Monday’s Shopping Adventures: The Stowaway Cat and the Brat

shopping-cart-1275480_960_720My family and facebook friends are aware of the knack my daughter and I have for stumbling into the strangest situations while shopping. Actually all we have to do is leave the house and high-jinks follow. It is a gift inherited from my father. Today’s shopping trip was no exception.

Kat and I had to pick up medicine from the pharmacy, a few household items, and some groceries. Luckily there is a dollar store next door to the pharmacy. I can get cleaning and paper products cheaper there than at the grocery store, and avoid the super-store mega retailer we all love to hate.

First stop, meds. Those are in hand, and I’m waiting to ask James the pharmacist a question. Normally there are at least two staff working in the back at all times, but we only see James filling prescriptions. Lunch, perhaps?

In just a second, Deann the pharmacy tech pops her head in the drive-up window from outside. She announces that she must open the hood on the customer’s car that is sitting in the drive-up. Car trouble? Nope. The customer “heard a cat” when she stopped her car at the window.

Deann checks underneath the car first. Nothing out of the ordinary there. She pops the hood and there sits a fuzzy gray kitten in no mood to meet someone new. Deann plucks the frightened feline off the car’s frame. She is hissed at and scratched for her trouble. The customer is now the proud owner of a little cat with her own tale to tell, no pun intended.

My question to the pharmacist asked and answered, Kat and I proceed to the dollar store. All seems peaceful for a hot August day. Not crowded. Fans whirring at the front and back. We split up to do our shopping.

I’m in the back of the store searching for Soft Scrub when I hear cursing — a lot of cursing. Personal standards of the average person having degraded over the years, it’s not unusual to hear “colorful” language in public. But there’s something weird about this. The voice is too, well, juvenile. In about half a second, I am staring at the source of the obscenities.

Flying around the corner and almost barreling into my cart is a potty-mouthed kid who looks to be no more than five years old. He is still fleeing from someone at top speed, careening around corners and sprinting up and down aisles, spouting profanity all the while. Judging by his favorite curse word, I’d say a female was at the top of his hate list.

My first thought was to suppress the desire to reach out and pinch his little head off. He undoubtedly hears that verbal sewage spewed at home and has grown up thinking that’s how normal people communicate their frustrations. Suspecting the subject of his rage is his mother, I give him room to fly around me and proceed with shopping.

Almost immediately the situation becomes a little clearer, if not somewhat amusing. His mother evidently grew tired of his disobedience. She sought reinforcements.

From the front of the store comes a bellowing female voice, raspy with age, lifelong cigarette smoking and Lord only knows what else.

“Boy… this is your GRANDMOTHER. Get your butt to the car… NOW!!”

This is repeated a couple of times before the little miscreant obliges and peace once again settles on the dollar store. My sympathies lie with the public school teacher whose classroom will be graced with his presence in a few short days.

As Kat and I finished our shopping and approached the cash registers, the employees were discussing their experiences with less than stellar customers. We added a few of our own stories to the mix. Apparently Walmart is not the only retailer with shoppers fit for the looney bin. Anybody looking for an adventure on a smaller scale need only hang out at their local dollar store.

©2015-2017 Our Lives in Stories


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