A man slaps a stranger's two-year-old child in Wal-Mart (read it here), and a woman spanks a stranger's toddler at a thrift store (read it here). (Do these things ever happen at, say, Saks?) You and I, of course, would never consider disciplining a stranger's child--but haven't you been tempted? Better yet, haven't you wanted to send a few parents to the time-out box? This is your opportunity: put your frustration with unruly children and parents into verse of any kind. I'll start:
To the girl who assaults all our ears
In the elevator and then sneers--
We can't ignore you
As you turn the air blue.
Your rancor comes through loud and clear.
But your mom, silent, won't move a muscle
To stop you. Does she fear a tussle?
We wish she'd reach out
And duct-tape your mouth,
But she stand there avoiding a fuss. (Still.)
Later: on the drive to work, I thought of an alternate ending line:
If you won't stop her, maybe then us'll.
And I also came up with another poem, which suggests that maybe my hostility level is running a little high today:
At the salad bar, two charming tykes
Use their hands to decide what they'd like.
Using fingers and thumbs,
They pull out a plum--
Or some pudding, potatoes, or pike.
Where is Mom while they do all this sticking
Of fingers in food and then licking?
She's nowhere in sight.
If she saw them, she might
Deliver to them a sound kicking.