This is my personal thoughts, opinions and musings place. I will also rant about things, especially politically-correct things that irritate me. And sci-fi. Did I mention sci-fi? There'll be lots of sci-fi stuff here. And movies, too. Mmmmm... Movies

Sunday, May 01, 2005

In memoriam: The Little It store

In almost every major(ie., enclosed) every mall I've ever been in in Canada, there's been a store called The Little It Store. It carried items that other respectable stores wouldn't: sex games, fart cushions, perverted and disgusting greeting cards. It also carried other weird stuff, like bead curtains, those t-shirts with funny sayings and greetings on them(“College: We drink more beer before 9am than most people do all day” and “Beer: Helping ugly people have sex since 1852”), sports paraphenalia, funky lamps, and other weird and wonderful items.

Our local store here closed months ago, and since I haven't been out of New Brunswick in almost a year now, I don't know if any of the others have closed as well. On the off-chance that they have, I present the following story in memoriam to a great idea gone rogue.

Many years ago, more than I care to admit, I was in the Scarborough Town Centre which is located, funnily enough, in Scarborough, Ontario. Since I used to work in the area then, I used to hang out at the mall on a semi-irregular basis. I was browsing through The Little It store(you knew that was coming, right?) and heard a commotion at the head of the store. I turned and looked. The commotioned turned to be what looked like an eight-year-old boy, going through all the shelves and items thereon in sequence, with his mother right behind him.

He'd pick up an item and say to his mother, “Can I have this?” She'd reply without even thinking about it, “No!”

With a dissapointed look, he put the item back down, then his face would light up again on the item lying right beside that. He'd pick it up, show it to her and say, “Can I have this?” She'd reply, again without even thinking about it, “No!” And the whole procedure would start all over again.

Keep in mind that there was no delay between items. It's not as though he'd analyze ten items before asking for one. No, he went through virtually every item on every shelf on one side of the store, asking for it and getting turned down. When he go to the end of the store, deep inside, he turned around and repeated the entire procedure with the other side. He'd pick up one item, ask for it, get turned down, put it back and move on to the next. Luckily, he couldn't see the difference between all the different greeting cards, so when he didn't get the one he asked for, he moved on the next type of product.

The funny thing was that there was no real fuss there; he wasn't making a scene, wasn't crying, wasn't carrying on or hitting his mother. He just wanted something, anything, and my guess is he'd done it before, because his mother was taking the whole thing in stride. She wasn't yelling at him, she'd just roll her eyes and say, “No!”

Well, when the boy finally got to the head of the store on the second side and got turned down for the last time, his mother looked at him and said, “Geez, I think you need a pill or something.” For some reason, that entire scene, from start to finish, stuck with me for all these years. It was just so damn cute. The kid didn't care what he got(or, apparently, if he even got anything at all), but he just wanted... something, anything.

I don't know if she ever did get him anything someplace else at the mall('cause she sure didn't get him anything right there and then), but when they left, he was happy as a pig in mud. Maybe in all the excitement of looking at all the cool products he couldn't've possibly understood or had a use for(half the products in the store being adult-oriented and all that), he forgot that he didn't actually get anything at all.

It was the perfect conclusion to a rotten day, and those I had in plenty, in those days.

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