I hate going to the grocery store.  It’s the little kids, you see.  Their parents wheel them around in the front basket of the cart, their fat little legs sticking out of the holes cut in the plastic.  Or they trail along behind them like ghosts.  And the crying?  Always the crying, and calling after their parents.  “Mommy, Daddy…”

And the parents walking away.

Little kids in a grocery store screaming.


Oh, if you walked up to the parents they would look at you with their placid cow eyes and say, “You can’t give them everything they want.  It’ll spoil them.”

And if this were about candy or cereal, I’d agree.

They chat on the phone while their children scream.  “Shh, shhh.”  Or worse, “I’ll give you something to cry about.”

The screaming of children, the blandness of their parents as they move from the sliced bread to the mixed nuts.


Little kids scream until they fall silent, trapped in their shells.  You can laugh and say that that’s what your parents did or that the kids deserved it or, come on, you have to grow a thick skin, or that parents have hard days, too.

And that’s fine.

But I can still hear the screaming.

I came up with all kinds of clever ideas for a story about screaming this morning, but…nope.  This is what I had to write instead.  It’s been the kind of year where it’s the little things that horrify me.  “This is where it all starts…”  Anyway, if you liked this, please sign up for my newsletter.