I hate children. I hate their piercing high-pitched voices, their inane ignorant prattle, their dawdling, their glommy fingers. I hate the smeary secreting faces of the ones young enough to be stuffed in the seat of grocery carts, so I can appreciate their inflamed, vaguely diseased-looking mugs up close, in the one place I cannot freaking get away from them. They do not have to be screaming to be a blight on the landscape.
I’ve been trying to find a kid-free hour in the local Trader Joe’s grocery, I really have. I frequent the place because I can find a lot of organic food cheap, you don’t get lost in the store and they do cater to people who are cooking just for themselves, rather than a whole household. Given that, you’d expect there to be less Kid Infestation but no, every time of day I try, there’s a Yuppie Mommie in every aisle dragging around at least one and more often two of her proud fuck trophies. It doesn’t help that the chain hands out balloons to kids; at least they have stopped keeping kid-sized mini-shopping carts. But the major chains are just as bad, and have nothing I want.
Today, at a few minutes before ten, I felt like I was being stalked by a woman with a pair about nine and ten, just old enough for girly self-importance, shuffling their flip-flops at a glacial pace in double file so that I had to maneuver to get past them — repeatedly, since they somehow seemed to be clogging up every aisle right when I wanted to get down it, no matter how much evasive action I took. “Mom, was yesterday Opposite Day?” Mumble. “Was yesterday WINSday?” Mumble. “Well WINSday is OPPOSITE DAY and” — it’s all I can do not to clap my hands over my ears at this point. If Rush Limbaugh or a revolting jingle comes on the radio, you can turn the dial, but there is no dial for this idiotic twaddle and the parents won’t shut them up.
The woman in the line parallel to me had two pre-mobile crotch droppings in her cart. Yes: they were in the cart, and all her groceries were on the bottom rack, so that she had to bend down and wrangle them up onto the counter (usually, in this chain, the clerk lifts things from the cart to the bagging surface, sparing the customer, a polite touch). Her choice, I know, but it’s offensive to watch. Those brats have no business in a food store exhibiting their snot to everyone else in the place, to say nothing of mom giving herself lumbago so they can ride.
People used to say children should be seen and not heard, and somehow that went out the window over the decades, on the assumption that it was discriminatory for children not to be allowed their opinions on a matter or their side of the story. There is a time and place for that, but I think we lost sight of the fact that most of what children say, loudly, in public, is annoying and usually criminally stupid.
What ails people, anyway? Don’t they watch the news? Haven’t they heard that we’re running out of fuel and arable land? What in hell makes them think that the world needs their child — and not just in the abstract, in this case, but under our noses early in the day?
You can buy dog crates. You know the things? They sell them in any size, up to one that will hold a Rottweiler if that’s what you need. I think this is the perfect solution. If you really, truly feel you cannot leave your children at home while you grocery-shop and have no one to watch them, bung them in the dog crate, lock with a padlock if they are old enough to work the spring latch, and get about your business. Nothing is going to happen to the little wretches during the 45 minutes it takes you to go to the store; they won’t starve, they won’t strangle. And everyone’s life will be so much more pleasant.
I doubt anyone is going to adopt this sensible proposal though. I am looking for an old fashioned Flit gun.