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Thursday, March 11, 2004

The Mall 

Wife, Daughter and I are out shopping in one of the local, state-of-the-art malls. The designers of this particular mall have determined that, rather than having the steel girders (which support the roof) visible, they will enclose them within sheetrock, which they will then paint white for aesthetic purposes, resulting in four foot square columns.

Wife and I are proceeding down concourse, with Daughter traipsing along behind us. Wife and I have just passed a clothing establishment which sports large, plate-glass windows for the purpose of displaying its designer frocks. Daughter is strolling along singing to herself and bobbing her head around like one of those little plastic dogs you see in the back window of some cars. As she passes the clothing store, she discovers, mid-bob, that she can see her reflection in the aforementioned plate-glass window. Daughter is navigating forward at a vigorous clip, while simultaneously grinning at herself in the window, and not watching where she is going.

Suddenly, the calm of the mall is interrupted by a loud "Whop!!!!!". I turn to see Daughter staggering sideways away from the sheetrock column in front of the clothing store. Now Daughter, being only around nine or eight years old at the time, is still, in my opinion, a year or two too young to be drinking alcohol, so I know that she is not drunk. I immediately suspect, instead, that she has crashed into the aesthetically pleasing column in front of the clothing establishment and knocked herself goofy. I rush toward her, all the while noticing that everyone in the vicinity has stopped whatever they were doing, and that all eyes are now on Daughter, who, like a Weeble, wobbles but does not fall down. Recalling that Wife does not like being embarrassed in public, and likewise recalling that it has been a night or two since I have Had Any, I determine that I should not embarrass Wife. I therefore grab Daughter by her arm to steady her, and inquire, in a loud voice, "Are you OK, Little Girl??? Do you want me to help you find your mommy and daddy???"