Pineapple on pizza–yes or no? Why was she yelling at me? It wasn’t about pineapple or pizza. Leather sofas were on sale at the local, discount, close-out store. Not the first place to shop for furniture in my estimation.
“Why don’t we go and just look around?” That meant we weren’t going to leave without buying something–better to just go along. My hopes were, that nothing would happen to ruin this beautiful, sunny, winter day.
The sofas were better than expected–stock overruns from a popular major manufacturer. Who was I to have doubted? Even though, I was in for some dreaded furniture rearranging. If everything stayed the way it was, from now till eternity, it would have been just fine with me.
At the service desk, two men waited. The gray-haired older gentleman seemed calm. The younger man, who may have been the son, complained about noise emanating from the other side of the store. There, a young child was in the midst of throwing a temper tantrum.
“Why hadn’t she taken the young boy outside?” Said the young man to his father. “Nobody wanted to hear that kid’s ear-splitting screeches.” The father mumbled something about permissive parenting being the downfall of civilization.
Waiting for the store clerk’s return, seemed to take forever. We were second in line, behind the disgruntled young man, and his father. The clerk returned briefly from checking inventories. The young man complained about the noisy child to the clerk; the clerk refused to take sides, went back to work.
That was when the stalking began. “I’m going to check on why this bratty kid won’t stop crying,” Announced the young man. My wife and I looked at each other. What business was it of his? And what could he do about it–without causing a major incident?
The young man walked away hunched over, like he was trying to make himself smaller, to avoid being seen. Jacket collar pulled up to his chin. It was comical–in a Groucho Marx sort of way. He carefully duck-walked the rows one-by-one, until the offenders were spotted.
What had he done–if anything? The store was, once again peaceful. The little boy stopped crying. Had I underestimated the young man’s skills as a “Child Whisperer?” Our sofa was in stock and would be delivered in a couple of days.
Then, temper tantrum, version 2.0, began, like a loud clap of thunder. The young man and his father, were aghast. “I’m going to show them a thing or two,” The son, announced.
In his best Groucho Marx, killer commando mode, the stalking resumed. My wife and I made an exit at that point–wondered how things turned out. Nothing made the police blotters. It was one of the strangest public scenes we’d witnessed in our lifetimes.