Monday, February 27, 2006

Wal-Mart, America's New Babysitter

Kenin and I were at our favorite store, Wal-Mart, on Saturday, with Patrick and Hunter in tow. Hunter's birthday is next Saturday (send presents), so we decided to peruse the electronics section so that he could pick out which video game he wanted as a present from us when, lo and behold, we came upon a truly sad sight... the video game aisle.

Apparently, this area of the store has now been designated as the babysitting area for unruly children of Wal-Mart shoppers. There must have been 6 or 7 kids under the age of 8 screaming, yelling, and pushing each other around in order to get to play the video game demos. As I looked around, I realized the only people within an aisle on either side of where we were that were over the age of 12, were Patrick, Kenin and myself. There wasn't a parent, or even an older sibling, in sight. Even the people that worked in that area refused to come near the video games! Horrified that people might think some of those brats (there just isn't any other word that will accurately describe them) actually belonged to me, I wanted to run quickly to the nearest section of the store that hadn't been taken over by evil troll munchkins. Unfortunately, Hunter really wanted that video game so we were stuck there, at least until one of the employees retrieved the video game from it's locked cabinet and saved us from the flames of hell. A small Asian boy who couldn't have been more than 3 years old, was by far the worst of the bunch. He screamed and yelled at the top of his voice (even louder than me, and I have a really big mouth) every time his older sister, who still had her baby teeth so you know she wasn't older than 6 or so, got to take her turn at the game they were playing. If they'd have been my kids (and obviously they weren't because I have better sense than to leave my kids in the electronics section while I roam the rest of the store in relative peace and quiet), I'd have snatched a knot in their asses right there on the spot, in front of God and everybody. And I bet I'd get a standing ovation for doing it, too.

As we stood there completely appalled by the group of parent-less children, waiting to be rescued by an employee who actually did his or her job, I noticed a man in his early to mid 30's walk up with who I assume was his daughter, a girl of about 10. They stood next to us, trying to decide which game to purchase and attempting, though not succeeding, to ignore the screaming 3 year old beside them. Finally, after 4 or 5 minutes that I know seemed more like an eternity in purgatory, the man could no longer contain his disdain for the situation. "Let's go," he told his daughter in an obviously aggravated voice. "This is ridiculous." Kudos to him for walking away and depriving Wal-Mart of a video game sale. I wish Hunter would've handled that situation with as much grace as the girl did so that we could've walked away as well.

So what's up with the parents of today? I'd have probably wanted to dump my kids off, too, if they acted that badly, but then again, my kids know better than to act like Satan's spawn, at least in public. And what's up with Wal-Mart's management that they allow this to happen? Or, even worse, to allow it to continue to happen? You know we didn't just come upon a random event. That stuff probably happens every weekend, and we've just been lucky enough to bypass that area of the store.

And of course, the tale doesn't end when we walked out of the electronics section, either. As we meandered through the paper products, there was a woman (I won't call her a lady, because my Momma taught me at the age of six that there is a huge difference between a lady and a woman) with 2 boys/men that looked to be in their late teens or early 20's. The woman was pushing the cart, which had a big bag of chips, laying on top, when one of the boys decided to toss a pack of toilet paper into the basket. Now, as I'm sure you know, toilet paper can be found in all kinds of sizes. You can get a single roll, a 4-pack, and 12-pack, or even a 24-pack of double roll (our personal favorite) toilet paper. So anyway... the above mentioned young man tosses the BIGGEST pack of paper he can find right into the basket onto the bag of chips. POP! Do you know what that sound was? It was the air being pushed out of the bag of chips as it ripped open because 50 pounds of toilet paper just landed on top of it. What an idiot, I thought. But no, it still wasn't over! The woman then reached into the cart, grabbed the bag of chips, and layed them on the top of a stack of toilet paper and walked off, pushing her cart, oblivious to the fact that she just announced to the world that she was just plain ol' low class. Now, I'm not a snob. Everyone who knows me knows that I'm more proud of my redneck roots than should be allowed by law. And I know that everyone out there has put stuff back on a shelf where it didn't belong at one time or another, right? If you say you haven't then you're lying, because everyone's done it at least once. But tell the truth brothers and sisters, didn't you look around first, just to make sure no one saw you do it? Well, of course you did! And the fact that this woman didn't, just galls me to no end. I swear, some people...

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Trash Cans, a NYC Cabbie, and Speaking English

Just a random thought... Have you ever noticed that once a trash can gets full, you can still put an amazing amount of trash in it before you actually have to empty it?


In case you haven't seen it yet, you might want to check out New York Hack's blog. It was a featured Associated Press story a week or two ago (yes, I'm a bit slow to update) and has some pretty interesting takes on life as a NYC cabbie.


Last weekend, Kenin and I were having our usual Saturday date at Wal-Mart (groceries, don't ya know?) and I swear we were the only people on three aisles that spoke English. Now, I know that America is the great melting pot, blah, blah, blah, but come on, folks! Learn to speak the freaking language already, will ya? Wouldn't you think that'd make your life easier if you could actually understand what people were saying to you? If I went to live in Germany, for instance, it'd be in my best interest to learn to speak German, wouldn't it? If I moved to Russia, or China, I'd need to learn a new alphabet and a new language. Don't tell me it can't be done, because I know it can. My oldest brother, Roy, speaks English and Spanish. My younger brother, Robert, speaks English and Russian and his wife, Guli, speaks four (Count 'em out loud now: Uzbek, Russian, Turkish, and English) different languages! And bless her heart, she even says y'all! Now, granted, I can barely speak English (although I'm well versed in Southern), but you don't see me immigrating to some other country now and needing an interpreter, now do you?

So anyway, Kenin and I decided that we want to have t-shirts printed up that have the word 'Pendejo' written in big, bold letters. Underneath it, in smaller letters, it will say 'I'm learning your language, so shouldn't you learn mine?' Anyone want to place an order?

PS - If you don't know what pendejo means, expand your horizons and look it up. Here's a hint - it's Spanish.