The Slice: Little growler came across Grrr-eat
I was buying an out-of-town newspaper in the Albertsons at 37th Avenue and Grand Boulevard when I heard growling.
This happened while I was facing the service counter on the east wall of the store. The growling was coming from behind me, near the checkout aisles.
An unofficial service dog with attitude issues? A wild animal grumbling that the shopper in front of him had too many items to be in the express lane?
I paid for my paper – a New York Times if you must know – and turned around. The growler was a little boy who looked like he was about 3.
My first thought was that I couldn’t wait to tell my wife about it when I got home. She loves real-life scenes seemingly lifted from “Calvin and Hobbes.”
Then I noticed that the boy wasn’t really growling at anyone. He was just going “Grrrrr.”
I’m sure he was aiming for low, guttural and all-purpose menacing. But he was so little. It sounded more like a puppy.
He seemed to be with a woman and another child or two. When I say “with,” I mean that only in a loose sense. Because this kid was far away in a world of his own.
I tried to size up the woman I assumed was his mom. Would she be OK with me speaking to the lad?
Hard to tell. But I decided against saying anything.
Too bad, really. I wanted to ask Growly Boy if he was a dinosaur or a grizzly bear.
Who knows? I might have hit the jackpot and gotten to hear him say “A grisby.”
Or maybe I would have heard him try to get his mouth around “tyrannosaur.”
I suppose I could have humored the child by pretending to be afraid. You know, step back in an exaggerated way and direct one of the cashiers to call 911 and ask for the Maneater Squad. “Tell them to bring their most powerful tranqs!”
But there are half a dozen ways that could have gone wrong. And I had no desire to frighten the boy or have his indignant mother inform me that he was doing phonics exercises or that he had only recently been adopted from wolves and was coping the best he could.
So I just silently headed out of the store and pictured my wife’s smile.
Today’s Slice question: How do young people from elsewhere picture life in Spokane before coming here to attend college?
Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email email@example.com. Bob Wright said Sioux Falls, S.D., is the city most like Spokane.