Ode to Wal-Mart, especially the old dude who slapped a crying kid

Oh, you gotta love Wal-Mart. I know I do. After all, the smell — it’s the same in every store, trust me, The Bitch has done her research — is addictive, kind of like the secret 361 unpronounceable ingredients in every Happy Meal that keep you coming back for more. That smell wafts out through the auto-opening doors (because, ya know, we’re too lazy to actually pull open a door ourselves and instead will LINE UP behind the automatic doors to get inside with the least amount of effort possible), hitting you with a hot, oppressive wave of low expectation. The smell of Wal-Mart reeks with the stench of failure and hopelessness. Like an Atlantic City casino, except with more lighting.

And the people of Wal-Mart, well they’re just all kinds of awesome. Take Robert Stephens, for example (he’s the friendly-looking dude in the photo — charming, isn’t he?), the 61-year old guy who just had it with someone else’s crying toddler in a Georgia Wal-Mart, threatened to shut her up, then later delivered four or five whacks to ensure that she did.

Astoundingly (or maybe not, because people suck), some people are calling for a variety of actions:


2. What kind of parent lets her kid scream in a Wal-Mart, for chrissakes? Go after the mom, it’s clearly her fault!

3. The race thing (eye roll, because you know this guy would have slapped a crying baby giraffe — let alone a kid ‚ black or white — but it happened in Georgia, after all, and since when does Georgia think it’s a crime to whack a little black kid?).

4. Can’t even comment on this, but the title (“Older Gentleman Politely Slaps Stranger’s Crying Baby at Walmart”) and the name of the blog (Christwire.org: Conservative Values for an Unsaved World) are not only big hints but also serve as their own punch lines. WTF?

Last year I had the pleasure to be on an airplane to somewhere. In the back. You know, in steerage. Where the seatback in front of you touches your knees and where you are breathing the person six seats away from you and where the permanent odor of airplane fuel makes your head pound and where you suddenly have an understanding of what it’s like being a cow on a cattle care bound for slaughter and you decide to become a vegetarian on the spot, that is, if you make it out alive. And there was a kid just in front of me. Who screamed. For two hours. His mother, clearly having already lost the power of hearing from having six months before jabbed a fork into her temple thus bursting her eardrum and rendering her into blessed silence, ignored him entirely. He beat his little fists on her, raised the window shade up and down and up and down, and poked his grubby little hand between the seats at me. While screaming.

I sent him psychic darts to explode his little brain and render him unconscious.

As we began our descent, the screamer fell asleep. The entire steerage section relaxed as one. The sky looked bluer. The air smelled less like body odor and the disinfectant used in the toilets. All was well.

And then the little fiend woke up. And started screaming again. And people started looking around for objects — blunt, sharp, whatever — with which to commit seppuku.

I blame the mother. Clearly, she had given up. She let this little tyrant rule not only her, but an entire airplane full of people. It’s not hard to keep a kid occupied on a flight, unless the kid is sick, in which case there’s duct tape and drugs. And if it’s not manipulation and is just a case of not caring about the kid, why not sell him? All sorts of people want to buy kids these days.

I blame the flight attendants. Give the kid a coloring book, or cheap plastic wings to poke his eye out with or something. Make the airplane land in Kansas City and have everyone deplane. Deploy the tranquilizer blow dart gun. Something. But ignoring a screaming kid is ignoring the other 200 passengers.

I blame the kid. Because it’s not that enjoyable to scream for two hours unless you’re paying someone to make you do it. Find something else to do.

I blame the passengers. Not me, of course — I was sending psychic darts, remember? But people look away when there’s a problem. Look away enough and some whack-job like Mr. Wal-Mart Slappy gets involved, and then there’s trouble.

Which brings me back to the Wal-Mart whack-job. Lots of all up-in-yo-face mommas are leavin’ comments all up in yo ass like “If he tried that with my kid I WOULD HAVE KICKED HIS BALLS UP INTO HIS ASS,” and “I would put the beat down on him,” and “He’d be on his way to the morgue if he even flicked a finger at my child.” Way to go, people! Like hitting the old guy is a solution. About as good a solution as hitting the screaming kid was. I’ll bet I know how you handle the discipline at your house!

No, that’s not the answer. But The Bitch has an answer. You want the Short-Term Solution or the Long-Term Solution?

Fine, you can’t decide. I’m feeling generous so you can have them both.

Short-Term Solution for Screaming Wal-Mart Kids

Leave the store. How badly did you need that beef jerky and those Chee-tos, anyway? Also, earplugs. Or, hello, examine why you shop there to begin with. I mean, look deep into your soul and say, “Wal-Mart, how much do I need your soul-sucking presence in my life?”

Long-Term Solution for Screaming Wal-Mart Kids

Once everyone is inside, seal the doors. Identify all the kids. Sedate and tag them with an invisible chip that injects a small amount of a nerve agent that causes temporary paralysis whenever a certain decibel level is reached. Erase the parents’ memories and implant in their brains the ability to parent with the least amount of stupidity possible (results vary). Then, implant a chip inside each employee that causes them, on the store’s anniversary, to appear on the front steps of the Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters and to sing “Feelings” until every employee is paid a fair wage and receives health benefits.

Gives Wal-Mart’s slogan, “Save money. Live better,” a whole new meaning.