Wednesday, December 14, 2011


My grandson loves to play video games. The gloating is hard to ignore when he trounces Grandpa at each and every session, but I manage. He has an X-Box, not a Play Station 3 which is the type of game I bought for him to put under his Christmas tree. The game had something to do with skateboarding, non-violent, and it looked to be more skill than competition. Grandpa could relax, watch football as grandpas are meant to do, and avoid the humiliation of being skunked at every level by an eight-year old.

The Missus and I entered the Target store, the game’s place of purchase, to make an exchange from PS3 to X-Box. The thing that caught my attention at the Customer Service desk was the sight of a young woman on her hands and knees, scooting across the counter. She was African-American, on the hefty side, and was apparently grabbing for some item in a shopping cart behind the counter. The woman was not happy. She was dropping F-bombs and MF-bombs like confetti on New Year’s Eve.

“Well this is interesting,” I say to the Missus. “Let’s watch and see what happens.”

Eventually the woman landed back on the customer side of the counter but the rant continued, big time, and loud, although I never got the gist of her complaint. A security guard shows up and the woman exits the store, expressing her displeasure with Target every step of the way. But that wasn’t the end of it.

Another woman, and I’m guessing it might have been her mother, took up the rant. The security man remained absolutely calm and professional as the older woman yelled that the only reason she was being treated this way was because she was black. The guard said that was not true and she said it was true, back and forth, back and forth, the conversation never varying from the topic of racial equality for a good minute or two. That’s when the younger girl re-entered the store. Uh oh.

By now, the shouting has caught the attention of everyone in that end of the building, shoppers frozen in their tracks, buggies at a standstill. It was a little like watching a tornado headed your way, good sense tells you to leave, but the fascination is mesmerizing. Until the girl yells “I got a gun!”

Suddenly, I felt this overwhelming urge to check out some of the sale items at the other end of the store. The Missus agreed that it was an outstanding idea.

We carefully inspected a few pots and pans in Housewares, taking our time, reading the labels, and listening for shots fired. But no. We made another stop at office supplies, weighing the value of retractable ball point pens versus the cheaper models, and then took a peek around the corner of the aisle. The coast was clear, no cops, no guns, no race riots. We made a run for it.

The grandkid can exchange his own damn gift.


  1. a story to tell your grandson??

  2. "She was dropping F-bombs and MF-bombs like confetti on New Year’s Eve." Good line, Warren.



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