I ran into our local pet store yesterday to pick up some food for Gumby's rat. It was a nasty, wet day and as I first entered the shop, I stood in the entryway to wipe my feet and shake some of the rain off of myself. There's a little seating area by the door, and I noticed a lady in her sixties sitting next to the bench on the floor.
She was holding a baby and very carefully wrapping a blanket around it. All around her was strewn baby detritus - a bottle, toys, a knit hat - and I just assumed that she was there with another kid who wanted to keep looking around the store when the baby got fussy. As I walked by her, she laid the baby on her shoulder and started singing softly.
I grabbed the ridiculously overpriced rodent food (they're rats, for the love of pete. Rats. In the wild they eat garbage and rotting food. Why am I paying a buck fifty nine a pound for rat food?) and headed to the cashier. While I was in line, my eyes strayed once again to the lady with the baby. She was fussing with a bottle, and I noticed that the baby now had the hat on.
I was impressed. None of my kids was that mellow as a baby. None of my kids stayed that quiet and calm. None of my kids...
Was a plastic doll. The baby was a plastic doll. I looked. I looked again, through squinted eyes. It was a doll. The size of a baby. And she just kept fussing.
As I got in my car to leave, I peered through the window one more time. She was pulling a diaper out of a bag. The doll, hat on, wrapped in a blanket, just laid there. Was it some sort of social experiment to see how many people noticed? Was this woman simply off? What in the world?
Friday, October 24, 2008
Posted by the rotten correspondent at 12:02 AM