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Life as a Scot in California

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Hide-and-Seek with Modern Technology

Posted by berkeleyscot on October 28, 2008

I heard the squealing before I saw them.  I’d just walked into our local Safeway and had taken a basket for my shopping.

The squealing came from two young girls, maybe eleven or twelve years old. One of them was squealing into a cell phone and they were both jumping up and down and quivering with excessive excitement.

“Aisle 9!”  I never knew squeals could move, but they ran to Aisle 9.

I’ve no idea which aisle I was in, or even at the end of which aisle. I just knew where the milk, butter and orange juice were. That’s all I’d come to buy.

I was distracted and irritated by the squealing and intense agitation, even more so when I saw another pair of young female squealers.

They, too, had a cell phone and were running up and down the aisles. They were squealing in whispers.

This was a game of hide-and-seek with cell phones.  It was clever and it was fun.

But, not in a store, where, in their almost hysterical giddiness, they could have hurt someone.

The other shoppers acted as if they didn’t mind, didn’t care.

The managers didn’t have any reaction

The two pairs of hide-and-seekers ran and ran. Up and down, squealing, giddy and dangerous.

Why did no one stop them?

Finally!

An older store employee talked to one of the pairs and cautioned that they could hurt themselves by running in the store.

That was hardly the point.

I joined in and said it was ok if they hurt themselves, but it wasn’t if they harmed someone else – knocked them off balance – blah blah blah …

There was a second’s cease-fire and then the game started all over again.

A squealer deliberately crashed into me, knocking me off balance.

I didn’t fall, but the expression on her face told me she knew I have problems with balance. She’d seen it in that moment.

The game was over. The squeals stopped.

But, I’m scared, maybe. Maybe, maybe not.

I think I was in a video game!

Be safe when you go shopping!

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