Feb 21, 2010
The cupboard is getting bare, so we stopped by the Poplar Market after church today to grab a few pizzas. It’s a dark little grocery store with the same cramped aisles and pumpkin-orange counter I remember from my childhood, when my grandma would take me there to buy ingredients for her cakes. (It was one of the highlights of my week, because Neda, my great-auntie Gloria’s best friend, always gave me a little bag filled with free candy.)
The front door of the Poplar Market sports the type of handwritten sign you could only find in the rural Midwest:
No backpacks allowed in the store.
Please leave them in the entryway.
The assumption that would-be robbers should just leave their backpacks unattended in the entryway of the store has always cracked me up, but today my eight-year-old noticed it, too. He asked about it as we sat in the van, waiting for Aaron to come out with the pizzas.
8yo: “Mommy, what’s that ‘Attention’ sign about?”
12yo: “That’s so people don’t go around stuffing things in their backpacks.”
6yo: “Yeah, a robber might bring a BOMB in their backpack!”
It doesn’t seem to matter that I didn’t let the little kids watch “Speed” with their daddy last night; evidently, knowledge of bombs comes standard in kindergartners nowadays.
12yo: “Yeah, but if the bomb went boom, they’d go boom too.”
At this point, I am getting disturbed.
6yo: “Or what if the robbers snuck in an ANACONDA in their backpack!”
This line of thought is strangely comforting.
12yo: “Yeah!” *laughing* “Mommy, what would you do if there was an anaconda in the store?
The funny thing is, I actually DO know what you’re supposed to do if you’re being eaten alive by a constrictor. Standard MK training. But since my children are unlikely to encounter many anacondas (anaconda? anacondi?) slithering down the cracked sidewalks of Poplar, Wisconsin, I decide not to fuel the fire.
12yo: “I’d throw lots of food at it! The store would NEVER make you pay for food that you threw at an anaconda to keep it from eating you!”
8yo: “Yeah, that’s why I want some dead mouses. ‘Cause snakes like to eat mouses, and I could throw them at the anaconda.”
If I had only known, I wouldn’t have spent so much on his Christmas presents.
Me: *thinking on my feet* “Just one question–how would somebody fit an anaconda in their backpack?”
12yo: “I bet you could fit an anaconda into a camping backpack. Some of those are really big. You have no idea how big they are, Mommy!”
The conversation continued along these lines until Aaron emerged, uneaten, with the pizzas.
So, fair warning to all you robbers out there–don’t even THINK about trying to sneak an anaconda into the Poplar Market in your rucksack. Because my children are ready for you.
It will just have to wait in the entryway.