Earlier last week I got the opportunity to go on a grocery store trip with a toddler and my girlfriend. I say opportunity, but that belies the nature of the adventure.
Opportunities come from some type of advancement as the reward. Carrying a child into a modern grocery store is simply futile.
There’s so many colors. Blinding mushroom experiences that must overload a child and make it a madman. After one trip, I see the children screaming in buggies as I walk alone and think, “you should have left the little bastard in the trunk.”
When I went to the market as a child, it was simple. You had three types of vegetables: red, green, and potato. The cereal section included the expensive box mess, the stuff in bags, and whatever my grandmother liked that came in a log.
She ate it with buttermilk and then would demand kisses. Bit of wheat stuck in her dentures. We would say, “grandma, no, for pete’s sake don’t wheat us.”
But take a child into a grocery store today, and he’s not going to have to fight one mouse for a piece of bread..
My teacher Mrs. Bassman used to tell a tale of going to the grocery store after a hurricane. A small storm, not much happened in the way of damage. She was taken by her momma down to the grocery for supplies. Eggs and such.
Mrs. Bassman got sent down to the bread aisle. Simple task, get a loaf of white bread, a task meant for the small. “You go out and find a loaf of bread that looks like all the regular type of breads because we haven’t been scared by the news to worry about our colons quite so much.”
The grocery store, a neighborhood store, had lost power to parts of the store and some water had accumulated.
In the bread aisle, young Mrs. Bassman was greeted by hundreds of mice fleeing the water and feasting on the bread. She fought three of the bastards and went along because back then men were men and small teachers were fierce.
Fierce enough to fight some mice for bread. Like a little Frenchman in the Bastille.