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    I-Scream For Someone To Listen

    , | Dublin, Ireland | Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month

    (I am a customer in this story. I’m queuing for ice cream at a mini fast-food stand in a well-known flat-pack furniture shop. Ahead of me is a father and mother with two children, an older girl around 10 years old and a younger boy. The system is that you buy tokens and cones from a cashier, and then put the tokens in an ice cream machine to make your own soft-serve in the cones.)

    Cashier: “These cones are smaller than our usual ones. You have to wrap a napkin around them so the machine registers them. Okay?”

    Father: “Yeah, yeah.” *hands the stuff to his wife and she takes the kids to the ice-cream machine while he gets their furniture*

    Me: “One ice cream, please.”

    Cashier: “Sure.”

    (The cashier hands me my change, my token, and the cone, and repeats the information about the small cones and to be sure to use the napkin.)

    Me: “Okay, thank you!”

    (I follow the mother and children to the ice cream machine.)

    Mother: *repeatedly trying to use the machine* “What is wrong with this stupid machine?”

    Little Girl: “You have to wrap the napkin around the cone, mammy.”

    Mother: *ignoring child* “[Father], the machine isn’t working!”

    Father: *coming over* “Let me try.”

    Little Girl: “You put the napkin around the cone, daddy.”

    Father: *also ignoring child* “Piece of crap machine.”

    Little Girl: “Daddy, you have to put the napkin around the cone!”

    Father: *raising his voice, sarcastic* “I heard you the first time! Thank you for your input!”

    Mother: “Forget it.”

    (The father takes the tokens and cones back to get a refund, while the kids’ faces fall. The mother turns to me.)

    Mother: “The machine is broken. Don’t bother.”

    Me: “Are you sure? The–”

    Mother: “You’re seeing me walk away, aren’t you?”

    (The mother grabs the disappointed kids and stalks off to wait for the father. I step up, wrap the napkin around the cone, pop the token in the machine, and voila! Ice cream! I take the ice cream and go look for my own parents, and immediately walk past the waiting mother and children.)

    Little Boy: “Look, mammy. Why did hers work?”

    (Feeling bad for the kids, I walk off quickly so they don’t have to watch me eat my ice cream. I find my own parents, and we go to our car with our new furniture. As we’re walking, another car screeches out in front of us rudely and dangerously, and drives past: it’s the same family, and the smart, ignored little girl and the disappointed little boy both look out the window to see me still eating the delicious ice cream. Wherever you are, little girl, I hope your parents’ total lack of listening skills aren’t getting you down. You were right!)