I live in a part of Indianapolis known as the Old Northside. It’s a historic district that was home to Indy’s social and political bigshots in the early 1900s. Even though it’s such a teeny area, comprised of only a couple blocks, it’s a beautiful part of town. The homes are old and unique and amazing, and the people are friendly. My little apartment building, built around 1910, blends into the neighborhood nicely.
The neighborhoods to the north and south of the Old Northside, (north of 16th St. and south of 11th St., if you’ll refer to the map above), are not as nice. Truth be told, they’re pretty effing shady. Think: boarded-up homes, trash-strewn yards and transient people.
It is in these parts of town that I run my errands. The grocery store, the drug store, the gas station – if i need to run a quick errand, you’ll find me (and my pepper spray) there.
With this background in mind, I’d like to introduce you to a new segment of my blog aptly titled “Guess What Happened to Me at Walgreens?” Because the area of town in which I live is rather, uhh, eclectic, I see things happen all the time that leave me bewildered.
For this first edition of “Guess What Happened to Me at Walgreens?”, I’d like to tell you about something I witnessed at Walgreens a few months ago.
It was around 11:00 pm. B and I ran into the store so I could grab some allergy medicine. While we started down a pharmacy aisle, we couldn’t help but notice a family – a father, mother and their young son. They were standing in the long line at the pharmacy counter, presumably waiting to pick up a prescription. The mother looked exhausted, her arms overflowing with objects to purchase, while her son whined incessantly about how he wanted to go home. The father, a big man wearing a tiny white tank top, stood in silence watching the security camera tv.
I turned the corner, leaving B behind, and went down another aisle on my search for allergy meds. Then, I wove back up the aisle to make my selection. When I reached the top of the aisle, I could see the family again: little boy whining louder and mother looking more tired, but this time the father wasn’t in line with them.
I grabbed a package of pills, then continued my wandering, this time looking for B. Just as I found him, standing near the pharmacy line, the little boy in the family started into a temper tantrum. “I! WANT! TO! GO! HOME! I! WANT! TO! GO! HOME!” he screamed, flailing and flopping on the ground. The mother, in her desperation, turned around to look at the father, but of course he wasn’t there. She turned around, searching for him as her son continued to wiggle around on the tile floor.
“Daddy? DADDY!” the mother yelled through the store. “Daddy!”
“What?” I heard the father grunt. His wife turned to look at him, as did B and I. From around the corner rolled “Daddy”, who had apparently discovered the Walgreens-provided upright wheelchairs, (similar to the one in the delightful picture below.)
He was strapped into the chair, rolling back and forth, stiff as a board. Just then, his son took off running down the aisle in a screaming terror. The mother, still struggling to hold all of her purchases in her arms, looked at her husband.
The husband stared back at her blankly.
“Daddy! He’s runnin’ away!” the mom exclaimed, exasperated.
“Welp,” the father grumbled from “his” wheelchair. “Go git that lil fucker!”
So, the mother chased down the aisle after her son, trying to hold onto all of her products and losing her place in line, while the father rolled back to the corner to watch the tv from the wheelchair.
Later, as B and I were getting into his car to leave, we saw the family, packed into the front seat of a pickup truck, peal out of the parking lot in a blaze of glory.
Husband of the year?