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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on July 16th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 19 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 19

The grocery getter

Krider's son might drive his parents into bankruptcy

BY ROB KRIDER

The great state of California has deemed that my son is capable and responsible enough to pilot a 3,000-pound car at 70 miles an hour pretty much wherever he feels like. You have all been officially warned. I am doing everything I can to ensure nobody’s dog ends up underneath my son’s car and, more importantly, that nobody’s daughter ends up in the car’s backseat.


Besides the possible harm to society’s dogs and daughters, my son having his driver’s license has actually been quite convenient for me. I always have somebody ready and willing to drive to the store. My wife and I have really enjoyed not having to run errands since our 16-year-old son is ready with his keys near the front door, just waiting for an excuse to go out and drive. I will admit, though, that our son doing the shopping has started to cost the family a few extra dollars in our grocery budget.

 If I tell my son to go to the store and pick up some milk, he does what he is told. He goes to the store and comes back with milk, and some Milk Duds, milkshakes, Milky Ways, Muscle Milk, and anything else that has milk in the name and six cups of sugar in the ingredients. When we ask for him to pick up some cheese, he comes back with cheese, Cheetos, Cheese Nips, cheesecake, Cheese Puffs, and E-Z-Cheese. When we send him to the store for toilet paper, he comes back with a birthday cake.

“Why did you buy a birthday cake?” I asked him when he came home. “It isn’t anybody’s birthday.”

“I like birthday cake.”

“I like birthday cake, too, but we sent you to the store specifically for toilet paper.”

“I got toilet paper.”

“Where is it?”

“It’s in the trunk of my car … with the piñata.”

“Why did you get a piñata?”

“Because when you have a birthday, you have to have a piñata.”

“But it isn’t anybody’s birthday.”

“So? Why should we have to wait for a birthday to have birthday cake and a piñata when you can buy these things at the store every single day of the year?”

“Diabetes, that’s why.”

My wife and I didn’t realize how much our son was costing us. He has his own ATM card and charged all of the groceries to his account. He kept a running total of what we owed him, and we just kept sending him to the store, where he bought whatever he wanted and we all continued to eat badly. Then one day he came home and said, “I need you to transfer some money.”

“How much do we owe you?” I naively asked.

“Um … $337.56.”

“For what?” I responded in shock. “Did you buy a flat-screen TV at the grocery store?”

“No, I got gas, then you sent me to the store for cereal, then I took my sister to the mall, and when we got back you sent me to rent a movie at the Redbox in the drug store, then later I went to the grocery store for bread, and then I had to buy some new shorts for school. Wait, actually you owe me $357.56, I forgot about the $20 I spent when Mom sent me out for a pizza.”

 I didn’t know what to say. Why would my wife send him out for pizza when we can get pizza delivered? Regardless, all of the numbers added up. So I decided, like any smart parent, to kick this little problem over to my wife, whom I love. She could be the one to deal with our financial grocery disaster, since she was the one foolishly sending him out for pizza.

“Honey, your son says we owe him more than $350 for groceries.”

“No way!”

“Believe it. He gave me a whole run down, down to the penny of what we owe him.”

“He’s breaking us. Not only is he destroying our bank account, he keeps bringing home all of these treats, which I keep eating. Ever since he got his driver’s license, everyone in this house has gotten broker and fatter. I’ve told him over and over again not to do that, but he buys whatever he wants at the store.”

As my wife and I were discussing how we were going to find the money to pay our son back (maybe roll some coins?), our son walked by, eating some cookies (where did those come from?), and casually told us, “I’m going to start adding daily compounded interest to what you guys owe me. I’m not a bank, you know.”

It was one of those moments when I had to decide: Do I keep my wife from killing my only son, or just let it happen, let him be gone, and then be a good witness to testify at my wife’s murder trial? Ultimately, I decided to quickly interfere and keep the peace at the house.

Ironically, to make everyone happy, I sent our son to the store for some ice cream. I wanted to cool everybody down. Then I sat down with my wife, and we formulated a plan to teach our son financial responsibility and re-explain to him his part in helping out around the house. When our son came home, we all enjoyed some ice cream to celebrate the last time he would be going to the store for us.

“New rule, from this moment on: Only mom and dad will go to the store. I have spoken, and so the new rule in our house shall stand.” I was the man of the house, and I laid down the law.

The new rule was in effect exactly 18 hours before it was violated. The grocery list called for lunch meat. The grocery bag that came back had lunch meat … underneath two boxes of cupcakes.

 

Rob does like cupcakes.