to take my belt to any adult in order to teach them it’s not a good way to solve a disagreement. However, I so wanted to belt these two with all the manly strength at my disposal.
Upon being told they had to give me the toys, so I could scan them and put them in bags, one of them literally started screaming. He didn’t want to give them up, they were his, he owned them by divine right and it was the will of all mighty Bob that he should have these things. I managed to get one of the things away from him through the sort of trick I use to get bears to not eat me when I’m in the wild (you look right into their eyes and growl instructions softly) and upon putting the Frisbees in the bag, the child fell to the ground and had a fit. This was a real fit by the way, not a normal fit. He was kicking and screaming and beating the floor with his fists and the back of his head.
Why was he doing this? It seems I didn’t separate the toys into separate bags because these lovely little angels didn’t want to risk the idea of sharing. I very nearly put everything into one big bag out of spite, but it occurred to me if the little monster split his head open on the floor I would have to clean his blood up.
The problems didn’t stop there, but I don’t want to bore you with all the screaming and shouting, or the fact that the older child never took the pacifier from his mouth and merely screamed at his mother around it. The thing is, they weren’t angry that their mother was denying them, they were angry that she wasn’t acquiescing quickly enough. That their demands weren’t being anticipated, and that upon pointing it out, the correction wasn’t coming instantaneously.
Half way during one of the many rises (or falls, it’s all a blur now) the woman looked at me with a weak smile and said “They’re such spoiled brats” and I just got on with my work because A) I wanted to get this group the hell out of my store and B) The only response I could have mustered at that point would have been to backhand her one and I don’t think the company would have my back on this one. They wouldn’t have called it an appropriate response.
When they left, I managed to get away for lunch, and hid in a training room reading a book for half an hour. I couldn’t sit in the break room because someone was already there and didn’t realize that you don’t need to shout into modern phones. So I hid out where I could.
I was approached by a woman, who stumped me for a second.
“Does this bleach kill germs?” She asked.
Now, of course I know the answer… and that’s what worried me. I mean, do bulls have utters? That stops you for a second, because you think the answer should be obvious, and yet the person asking must have a good reason for asking, right? So for a moment, you end up going “Wait, do bulls have utters?”
“Pardon?” I asked, holding my hand to my ear so as to pretend that I was having a hearing problem.
“This bleach, does it kill germs?” She asked. “I want the kind of bleach that kills germs. I don’t want bleach that doesn’t kill germs.”
Now, most bleaches in the world, being a solution of sodium hypochlorite, do manage to whack a germ or two. It can be pretty nasty stuff, particularly when drunk straight from the bottle. That was what threw me for a moment. All bleach kills germs. She wasn’t finished though.
“I’m cleaning the bathroom today. I want to kill germs. Does this brand kill germs? I don’t want to buy something that doesn’t kill the germs. I wanna kill germs.”
I am not exaggerating, or playing up for comic effect. I am simply reporting, word for word, what this person said to me.
Now, what I said was “Yes, that bleach will kill the germs. Remember to dilute it with water though, or the fumes will be too strong.”
What I thought was “No ma’am, killing germs has been ruled to be cruel by the UN Security council. Bleach is no longer permited to kill germs. These days it just makes bitchy comments about it’s hair and dress sense, in hopes that the germs will get the idea that it’s not wanted and go away on it’s own.”
Buuuuut, I didn’t.