I think it’s safe to say that we, as a people, are not getting any smarter. Occasionally, I hear something that truly breaks my heart. All three episodes were overheard in the last month:
Episode 1. Waiting in line at the grocery store.
Little Girl, age 8: Can I get this? Can I have this? (Continues begging. Spies a bin of chocolate bars and tries to read sign “.99 cents”.) Nine… nine… (Grabbing a box of Smarties.) Can I have this? It’s only nine dollars!
Sad, on two levels. An eight year old child can’t read a sign that says 99 cents. She also is under the impression that a box of Smarties is a steal at nine dollars.
Episode 2. Bagging my groceries.
Cashier 1, age 17: Do you have to work Christmas Eve?
Cashier 2, age 17: Yeah, it sucks.
Cashier 1: No, you get paid, like, time and a half. That’s, like, getting paid DOUBLE!
Episode 3. Shopping at Zellers.
Child, age 5: (Counting.) 1…2…3…4…
Mother: (Prompting.) 5…6…7…9…10…
There are no words.