Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2021

One Way To Ruin My Mood


I CAN UNDERSTAND THAT DESPERATE TIMES sometimes can call for desperate measures, but…

The other day while I was going up and down the aisles at my local Kroger supermarket I was confronted with just such a situation, or at least that what I was supposed to think.

As I was pushing my cart up the aisle past the pickles I saw a man with a cart coming the other way. His cart was empty and he was pulling a small wagon behind him. In the wagon was a small child, a toddler.

When the man (in his 30s I’d say) pulled up next to me he asked me if I had a dollar and could he have it? This guy was rolling through the store panhandling.

I am not a cold-hearted person, but after living in San Francisco for 25 years and seeing every scam and grift in the world, I can spot a phony a mile away.

I looked at the man and I looked at the toddler in the wagon who was not a happy child. The tyke looked angry and on the verge of tears. It all smelled like an old sympathy scam. I told the man that I did have a dollar, but that I wasn’t going to part with it in the middle of the pickle aisle. The man’s attitude changed to anger. The child struggled and began to climb out of the wagon. That was when my suspicions were confirmed.

When the child started to make an exit the man looked back at him and yelled, “Get back in the wagon, Kid!”

“Get back in the wagon, Kid?”

Whoever this man was I can guarantee that he was not related at all to the child. He had rented or borrowed the child as a tool for his scam. No one would refer to their own child as “Kid” like that. I’ve seen this grift before.

The little kid stopped trying to escape and the man started to quickly push his cart away from me and my glare.

I saw a Kroger employee up at the end of the aisle and I told her what had just gone down by the Gherkins. She took off heading for the front of the store as she muttered a few choice Anglo-Saxon expletives.

How did he get that child? My guess is that he borrowed or rented the toddler from someone who was waiting outside the store for him to return with both the child and a portion of whatever he was able to squeeze from the soft-hearted people inside.

I kept looking for the man and child as I went through the store. I didn’t see them, but there had been some sort of dust-up near the front door. There was a group of Kroger employees gathered there. They looked agitated. I suspect that the man had made a quick exit after our encounter by the Dills.

I don’t know how this all played out, but I know how I would like it to have gone. One, maybe two arrests and one small child delivered into foster care. That would not be an ideal outcome, but it is better than having a child being rented.

Sorry for the downer today, but sometimes the world takes away my sense of humor.

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7 thoughts on “One Way To Ruin My Mood

  1. Inasmuch as I did not want to get angry today, every time I hear or see a child being abused, whether physically or emotionally, it gets to me in a big way! As a former foster parent, adoptive mother, an advocate for children, and a former (retired) founder and director of a school for children with special needs, I am totally with you, John!


  2. Well said, John. I champion your thoughts!


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