The 7-year-old hurricane boy, 9-year-old princess girl, mamma and poor ol' daddy went to town to return some shoes that were too small for the princess. Rest assured, it was not my idea. I've never returned an item to a store in my life. If I got home and had a tutu in my bag, I'd wear it.
The problem with returns is that it's never just a return. Sure enough, we returned the shoes, but had to look at the socks, shirts and underwear. If there had been a display of used dentures, we'd have to stop and look at it for a moment. This scenario was not ideal for the hurricane, nor me. Soon it was, "Are we ever going to leave," loud sighs and, finally, laying prostrate on the floor as customers gingerly walked around.
But enough about my behavior. The hurricane acted even worse than that.
Yes, being a parent requires one to set an example. The hurricane now will be well prepared in the future to make certain his wife never takes him shopping. But truthfully, you see raising -- or is it rearing -- children is tough. I say raising, like a crop, because you have to nurture, fertilize, tend to, etc. and even then there is no guarantee it will come out OK. In a way, it's just like a crop. You may take every step necessary to raise a crop correctly, but still outside forces can step in to destroy the whole program.
It's an uphill battle. And, boy, are there forces out there trying to upend the effort. I know what a kid should learn, but what are they really learning. Well, if they depended on TV for all their knowledge they'd think the following:
-- America is composed of the horniest 55-year-old men in the world. Not a single male exists without fighting erectile dysfunction and their women are constantly ready to roll, just a twist of the hair, dance in the kitchen or face covered while watching a horror movie, will have hubby eating Cialis like Godiva chocolate.
Also, all men with erectile dysfunction apparently have super hot looking 60-year-old wives and the men look like they are retired NFL football quarterbacks. I guess the moral of the story is that the super fat, bald and generally ugly men do not have erectile dysfunction. Perhaps they have no reason to worry about such a problem, given that the odds are they will not have anyone to take them up on the offer anyway.
-- If you own a Rembrandt painting, ancient fossil or George Washington's autograph, the best place to sell it is a pawn shop. All my life, you sold things at a pawn shop if you stole it or to keep the take-back man from taking back whatever you owed money on. Now, pawn shop owners are kind, benevolent and knowledgeable on every subject under the sun.
When I came up, a pawn shop owner ranked slightly below the greasy fat guy at the fair who tried to sell you three softball tosses into a too-small milk jug. But now, these pawn shop owners also have a team of experts to help them out. Who knew first edition books by Eienstein and pistols used by Custer at the last stand would commonly be traded at the pawn shop? Heck, why study history? Just go chat with the local pawn store operator and you'll be up to date.
-- We can also conclude that UFO's regularly visit pretty much every airport in America. Bigfoot has been sighted in every state in the union and probably even briefly lived at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. Mermaids really do exist and who really cares given the fact that the whole world will come to an end on Dec. 21st because the Mayan calendar predicted such and who are we to argue with a civilization of people who were completely wiped out and whose favorite pastime was sacrificing people to the gods?
Yes, I tell you it's really an uphill battle. All I can do is continue to be the proper role model that I am.
So, if you see me on the floor at Dillards -- kicking and screaming -- remember, I am simply tying to teach the hurricane boy proper behavior to avoid shopping sprees.
Contact columnist T. Gamble at firstname.lastname@example.org.