I forced myself to go to Hell today, also known as Wal-Mart.
Just so you know, I hate, hate, hate Wal-Mart. I go reluctantly and as infrequently as possible. The worst part is that it is the only place open late at night, when I get off work.
Today I dragged my feet and would have been kicking and screaming had I not been alone and went to Hell before work. Just to pick up hair care products. Quick in, quick out. Not much opportunity to be infected by the masses.
But plenty enough time to encounter the dad of the year.
As I approached the Wal-Mart Hair Salon (never go there for styling, just for products), I noticed a man sitting on the metal bench in front. His small son was racing around in front of the salon. Normally this would be an irritant to me because running kids, screaming kids, crying kids, yelling kids, smelly kids, giggling kids, hyperactive kids and whining kids drive me nuts. No, never ask me to babysit your kids, okay?
But the running-wild-in-the-store kid usually earns the neglectful parent my ire. I had to behave myself in the store and stay with the cart. Why shouldn’t this be the case with all kids and why aren’t the parents watching them?
Today I finally encountered the parent that actually made me feel sorry for the kid. As the child wound up his last lap in front of the salon, he barreled full-tilt into the hard metal bench. Dad’s response? “Good–I hope that hurt.”
Okay, maybe dad had his fill of Junior’s antics. Understandable. But then as I was on my way out of the store (thus escaping from Hell), father and child were also leaving. The boy had recovered from his internal injuries from smacking into the bench and was zigzagging his way through the cross walk in front of the store. Dad tenderly said, “I hope you get hit by a car.”
Geez. I hope dad gets a crap Father’s Day gift this year. He earned it today.