On the heels of the feel-good story about today's youth yesterday, namely that young man who took my cart back at Save A Lot...we have today's example.
Gas station chicken store. 12:15 p.m. I walked in to get my daily 44 oz Diet Coke. As I entered, a young blond boy was prancing at the counter. He galloped into my path, screeched to a halt, and continued screeching nonsense at he watched me pass down the candy aisle to go around the end and get to the soda fountain. Because Screechy had the path blocked.
I gave Screechy the Teacher Stink-Eye. Believe you me, people, I perfected that look my very first year of my 28-year career. Screechy looked at me for a split second, his blue six-year-old eyes wide, then commenced the galloping and nonsense screeching again. I couldn't quite figure out who he belonged to. There was a fake-blond tall woman at the soda fountain, who vacated the area as I rounded the end by the beer cooler. And a dark-haired woman paying for burritos at the counter. And a fit-fat bald man standing in line, and a dark-haired man also at the counter.
You know, sometimes kids can't help it. That's what the teacher in me tried to tell my curmudgeonly self. Although my initial thought was: "How much sugar did you GIVE that boy?" Perhaps Screechy was late for his ADHD meds. Or perhaps he was on the special spectrum, and didn't really know what he was doing in my world, knowing that his antics were perfectly acceptable in his. Sometimes, it's not their fault. So I tried not to let the Teacher Stink-Eye loose again until I could process more information.
I was last in the line of all people in the store at that time. No big deal. No particular place to go, no particular time to be there. I held my 44 oz Diet Coke in one hand, my $50 scratch-off winner in the other. The dark-haired lady pain the Man Owner, who was working the counter. Then the dark-haired man paid for a bottle of flavored water.
"My son has found something that he likes. So we get it." That's when I noticed that as the four of them were conversing, they were doing so in another language. And their English had a heavy accent. I don't know my accents unless they're domestic. I don't know much about foreign languages. I was going to assume a German accent, perhaps. Or French. I know they're not similar. But the first I heard of it, Screechy was speaking. It was very fast, and I thought the might have a made-up language.
Anyhoo...maybe that behavior is acceptable in their native country. No adult made a move to correct the youngster. In fact, they seemed to dote on him.
I, myself, did not.