My mom, Sybil Beck, was a fun-loving, but firm mother in many ways. I was reminded of an incident that happened while shopping by a posted video on Face Book. The video was of a boy who looked about five or six years old, ramming a shopping cart into the person in front of the boy and his mom with one of those mini-shopping carts. The man being assaulted tried several times to push the cart and child away with gentle shoves and redirections, but the child returned to use his battering ram. Meanwhile, the mother seemingly unconcerned, allowed the youth to repeatedly push the cart into the other shopper.
Finally, the man had enough and reached into the child’s cart and removed a small carton of milk. Then he proceeded to open it and dump part of the contents onto the boys upturned and smiling face. The smile disappeared and so did the child. The mother, apparently insulted by the male shopper’s lack of decorum, grabbed her child’s hand and left the area.
My mother would never have permitted it to go that far. The incident that I thought of was a shopping trip at a large grocery store. My brother, Ken, was pushing the cart. It was something that he liked to do and Mom allowed him. I think he got bored because it was a large store and Mom had a long list, because he began to drive the cart from side to side in the aisle instead of driving in a straight line.
Soon, that wasn’t enough and looked for other ways to amuse himself. What he settled on was to lag behind, then charge ahead. At the last moment, he would leap into the air and slam his shod feet onto the buggy’s back two wheels laying black rubber wheel tracks onto the tile floors. Mom didn’t notice what was happening behind her until she turned o place something in the cart and caught him in the act. When she looked behind him, she saw that the entire aisle was a trail of black marks where Ken and the cart had been.
She took over control of the cart and warned Ken, “If you ever do that again, I will march you up front to the manager and have you clean the floors for him. Someone has to clean the floors at night and you are making his job harder.”
That put a stop to the grocery cart drag racer, although when my brother grew older, he did drag race souped up 1972 Dodge Demon. It was black with two white racing stripes from the air scooped hood across the top and back down the trunk. I would kid him that it looked like a skunk.