13.02.02 – Wednesday
Stopping by the grocers for a carton of yogurt, I chanced to be behind a small red-haired woman who held up her young son for the clerk’s inspection. Aforementioned Son steadfastly averted his eyes from aforementioned Clerk, and snivelled. ‘Say you’re sorry. We’re not going until you say you’re sorry. I’m telling you…’ Son began to wail. Clerk laughed nervously. Mother bounced child momently and seemed prepared to leave without Son proferring apology. Son whispered in Mother’s ear. Mother returned, still holding son. A pause. ‘Come on, then, say you’re sorry.’ Son whispered. ‘No, not later—now.’ Pause; then, very softly, eyes downcast: ‘I’m sorry.’ As anyone could see he was; not, of course, that he had knocked over the display of expensive lotions, making a rather larger mess than was strictly convenient for the staff, but that he had been caught and had to apologize.
Clerk smiles. I resist the urge to applaud.