They’d Like To Look At The Kid(nap) Menu, Part 2

| Edison, NJ, USA | Working | December 6, 2013

(My eight-year-old friend and her stepfather go out shopping. She is white Asian, and her stepfather is African-American.)

Cashier: “Hey, thanks for shopping at [Name].”

(The cashier sees my friend playing with an action figure.)

Cashier: “Like going out with your friend?”

Friend: “Yeah. He’s my stepfather!”

Cashier: *confused* “Really?”

Friend: “Yeah!” *to stepfather* “Can I get a lolly now?”

Stepfather: “Sure, darling.”

Cashier: “Could you just stay for a sec? I need to check some stuff on your purchase.”

(They wait a few seconds while the cashier pushes a button. A manager comes along.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Cashier: “This man seems to be with this girl and she says she’s related to him. I think he’s abducting her.”

(My friend’s stepfather is horrified. The manager looks closely at him.)

Manager: “Are you related to this child?”

Stepfather: “I’m her stepfather. Look, I can call her mother—”

Cashier: “That won’t be necessary.”

(The cashier starts speaking into the radio.)

Cashier: “Security, close the main doors.”

Manager: “Listen, [Cashier]. This is stupid. Just because a black person is with someone who isn’t black doesn’t mean it’s criminal.”

Cashier: “Well, I’ve already pressed the 911 button, so they’re on their way.”

Stepfather: “Please, I haven’t done anything wrong. She REALLY is my stepdaughter!” *to the manager* “I swear, I’m telling the truth.”

Manager: “I understand, sir.” *to cashier* “Just please call them off.”

Cashier: “I called 911, remember? I can’t call them off.”

(When police arrive, they question my friend and her stepfather. The policeman asks my friend questions like her stepfather’s first name, birth date, and their address. After a call comes that the information is checked out with my friend’s mother at her home, the policeman looks at the manager.)

Policeman: “Well, this is accurate. She’s eight years old; a little kid wouldn’t know a strange adult’s date of birth. Plus, we don’t have any issues of missing children her age in the state. So, I think that he hasn’t done anything.”

Stepfather: *to cashier* “I TOLD you! You just have to go ahead and don’t let anyone get a word in!”

Manager: *to Cashier* “I’ll be seeing you round back.”

(Even twelve years later my friend has never gone back in the store, even though the cashier was fired.)

 

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