Ingenuity on Display

She walked into the pet shop with her precocious seven year old son in tow. They had obviously just come from the mall movie cineplex as they each carried the tell-tale striped red and white boxes of popcorn. Immediately upon entering, the child tore from his mother’s grip and rushed to the bank of windows displaying this week’s crop of new puppies.

In his manic exuberance, the box of popcorn he was precariously clutching went flying, raining white puffs of popcorn all over the store’s recently vacuumed carpets. The mother shrieked, mortified by the mess, and gathered the little hellion back into the relative safeguard of her motherly clutches. She shook him excessively and in response to her own embarrassment, launched into a tirade about how he had promised to behave and how utterly disappointed she was that he was acting like such, well, a child.

The teenage store manager, herself embarrassed by the mother’s harsh recriminations, swooped down upon the conflagration and assured the mother that “these things happen.” Then, demonstrating the ingenuity that made America great, she unlatched the window of the nearest puppy corral and placed three junior rottweilers upon the popcorn laced carpet. In a blur, the puppies went to town, and within thirty seconds the entire floor was returned to its previous pristine condition.

The offending waif shouted in glee and the mother’s scowl was quickly replaced with a smile. The universe once again spun on its steady axis.