Even though I am an adult, I still have a child-like fascination with some things that I know are more kid oriented. And sometimes that can get you into trouble.
For instance, just last week I had to go to the drug store to pick up a prescription. I was going to go to the drive-thru, but for some reason there was a man sitting on the ground IN the way of driving up to the window. So…instead of running him over I had to park and go in.
At my local Rite Aid as soon as you walk in, there are the registers on your right. Of course, on the shelves beneath the register counter are rows of gum and candy. Being a big kid at heart, I was immediately drawn to the colorful rows and was looking to see what was on sale. Not because I was necessarily going to stock up on dark chocolate Kit Kats and Midnight Milky Ways, but because I just like looking at candy. It makes me happy.
Anyhoo, as I was slowly walking with my eyes riveted to the candy like an eager child, I never saw the large display of discounted wind chimes on my left. And yes: I walked right into the display, setting off a cacophony of chimes and bongs and tinkles that could have awakened the dead: especially since the main one I hit was the biggest one of all! Embarrassed, I quickly skulked away before anyone could come up and see what or who was making that racket!
This was bad enough, but doesn’t begin to compare to what happened to my brother Carl when we were kids. I was maybe four, Keith was six and Carl was seven. Back then, there was no Mr. Ding-A-Ling: we had the Mr. Softee ice cream truck. He would come down our street every day in the summer, and my mother would give us money to get a treat. He not only had frozen treats: he also had: SOFT ICE CREAM! The best chocolate ice cream EVER, until I discovered Dairy Queen. But I digress…
So one summer day in the early afternoon, we were playing around the house when we heard the music of the ice cream truck heading down the street. As usual, we stopped what we were doing and clamored around my mother for money. She complied but told us to wait until the truck came to our side of the street.
But Carl didn’t listen. He heard that music and ran out of the house and across the street. Luckily there wasn’t any traffic. Keith and I were still on the porch, waiting for Mr. Softee to come to our side of the street because we were obedient children.
Carl got his ice cream and was so happy and blinded by the treat that he walked right out into the street licking his cone. He never saw the car coming, never heard the horn honking, never heard the brakes squealing and never heard my mother screaming. That car, by the grace of God and the power of those brakes, bumped Carl and shoved him a few feet. Carl stumbled but never broke stride or stopped licking that ice cream cone!
The driver got out of his car, shaking, and said to my mother, “He walked right out into the street!” My mother wasn’t mad at the driver because she’d seen the whole incident. But she was LIVID at Carl! She yelled at him about how he could have been killed, took his ice cream and then banned ALL OF US from having any more Mr. Softee for the rest of the summer. I didn’t know why Keith and I had to be punished too, but my mother’s word was law.
Even the pets aren’t immune. When the cats hear the treat bag open, they immediately go to their designated “treatie” spots so they don’t miss out. I just give the treats to the cats, but I make Pumpkin work for hers. So she has learned to do all of her tricks at once, without me even telling her which trick I want, so all of her bases are covered. She’s a little smarty!
Just goes to show what the power of treats can do to you J