Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What do you say?

Parents are always sending their junior league howler monkeys up to Customer Service to get change. Change for the vending machines, change for the rocking horse machine thing, change for the phone, change so the kids can try to get a stuffed animal out of the Claw machine. Whatever.

Usually the parent will wait a few feet away by their buggy while Junior or Seniorita comes up to the counter, smiles a gap-toothed grin and asks for change. Really, I don't mind. I was just hatched once too.

Sometimes the parental units are a bit more protective and accompany the kids - but let them do the talking. Remember that old Bill Cosby routine? Cue the Sunday morning fun.

Tiny little boy dressed in blue shorts and a cute little sailboat shirt. And a little hat. And either dirt or the remains of a chocolate bar around his mouth, on his hands and on his nose. He's not howling, so he's one petit garçon très mignon. He has to crane his neck up to look over the counter. He's got three dollar bills in a grip that would make a wrinkled crone looking for a 10-cent coupon on a package of Dulcolax proud.

"CanIgetthreedollarsinquartersplease?" Yuppie Father smiles indulgently. Aw, how cute. You are teaching your howler monkey to say please.

"OK. Let me get them to open my change drawer." And I get twelve quarters.

I lean over the counter so I can give him the quarters directly.

"One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. That's three dollars. Have fun." He smiles at me. Ah, to be young and free and blessed with what seems to be untold riches.

So Yuppie Father is trying to work on today's lesson on manners - because they're obviously not at church. "What do you say?"

Howler Monkey: "All Right." Big grin.

Yuppie Father rolls eyes at me. I chuckle and give him a "It's your kid, I'm really not offended" look. But Yuppie Father decides to wade in again and goes "No. What do you say when someone does something for you?"

Howler Monkey: "Yeah. Thas right."

Yuppie Father retires in shame because his child knows no manners. At least the howler monkey wasn't howling.


Anonymous said...

I don't know.. it makes me smile to realize people still care about manners.

Anonymous said...

"It is the only thing that keeps me from feeding cyanide-laced bananas to the howler monkeys."

Actually, I really think you should do that.

DolfanDad said...

Wow I'm actually surprised at this post. A near normal interaction at the CS desk. I'm glad you actually had a good experience for once.

And as a father myself I think its pretty important to use instances like that to teach manners. You don't want to over do it so that you're holding up the line just because your child won't say thank you, but use common sense.

Anonymous said...

Aww, poor Yuppie Dad. At least he didn't curse YOU out ;)

kdl said...

So...as a child of the '70's, one of my stock sayings was "Say what?!"
Well, when I had a bebe and he was learning to talk, I didn't always pick up what my man was laying down. I would unthinkingly say, "Say what?" and all I'd get in return is "What."

That said, the best-mannered children are retail babies. Us CS-types see so many horrifying examples of reverse evolution we make sure to skim the gene pool extra well with our own.

Love ya, doll. You gellin' yet?

Anonymous said...

I read your blog every day. You are appreciated!

Anonymous said...

i just found your blog and i think it's hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Great blog today...a little sugar to sweeten the vinegar.

Erin Bradley said...

Awww, love it! I like hearing sweet stories sometimes.

My parents beat please and thank you into my head so soundly I say them even when it's totally inappropriate.

Someone punches me in the neck. "Thank you!"

FARfetched said...

I'm not sure he qualifies as a yuppie dad if he's teaching his kid manners... I'd expect a yuppie to be teaching him to say, "gimme three dollars in quarters, peon."

j-yo said...

That's okay ... the main thing is that the dad is working on teaching Junior some manners. Just be glad you didn't get someone who couldn't do math and insisted you shorted them a few quarters.

Anonymous said...

I'd guess the child watches the wrong kinda x-rated programs..

Oh yeah..

Yeah, thats right..