436: Put in My Place


This past weekend, I went along for the ride, shopping with two lady friends. This is because one of them has a vehicle, and having a car in Panama means when I buy the giant, economy-sized, 25 pound bag of cat food, I don’t have to actually physically carry it home. Since I needed only the one thing, my sojourn through the MegaDepot (Sam’s Club-style store) was fairly short, and as I checked out and paid, I realized I might have quite a wait for my friends. There were no chairs or benches.  What there WAS available were three kiddie rides: a bird/airplane, a boat, and a horse.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to have people stare, I chose the boat because it had a longer bench seat, and I figured I could perch there semi-comfortably until my friends checked out.  About five minutes later, after a few speculative glances from departing shoppers, I saw a little girl who MIGHT have been all of two feet tall running madly, making a beeline for…..yep – the kiddie rides. And ME.

As she got close, her head snapped up and she spotted me sprawled in the boat bench. She skidded to a stop, with a WTF look of complete consternation on her face – YOU are not supposed to be there, lady! Then, as I watched, I clearly saw her expression change – the determination rolled over her like a wave, and I began schooching over on the bench, because it was immediately clear she was not letting my fat, old a** slow her down a single whit.

She clambered up next to me in the boat, parked her tiny bum, folded her hands in her lap, and looked up at me, like, “Whatcha gonna do about it?” I, of course, rooted around in my bag for a quarter to start the ride. When I found one, I handed it to her, and, obviously no stranger to the rides in this store, she inserted it into the proper slot…..nothing. I shrugged my shoulders, shook my head no, and said “No funciona.” (Not working).

She briefly paused, then she clambered out of the boat and over into the bird/airplane. When she was seated, she looked at me, and imperiously held out her hand for the quarter. I handed it over. She put it into the slot of ride number two….nothing. Undeterred, she climbed out of the bird/airplane, and ran around to try the horse. When she climbed up onto it, she again extended her hand for the quarter, and I forked it over. She put it into the slot on the last chance ride….nothing. No funciona.

By then, her mom? was done checking out, and was ready to leave, but no dice. It took dad? grandpa? hauling her bodily off the horse to be able to depart. I was still snickering. And she did not want the quarter – she wanted the RIDE!



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