When you don’t have children, trying to decide what a friend’s 4 year old boy might want for his birthday is not that easy. This was the situation I found myself in one Saturday, walking aimlessly around the toy section of Woolworths, trying to find something reasonably priced that would be well received.
After 30 minutes I was getting rather bored with my quest but had found a toy car that I thought might be suitable. If only there was a way I could check if this would appeal to a 4 year old boy.
As if to answer my prayers, what should walk around the corner but a man-child of about 4 years old who stands next to me and starts looking at the very car I have been deliberating over. Here is my chance to confirm this is the right present – what luck!
And so, with a warm smile I pick the car off the shelf, bend down and politely ask the boy “would you like this car if I gave it to you as a present?” To which he replied in an impressively loud voice (that gradually got fainter as he sprinted off round the corner to find his parents)…STRANGER DANGER, STRANGER DANGER, STRANGER DANGER…
Oh shit…I’d basically just given the “do you want to come and see my puppies” speech to a 4 year old!
So now the whole shop knows that there is a child sex pest somewhere in the store – and somehow it’s me! My first instinct was to make a quick exit from the shop but, in a rare moment of foresight, I realised how incriminating that would look and pictured the embarrassing “do you know this paedophile?” caption accompanying an unusually clear CCTV picture of me appearing in the local paper.
So I followed the DANGER STRANGER screaming child towards the tills where the mother was passionately telling the cashier about her child’s near abduction at the hands of some evil pervert.
“Hello, erm…I think I might be the Danger Stranger” I jokingly announced in the least sexual predator voice I could muster and went on to explain my innocent, but admittedly rather naive, mistake. They thankfully accepted my explanation but no one seemed overly convinced. There was definitely none of the “ha ha…what a funny misunderstanding” or “sorry that my son is primed like a live grenade” banter I was hoping for.
I went back to the toy section and feeling very flustered, quickly picked an inflatable superman as a present. In my anxious state I failed to appreciate that a “56 inch” superman equated to almost 5 feet of shelf clearing, plant wrecking, room filling joy – something the child thought was an amazing present but which his parents have never forgiven me for and apparently got accidentally punctured rather quickly.
Next: Human Kebab