Scenes From The Mall

Yesterday, 24 hours after a violent storm roared through Metropolitan DC, my kids’ camps were cancelled because of wide-spread power outages. So, I decided to torture all of us by making a round of returns at the Mall. Having secured credits for all the unwanted items, my miserable crew and I headed for the eatery. The boys all raced off to the bathroom as I stared at the sign in McDonalds willing something healthy to appear on the menu.  Not two minutes later, the boys came racing back with faces flushed and Mac leading the way. “There’s a dog in the bathroom,” he cried. I tore myself away from the staggering calorie count that is listed under each menu item and said a tad sharply, “No..there isn’t.”  Everyone began speaking at once so I put up my palm in the universal “stop” position and motion for Mac to continue. “Mom, I saw him in a stall. I saw his face. It was a dog. It was all alone and it might be dead.”  While Mac is spinning this tale, I watched as men walk in and out of the bathroom. No one is running or in a panic or phased in the least. Well, no one except my kids. I really don’t think the dog is there–dead or alive–but it’s not like I can just march in the men’s room and prove it to them. “It is probably just a seeing eye dog waiting for it’s master,” I ventured. Drew piped up with, ‘then why was it all alone?”  “In a stall with the door open,” Mac adds. Reed is so freaked out that, for once, he is at a loss for words. I asked if he, too, saw the dog and he just nods in agreement.”You should tell someone mom. Call security,” Drew implored. I am certainly not  flagging down the mall cop for a dog which may or may not be alive in the bathroom. This is a flimsy scenario at best.  Choosing to stick to the practical side of this situation I asked, “did you go to the bathroom?”  This garnered me incredulous stares.  “Are you kidding me?” Drew asks, “That dog was going to eat us.” Speaking of eating, the line at McDonalds has now grown and we are no closer to eating than we were 15 minutes ago. “Ok,” I said, “go into the family bathroom–where, with any hope, there will be no animals– and hurry back so we can eat. ” They shuffled off in a clump not at all convinced that kid-eating canines couldn’t possibly have taken over the mall.  Just as I am resigning myself to a side of fries and more time on the treadmill, the boys return. Still clearly rattled by the episode. They spent the entire meal pondering all the possible ways the dog could’ve gotten in the bathroom and left there to torture unsuspecting visitors. “It’s really, really hot outside so the dog just wanted to be somewhere cool and he can drink out of the toilet,” Reed offered. My lunch is getting less and less appetizing with each new theory. Finally, they decide they are going in.  Returning to the scene of the crime.  All that McDonalds grease has made them brave. They placed bets on whether the dog is still there. Loser has to give up the silly band of the winner’s choice.  Quite a sacrifice under any circumstances. Knowing there is a logical explanation for this non-event, I am hardly surprised when they returned to report that there is indeed no dog in the bathroom. I started gathering trash and repeated that if there was a dog it was most likely a seeing eye dog or service dog for a handicapped shopper. I felt their mocking stares declaring me unqualified to render an opinion because I wasn’t there and couldn’t possibly understand. We set off from the eatery with Drew grabbing free samples at each stall on the way out. So, he was lagging slightly behind when lo and behold, a blind man with his service dog came loping toward us. Mac and Reed stopped in their tracks and Drew came up abruptly behind them and just stared. No one met my eye for fear they would have to face my smug expression. Just as the man passes us, Reed says, “Hey, that looks just like…” but before he can even finish the sentence, his brothers cut him off. The truth may be obvious but the statement of the obvious is more than they can take. We all turned and stared after them and I am relieved that the incident is over and I am vindicated. Once again, the voice of reason. That is until I wonder what that poor blind man heard my children scream in the bathroom before they ran out….


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Traci
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 18:54:09

    OMG… You MUST write a book!!!


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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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