Mar 16, 2009


A couple of weeks pass by and they were not "uneventful."

In school, we were learning all about strangers and the dangers that surround them. We were being taught not to get in cars with strangers, or taking candy or gifts from them.

Although now being older and wiser, I can very honestly say that it's tough not to take things from strangers. They got the best candy and the coolest gifts. I'm just saying.

We were also taught to yell for help if a stranger comes to close to you, and to never walk anywhere alone.

All of this is very important and vital information for both parents and children. I may be telling a fun story today, but that doesn't detract from the importance of the danger children are in. But, I believe in teaching them to use common sense, which when applied liberally requires a lesser amount of scare tactics and will instill some confidence in the child that will prove very useful. I mean what's the point of teaching them about stranger danger, when they put themselves in a position where they are vulnerable. Wouldn't it be better to teach them how to avoid that particular situation by not being in it?

Sorry, that was a soapbox moment. I'll try to avoid them as much as possible in the future...although I won't guarantee that I'm going to try very hard. Hehehe.

On one particular venture to Sentry Foods (which if you can't tell by the name is a grocery store), my mother had told me that she didn't want a repeat of the Walgreen's incident.

She said we were only getting the essentials, and no "treats".

Which pretty much meant no Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops, or Alpha Bits with marshmallows. No Pringles, Mr. Goodbar, or Hawaiian Punch. This was a quest for bread, milk, and eggs.

O.K. to be completely honest, I was disappointed, but I was going to keep my mouth shut.

I hadn't been allowed to join my mother on any shopping excursions for the last couple of weeks.

Yes, what I went through the previous two weeks was SO worth it!!

I was supposed to be a chubby child size robot that could walk but NOT talk. I was O.K. with that, I was so tired of going to the upstairs neighbors while Mom was shopping.

You know those babysitters or their homes that have the weird "soup" smell? That was the upstairs neighbors.

Anyway, I was the model of excellent behavior, and since we were walking Mom had some time to think. She said that since we were in a hurry, I could go look at the magazines.

I know what you're thinking. How could that speed things up? Since she was only getting a few things she could take the express lane which was located right next to the magazine rack.

I responded with a very subdued (although I was stoked) "Okay and thank you Mommy."

Oh don't look at me like that. I wasn't going to blow this opportunity.

We walked into the store, and with barely contained enthusiasm I made my way to the magazine rack.

I picked up the brand new Starlog Magazine, a Superman comic and a Captain America comic, planted my chubby six year old ass down and went to town. Page after page of pure joy, fantasy and heroics refilled my imagination.

"It's time to go."




"No Mom, please just five more minutes. Please?"

"NO. Were leaving right now"

She grabbed my left hand and...

The events that transpired actually took place in a span of about 10 seconds, but I am going to slow it waaaaay down so you have a picture perfect image about what took place that late afternoon.

"No Mom, please just five more minutes. Please?"

"NO. Were leaving right now"

She grabbed my left hand and...

I yelled "Stranger stranger!!"

Her hand was still gripping mine and became vice like.

Her normally calm demeanor disappeared.

Later in life I would read lines like this from a lot of different sources 'a burning rage just below the surface', but on this particular day, I actually saw what it looked like.

"CUT IT OUT!" My Mom whispered through clenched teeth.

The manager of the store was in the Customer Service desk which was right behind the rack of magazines where all the drama was unfolding.

He immediately stood up, stared directly at my mom and with a steel edge in his voice he asked "Is something wrong."

At that moment the only thought in my head was "OH NO!!!"

I wouldn't be using curse words for another couple of years, but if I had know any at that time, you know damn well I would have used them all.

My body went rigid.

I whispered "No every thing's fine."

My body went into automatic mode.

I walked behind her dutifully.

She said not one single word.

Now that time has officially gone back to normal speed and is no longer in slow motion I knew I was a dead boy walking. But I was a dead boy with another Starlog. For some reason realizing that I was still holding onto the magazine, did not make me feel any better. I knew what was going happen when we got home.

All I can really say is that this time the punishment fit the crime.

And this time...NO.

It was NOT worth it at all.

Currently listening:
Second Coming
By Shotgun Messiah
Release date: 1991-10-22

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