Trip to the Thrift Store

March 1, 2004

I went to our large thrift store in town, ran by Teen Challenge . My main goal was to find an old suitcase, to serve to protect my bongos, shakers, and hand drums as well as allow for easier transport to gigs and practices. So I went to the back and found what I wanted and headed to the line.

While in line, I had a Mother and Child behind me, child was probably around 5-6 years old, the mother younger than me. The child was a little fidgety and was constantly talking and playing with the little trinkets and crap they usually have lining the checkout lines. The mother was cool and just got him to stand beside her and talk. Then all of a sudden the kid told his mom, “There’s something wrong with me”. The mother kinda laughed and shrugged it off and the kid continued, “There are voices in my head, telling me to do bad things.” “Like what dear?”, the mother asked while kinda laughing nervously. “Telling me to push these racks over and throw this battery across the store”.

Please realize, I’m standing no more than 2 feet in front of this event. Clearly within earshot of everything, and getting a little worried about what else is in the aisle, the little kid’s voices are telling him to abuse. “Mom, they want me to do bad things”, was probably the last thing I heard the kid say, as I pay $1.98 for an elderly suitcase and left the building.

As Bill Cosby and Art Linkletter know, “Kids Say the Darndest Things”. Now I’m not gonna totally rebuke this kids voices as saying he probably picked it up from something he overheard, but he was really serious about getting his mother’s attention. He had a serious tone about what he was telling mom. Mother, no doubt, was worried about me (and probably others) overhearing what the kid was saying and worried that we’d probably think her kid was crazier than a loon.

How would you react to a kid that says, “There are voices in my head, telling me to do bad things.”? Honestly, wouldn’t it scare you?