Intense day. Running around doing errands with kids and their Grandma, through thunderstorms, flash floods and afternoon rush hour. At Target there was a hairy, middle-aged guy getting arrested. He was screaming about false arrest, the Pentagon and the International Jew. My eldest asked me what was happening. I told him the man was being arrested, but I didn’t know what for.
Eldest thought for a moment and said, “I hope I never get arrested.”
I replied, “Well, live your life right and you probably won’t.”
The cashier nodded and said, “I’ve seen him in here before. I think he was with the military. He came in a few times and spent hundreds of dollars in cash.”
And, yeah, the picture changed that quick.
“That’s a damn shame.”, I said.
“It probably happens a lot.”, said the cashier who was clearly too sharp to be stuck behind a register.
Afterwards, out in the car my son said it was the first time he’d ever seen someone arrested and he wondered what the man had done. Knowing a bit more now, I told him that usually when a person gets arrested at a store it’s because he’s either been caught stealing or he’s disturbing people and won’t leave when asked. I told him that sometimes people in the military experience things that injure their minds and make it hard to feel okay.
He asked me then why it took so many cops just to arrest one guy. I told him that one guy can can do a lot of damage if he’s sufficiently nuts and that cops don’t screw around with that possibility.
I think he heard me and I hope he thinks about it whenever he remembers seeing his first arrest. I honestly don’t remember the first one I saw, although the first real-life crime I remember was Watergate. Sadly Nixon never got taken away in cuffs, even though I ‘m pretty sure he yelled about the International Jew.
After that we drove through pooled water on Gallows Road, listening to thunder and watching lightning split the sky. Got my daughter from pre-K and dropped Grandma at my sister’s. Made it home drenched but otherwise okay. Then I read an insulting, condescending e-mail from an employer for whom I’ve worked seasonally for almost 15 years. Turns out I’ve been doing something wrong all this time and There Are Plans To Make This Better!
With perfect timing the kids decided things were needed immediately. I disagreed in loud daddy-voice. Wife came home before shots were fired, faces were eaten and John Edwards’ legal team had to be called.
We all had dinner and watched TV and all was well.
Because the cure for intensity is domesticity. The End. Good night.
Now look at this to see how great it is when the crap and madness is overcome: