While standing in a long line at a checkout, I noticed a young mother with a small girl, sitting in a cart ahead of me. Between me and the adorable child, that couldn’t have been quite two, stood a man. A man who smelled so badly of cigarette smoke, I could have sworn he still had one lit between his teeth. But I saw no smoke billowing around the back of his head, so I figured the guy must spend a lot of time in a very enclosed space to get that potent of a smell to accompany him.
Lucky me, the smell of cigarettes is one of my least favorite smells. Nothing gives me a bigger headache. It’s why I always avoided the Casinos in Las Vegas as much as possible when I lived there.
As the line slowly inched forward, I did all I could not to pass out. Switching lanes wasn’t possible. The very early hour only had one checkout lane open. Doing my best to be polite, I held my breath for as long as I could, releasing my breath quietly before I suffering another suck of air to enter through my mouth.
The young girl in the cart suddenly spoke up when her mother circled around to put her items on the conveyer belt. She grabbed her little nose and bellered at the man between us. “Ew…you tink.”
The man didn’t take it well. The mother’s quick apology at her daughter’s outburst did little to ease the man’s fury. His thorough scolding of this young mother went on and on. His exact words aren’t worth repeating, but the gist of the tongue lashing was a belittling of this young mother and her parenting abilities.
You better believe the poor mother paid for her items quickly and scurried away. I felt bad for her, because in reality, the little girl said exactly what I was thinking. But having acquired the filter of adulthood, I didn’t dare tell him.
A wise man would have recognized the little girl’s guileless comment wasn’t motivated by anything but truth. He really did stink.