Can I hit my daughter with a head of lettuce? She’s about four aisles away, right behind the strawberries, next to the cantaloupes. It’s a pretty good distance from me and of course, I’m no longer sure of my aim. Getting old sucks. My arm isn’t what it used to be and I think I need glasses. But barring all that, yup, I think I can make the throw.
She’s standing next to her brother. If I’m lucky, I could get some ricochet and catch him in the face. A two for one kind of deal, an 8-10 split with a prayer. I would need to take off the plastic though from the head of lettuce which I don’t think I want to do. I would have to buy it then.
Little Hoss’ hands are waving in the air, her face snarling. The hands are going to create a little bit of a defensive structure, a weave of flurry that makes it pretty much a wall. Her brother, the nine-year-old has his hands moving around while he talks, too. Without meaning to, they seem to be working together.
I don’t know what they are saying. That isn’t to say that I can’t hear them. I can hear them just fine. Everyone in the God Damn grocery store can hear them. The cashiers and the stock boys can hear them. The people in the next town over can hear them. I’m just not listening to them. The words shoot toward me, pummel me, the anger in them. There are acquisitions, excuses and blame all being passed around. The same shit that we’ve been dealing with since 7 this morning.
“You are being too loud and I can’t sleep,” my daughter accused her brother this morning.
“I’ve got the TV on mute. I’m not being loud!”
“You are being loud and now I can’t sleep!”
And on and on it went. It troubles me that they were being loud while arguing about being loud. When they are that screamy, that early in the morning, I don’t think they realize what is happening. At that point, they are being loud enough to wake me up. Then, from nowhere, I hear the toddler scream and start to cry. When did he get up? At what point did he enter the fray? Seriously, what the hell is going on and why is he crying. I can only assume that he saw a battle going on and would not be denied glory. Head first he would have charged, yelling his battle cry so that the gods of Valhalla would hear his woe.
I might be able to hit the toddler with a kiwi.
It’s going to be tough though. He’s not as tall as the other two and his head doesn’t reach above the little half shelf they are all three standing by. And let’s not be cruel here, a kiwi might be a little harsh. It’s hard, like the apples that I held moments before while considering what I’m going to do about the arguing today. That’s why I switched to the lettuce. Heavy enough to throw with a good solid center to keep it flying straight. It should break away on impact which should lessen the blow. I'm a responsible parent.
Can’t use romaine lettuce. There’s plenty around me, the fresh kind, not the prepackaged stuff. But it’s going to catch too much wind and not go very far. An orange is too bright, they might see that coming. Carrots have points, I don’t want to put an eye out. I just want to knock some sense into them. I have a whole arsenal of fruits and vegetables at my disposal. And with them oblivious at the other end of the fruit and vegetable section, I have time to be choosy.
Tomatoes. I have plenty of tomatoes right around me. Tried and true tomatoes, the fruit flinging projectile of angry mobs for centuries. I could use the big old fashioned tomatoes and get some easy juicy splatter. But then I might hit someone else, collateral damage of the sample lady night to far away from them. The Romas are intriguing. A tomato with a bit of aerodynamics to them. I think the vine-ripes are not going to be very good. Unless I can find a strong vine, then I can use it as a bolo. I like that idea.
Something happens. I can see the toddler’s head start jumping up and down. His little blond hair barely visible over the strawberries. Little Hoss is more animated and it looks like she is actually stomping her foot. Bubba Hoss appears to be all in. Nine-year-old righteous anger, right there on his face as he points at his older sister and younger brother. Escalation. That's what I’m seeing here. Ok. We can do that.
I pick up a watermelon, a very unripe one, and walk closer to my children. The watermelon is heavier and I need to get within range.