I feel like crap today. Not that it has any baring on today’s post, I just thought I’d mention it on the off-chance I get some sympathy. We try whatever we can…
No, today I thought I’d tell a cautionary tale that came from one of my husband’s work colleagues.
He told my husband about their recent trip up north – a family of four on a road trip.
Mum in the passenger seat adjudicates the battle raging between their six-year-old son and his three-year-old brother. Dad at the wheel decides it’s time for a circuit breaker, so pulls up at the next MacDonald’s drive thru (notice the shortened use of the word through – a pet hate of mine that at any moment can bring forth a tirade about how the public arena of all places should remain txt spk free, that children need to learn that these are not words, but abbreviations of words to be used in appropriate situations only… and don’t start me on improper use of the apostrophe in public signage and advertising!).
So, dad pulls up at Maccas. He orders a large Quater-pounder meal for himself, a wrap of some description for his wife who will not give in to the burger temptation, though she will steal a fist-full of fries, so he orders an extra small fries to make up the shortfall. Finally, two Happy Meals for the kids and they squeal with delight.
Dad drives on to the next window where an anxious teen takes his money without making eye contact. In the back seat, the six-year-old is trying to explain that there is one toy in the happy meal each week, so they don’t get to choose. It’ll be a surprise. The three-year-old can hardly bear the suspense.
Dad moves on to the next window where he can watch the bedlam going on behind the crowded counter. It’s a miracle that people get what they ask for most of the time. He’s only had to go back for a swap once and he is sure that was because his son’s friend had changed his mind eighteen times. A flustered but cheery young girl hands him their bags and wishes them a nice trip and they pull away, the kids bursting in the back.
Mum doles out the food and silence descends as the boys take possession of their little boxes. Rummaging. Rummaging. Rummaging…
And the toddler finds his toy, pulls it out and exclaims, “FUCK ME!”
Mum looks across at dad’s stricken expression. “Well, I wonder where he got that from.”
Beware the parrot. They hear all.