Saturday, January 26, 2008

Have Pets, Not Kids

Time: 1992
Place: Atlanta, GA

My girlfriend and I were in the pet supply aisle at the grocery store. We were stocking up on cans of cat food, because my girlfriend owned a big fat tabby cat and I owned a big fat tabby cat.

As we tossed can after can into our shopping cart, we noticed a mother with two children heading towards us. Her two children, a boy and a girl, were close in age, and probably between four and six years old.

The mother looked exhausted. Her cart was filled to the brim. Her daughter was in the upper basket, swinging her pudgy legs back and forth, and occasionally kicking her mother in the chest. The son was hanging onto the front of the cart, dragging his heels on the floor. The mother was obviously straining to push the cart against the combination of weight and resistance.

When the mother saw my girlfriend and me loading up on pet food rather than people food, she paused and addressed us.

“Have pets, not kids,” the mother said.

“Yeah,” said her son, “have pets, not kids!”

The boy giggled and shook the cart as his sister grabbed random items off the shelf. Meanwhile, the mother continued on her way. Compared to that poor woman, Sisyphus had it easy.