August 3, 2013

"With no notice, the man stepped forward, grabbed the headband off of Dexter's head and threw it to the bottom of our shopping cart."

"He then cuffed Dexter around the side of his head (not hard, but that is not the point) and said with a big laugh, 'You'll thank me later, little man!'"
At the same time as I stepped forward, Dexter grabbed his head where the man had smacked him and threw his other hand forward, stomping his foot and shouting, "NO!" I got between my son and this man and said very firmly, "If you touch my son again, I will cut your damn hands off."

The guy snarled at me, looked at Dexter with disgust and said, "Your son is a f*cking fa***t." He then started sauntering out, but not before he threw over his shoulder, "He'll get shot for it one day."
That spiraled out of control quickly!

The things that happen to HuffPo mombloggers when they happen to go to WalMart with their 2-year-old sons wearing mommy's pink lace flower headband.

Here's the blogger Katie Vyktoriah's description of the horrible homophobe who was, I take it, monitoring WalMart shoppers for insufficiently instilling gender norms in toddlers:
The man was overly large with a bushy beard and a camouflage shirt with the arms cut off. He had tattered shorts and lace-up work boots with no laces. I could smell the fug of cigarette smoke surrounding him, and there was a definite pong of beer on him.
Smoking and shorts. And overly large. When are men overly large? Don't they know when they are taking up too much space? A camouflage shirt with the arms cut off... talk about the right to "bare" arms. And the "pong of beer"... Pong?

Pong, meaning "A strong smell, usually unpleasant; a stink" is a Britishism. OED examples:
1925 E. Fraser & J. Gibbons Soldier & Sailor Words 226 Pong, a stink.
1936 F. Clune Roaming round Darling xxiv. 257 Avoid the smell of camel. They were complete with permanent, pyramid, and perfume, commonly called pong....
1991 D. Coupland Generation X i. i. 4 Smelling the cinnamon nighttime pong of snapdragons and efficient whiffs of swimming pool chlorine.
There's a blast from the past. Not the old Atari game (whoever forgot that?) but "Generation X." Remember when everyone was reading "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture"? I'd buy that right now and blog it for its poignant, pungent, pong-ent, obsolescences, but it's not available in Kindle? Not in Kindle! Oh! How the times pass! How the cutting edge dulls!

But, what say you? There's a lumbering, overly large man in shorts, a jack-booted thug with no shoelaces, and he's come to snatch the pink headband off your little boy. Threaten him with hand amputation, that might bridge the culture gap. Or, since he's a stinking smoker, a beer drinker, it might incite him to splutter out some warning about future bullying that will be so badly worded that in print it's good enough to make the HuffPo crowd gasp: Oh, noooooo! Homophobia rages... at WalMart. That's why I NEVER go there. That guy is always there, in his over-largeness, blocking the aisles, shuffling around, graceless... and laceless.


LYNNDH said...

Sounds a bit made up to me. Someone just trying to diss WalMart, and get licks in on her stereotypical right winger. Surprised she didn't mention the gun the guy had, but then it was probably concealed.

Wayworn Wanderer said...

I go there. I hope I'm not that guy.

Lyle said...

Wal-Mart is one of the best places to go to hobnob with all kinds of Americana.

Craig said...

Thought cigarette smoke came in fugues, not fugs.

Renee said...

I can't tell the gender of two year olds, especially since many toddler boys wear their hair longer.

Once my son was wearing orange (shorts/short sleeves) at that age, and someone thought he was a girl.

My another son recently wanted neon yellow socks for soccer, and guess what they only came in 'girls'. I just took off the packaging before I gave the pair to him.

Kchiker said...

Ann senses elitism. She suspects, perhaps, that the portrayal is a bit too pat.

Exaggerated? Fabricated? Simply true? If forced to guess do we usually assume accurate or inaccurate accounts? In print? On the net? So many moving variables.

elkh1 said...

Was the guy ever there? Sounds like a really dreadful penny dreadful to me.

Next time, take "his" picture.

chuck said...

Sounds fishy to me. I've been an many Walmarts and never seen anything like that. Reads like liberal porn.

Broomhandle said...

Way too pat. The left has become so comfortable with it's absurd stereotypes of conservatives that they've lost the ability to lie convincingly.

bpm4532 said...

I have a hard time believing this story is true or not completely exaggerated. This seems like a woman who would have her iPhone at the ready to take adoring photo's of her kid, comparison shop with a bar code reading app, or just checking messages, so she certainly would have it available to take a picture of this alleged criminal.

Besides, doesn't Walmart have cameras everywhere in-store and parking lot? Wouldn't this criminal act of child-abuse be followed-up by police?

Something seems a bit off.

Terry said...

Ms. A., will you please provide a link to the OED definitions you mentioned?

Ann Althouse said...

Yes, I am skeptical about how it happened. There are just too many details.

Also, I'm amused by the idea of mom bloggers -- not saying she is one, but there could be someone who'd do this -- going out with their kids with things set up in some way to create bloggable material.

It's kind of the opposite of when Meade went out into the Wisconsin protests wearing his Jesse Jackson '88 campaign button. He was trying to pass.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ms. A., will you please provide a link to the OED definitions you mentioned?"

Let this question serve as a lesson to everyone who'd gotten tired of my repeated parenthetical "unlinkable" whenever I used the OED.

To Terry: I can get to the OED, but it's not a generally open website. You need to pay for access or have access through your educational institution which would be paying for it.

Matthew Sablan said...

Here's what I don't get. SHE didn't want him to wear it out of the house either: "But when I attempted to remove my discarded lace flower headband from his head (which he'd been wearing all day), I saw him getting ready to fight, so I left him to it. Who was he hurting?"

The guy just was willing to be an ass about the fact he didn't want him to wear it. Not only that, I find "Not a single person said or did anything."

Try acting suspicious in a store, especially one that has so many people in it. Someone does something; employees will come by and ask if they can help you find anything, which is usually a signal that means "We're watching you, so go about your business."

Not only that: "I did not report it to the management nor to the authorities, though I am considering doing both." So, when she says no one did anything, she's including herself in that. She watched the guy walk out the door. At Wal-Mart. Where no one did anything. The same Wal-Mart famous for its greeters.

I'm sorry; I'm reading through this a second time and, you know, I'm just not believing it.

Terry said...

A commenter on the Huffpo piece links to this quote from Katy Vyktoriah's blog:
A childhood proclivity toward storytelling no doubt led me down the road that saw me become a pathological liar in my teenage years. It didn’t matter what I was discussing. If I saw the chance to embellish in some way, I jumped on it, re-telling the same story again and again to different groups with different details.

Matthew Sablan said...

Now, let's look at how the author treats the other people in her story. A couple of "old birds" and "giggling teenage girls out shopping."

It's like her story is filled with unflattering, razor-thin stereotypes.

Matthew Sablan said...

One last comment for now: The author clearly was not shocked into inability to do anything. She got between the man and her son in her account (after he had just cuffed the kid, so she had to move either him or the cart to get in position -- and her son, standing in a cart of groceries and his mom's green purse, per the picture -- stood up and stomped his foot.) She had the presence of mind to make a very peculiar threat (Not you'll regret it, or I'll kill you -- vague, angry threats) -- but the sort of threat TV heroes and villains make: "I'll cut your damn hands off."

Was she carrying the other kid at this time (did you catch that there's a second little child involved in this story? The exact placement is unclear; the picture looks like this kid is in the top part of the shopping cart, which is where I'm assuming he his, since mom has her phone out to take pictures/do the normal tasks of shopping.)

It just feels TOO much like a sitcom episode where we all learn a very important lesson at the end. But, maybe I'm seeing things that aren't there.

kl said...

There is a 'skinny' version of the OED online. It's not the real thing but it's very useful.

acm said...

Of all the silly red (or pink lace) flags in Ms. Katie Vyktoriah's story, I'm having the most fun with the headband itself. She doesn't say that the child-sized and definitely child-styled (does anyone over 8 years old really walk around with an enormous puff of pink tulle?) headband belonged to a niece, or to a playmate of Dexter's or anyone else who might've actually worn it. She doesn't say that Dexter picked it up or asked for it while shopping, which would make sense. Instead, she puts it out there that she's a grown woman who wears toddler-sized headbands with toddler-approved globs of fuschia fluff.

Matthew Sablan said...

((Sidenote, I lied about the last comment: To view the update on the original blog, you'll need to go through the Google Cache, since the traffic seems to have crippled her blog. Reading that makes it even more of a muddy issue if she's telling the truth or not. For example, when one "cuffs" a dog, one is not "patting" a dog. So, what initially was a violent, if not harmful, attack has changed in tone entirely. It is still unacceptable, and it makes the initial response (I'll cut off your damn hands) make a lot more sense. There was no violence until she threatened it; the touching was inappropriate, and the response over-the-top.

This just furthers the discontinuity in how EVERYONE was acting. (The two teenage girls who were asking about the baby did nothing? Really? Remember -- they were close enough for the big man to hear their question and mom's answer.)

I just don't get a confident feeling from reading this that it would be the sort of story I would accept as face value from a stranger on the bus.

jr565 said...

If Althouse never goes there, how does she know who is always there?

Kev said...

(the other kev)

Smells like bullshit. Truth has its own rhythm, and so does fabulism,

Anglelyne said...

Yes, file under "stuff that never happened".

Once observed an encounter between two SWPL-y soccer mom types at the local Walmart, who both apparently thought they could shop in forbidden territory with no one who mattered being any the wiser. Mortification on both sides. Blushes, stammering disjointed justifications for their presence in a Walmart. "Umm, uh, slrglibwuh, yeah, tees...urp, um..."

Oh the shame. Too flustered to process the obvious: "hey, she's here, too!"

Hugely entertaining.

GrandpaMark said...

Same thing happened to me at Saks 5th Avenue

hombre said...

Why would she expect anyone to do anything. The guy was obviously in terrified retreat after she threatened to cut his hands off. Lol.

David said...

Dexter is a very cute child. So cute that a parent who is sure that the world is full of threatening thugs would not be criticized for deciding not to plaster his name and photo all over the internet.

But of course without the cute photo, less people might read the post.

Ms Blogger also said "Last night, I took my two boys out to pick up a couple of things from Walmart. Mark had to catch up on some work, so I ventured out on my own, which is something I don't do very often. It takes a lot of work to get the kids ready, get them in and out of the car, find a shopping cart, keep them happy while I shop and get them home in one piece. You parents will understand this."

She pretty much described the daily challenge of the average Walmart shopper, who may differ only by assuming that such trips are part of life rather than a burdensome expedition.

I am at our Wal-Mart in South Carolina on average of about once a week. Have been doing so for near a decade.

It's always full of parents with kids of all ethnicity and with all sorts of varying costumes. Never have I seen a child insulted or abused. Not once.

Memo to Mark: Next time you are catching up on work, volunteer to keep an eye on the kids while the lady goes out to shop. You can do it.

tim maguire said...

Didn't happen.

What? All of you already think that? Oh. Nevermind.

madAsHell said...

The BS detector went off when I read the line "He'll get shot for it one day".

On the other hand, you never know what you'll find at WalMart

Uncle Pavian said...

Maybe it happened that way and maybe it didn't. The question I ask myself is, How would I respond to an unknown individual slapping a child under my care while in a public place?
In a concealed-carry state, the threatened consequence would not be amputation.

cold pizza said...

I have never said this word aloud, and I've only posted it maybe once in a comment thread a long time ago, but if ANY word applies here, it is BULLSHIT!

And because it's in the HuffPo we've got a whole bunch of anti-conservative troglodytes jumping up and down (like those persons-of-ape-heritage in "2001: A Space Odyssey") ooking over the inherent truthiness of the story.

Another vile "progressive" trolling for attention. Fact check? Anyone? Bueller? *spit*

david7134 said...

This is fake. Wal-Mart is covered in cameras. You can't sneeze without the vapor being seen. If this guy hit her child, then there would be a police report. For that matter, a woman having her child hit and she only threatens the man? I am sorry, but most of the women I know would have had the guy on the floor.

rcocean said...

Semi-drunk stranger cuffs your 2 year old in the head? Then says he'll get "shot for being a faggot"? All because he cares and has nothing better to do?

And yet she doesn't call security or the police on her cellphone?

Not believable.

mtrobertsattorney said...

I agree, this whole incident was made up.

But what is true is that this mom blogger wishes that it really did happen.

GrandpaMark said...

The comments at the site are full of ".... I woulda" and ".....You shoulda"

Pretty dang funny.

if I lived in that area, I would shave my beard off, wear long pants and put laces in my boots, just in case, kinda like closing some embassies temporarily.

Krumhorn said...

This is straight out of the librul play book Which is why I despise them. Being full to the snout with righteous sanctimony, there are no depths too low to sink because, after all, they mean oh-so well

When Sarah Palin was named as the Maverick's running mate, the folks at the Kos openly admitted that they didn't care if Trig was her child or not, it was all in a good cause to repeat the filth they had created.

Anyone recall Kerri Dunn? She was a visiting professor at Claremont McKenna when my two kids were at Pomona. She gave an evening lecture about racism and hate speech. After which she claimed that when she returned to her car, it had been vandalized with vile epithets painted all over it, and her tires had been slashed.

The faculty lounges of our colleges of arts and sciences are chock-a-block with fellow dopey moonbats, and all five of the Claremont colleges went into breathless denunciations while brown shirts roamed the piazzas and the dorms in search of the malfactors

Classes were suspended for days and students were obliged to endure endless rounds of teach-ins reminiscent of the reedukation kamps.

........that is until it was reliably determined that she had done the deed herself.

Never mind. As you were.

- Krumhorn

Freeman Hunt said...

Penthouse Letters for Liberals?

Freeman Hunt said...

The post accessible by Terry's link has great explanatory power.

cubanbob said...

It sounds like the story is pure bs but life is weird so who knows. Years ago I was walking by the Stage Deli with my elder daughter and some woman starts a rant about my weight, her weight and how could I allow this and finally I told her I was going to kick her ass. She took off in hurry all the while cursing me. The point being is that stuff happens, however improbable and it can happen anywhere. Still if I was a bookmaker I would give 20 to 1 odds this story is either totally false or very exaggerated.

Bob_R said...

She has no imagination. She should have had him playing the banjo.

Jimmy said...

I know who that guy is, it's Larry the Cable Guy.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Freeman Hunt,

Penthouse Letters for Liberals?

That is exactly what it is. At the very best, it has to be wildly exaggerated and certainly staged, assuming (charitably) that it isn't complete fiction. (Are we to believe that this lady routinely shops at The Evil Empire -- oh, sorry, I mean, WalMart? And that her two-year-old son wears a pink lace headband by his own choice? I don't know about you folks, but I didn't get much say in what I wore until I was six or so.)

poppa india said...

In her blog at the link Terry left above, her self-description sounds like a person who enjoys using other people for her amusement. "I would hide behind garbage bins and jump out at strangers for fun." "...I fellated an ice-cream cone in front of a man who was out with his wife and children." Yet she's outraged at someone who disrespects her and her child. She muses on whether she should settle down and then thinks "What fun would that be?"
She sounds like a selfish person with problems. Good luck to her kids.....

Edgehopper said...

The link from Terry is interesting--it's not just that she's a pathological liar, it's that her style of lying exactly matches this article. Here are the examples she gives:

When classmates at my new small-town school began calling me “lizard-skin” and asking questions about its origins, I saw my chance to tell a good story. I related to them a brief history of the condition, citing irresponsible parenting and suggesting that my folks had left me in a swimming pool during a lightning storm when I was but a baby. The resulting shock, I’d told them, had made my skin dry and flaky and had given me a heavy aversion to water.

Made up story to gain sympathy, with extreme addition of details and claims of abuse.

Ten days in to my bath embargo, my math teacher asked me to stay after class one day. She very politely, but firmly, stated that my pungent aroma was distracting other students and making it hard for her to keep her lunch down. She asked if I bathed regularly. I sensed that I should tell her the truth, as she was a well-known “good Christian woman,” and she was one of my favourite teachers. Instead, I told her that I was living in a dirt-floored hovel with no running water, and I was reliant on my neighbour’s garden hose even to have a drink of water.

Same thing--a made up story about the horrors she suffered to gain sympathy from others.

I found out later in life that I had pretty severe ADHD, which is part of the reason I made things up. I preferred my richly detailed stories to what may or may not have been ACTUALLY happening. However, around the time I left high school, I had a talk with myself and decided that I would never lie again. And for two years I didn’t.

Apparently she hasn't actually stopped. So why would we believe this overly detailed story that succeeded in garnering her sympathy and attention, perfectly following her admitted pattern?

poppa india said...

More than two thousand years after Aesop, I wonder if she's ever heard of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf"?

Terry said...

The link to Vyktoriah's blog was supplied by a skeptical Huffpo commenter.
Both of Vyktoriah's 'stories', quoted by Edgehopper, resulted in identical negative consequences. CPS visited her family (or so Vyktoriah says).
That's an interesting pattern.

M B said...

Thanks for your interesting look back at the usage of "pong." It is okay if you do not publish this comment.

Kev said...

(the original Kev)

I'm not a fan of Walmart myself, mostly because there's a Super Target nearby that's cleaner, less chaotic, and has the stuff that I want. As a blogger noted a long time ago, it's almost as if Walmart sets itself up to be deliberately downscale in some locations.

But all that being said, I called BS on this article when I first read it last night; there's no way that the mom would have let the guy escape with a mere amputation threat, when the police, security cameras, etc., could have been utilized.

(Thanks, Althouse, for bringing back the comments in moderation--with both meanings of that word working in this case.)

MarkD said...

WalMart is just a store, not a social club. It's close, it's cheap, and I don't see any point in overpaying for commodities. I wouldn't shop there for things I am picky about, but the style of the patrons is not infectious.

PETER V. BELLA said...

If it was my child, there would be hell to pay. Put your hands on my child and you will suffer horribly. No mercy. No pity.

Youngblood said...

Uh huh. Sure.

That happened to her kid, just like her name is really Rebekka Vyktoriah. Just like she was the victim of three unsuccessful kidnap attempts and one successful one. Just like she quit her job as a stewardess just before the flight she worked crashed. Just like she was supposed to be in New York on September 11th.

She's a flake and a liar.

Jamie said...

Ignoring all the other stuff this woman has posted about her life, her story about this has changes so much, it's hard to keep track. It first was reported the man "cuffed" her child, then when people pointed out that was assault, it changed to "pet like a dog," when people pointed out that was still a huge no-no to do to a small child, it changed to "he wasn't bothered by it and let's focus on the bigotry!!" When people pointed out that the man smelled like beer, could of driven drunk, *still* touched her child, and that Wal*Mart might still be able to look through tapes to help, she suddenly cried that people were stalking her home (info where she lived was quite public, so not that hard to find her) sending her threats, telling her they'd send pizza, and decided to pull everything. This whole story reeks of a woman trying to gain hits and blog mom points.

tarheelmri said...

Follow up