Oh all right, I am not technically a scientist, but the following story could totally be a sciency study in support of my hypothesis that it is a waste of time to teach some children “good touch/bad touch”—an exercise that illustrates the difference between being pat on the head for doing a trick well—good touch, and being touched improperly—bad touch. (Sociologists are developing a third touch category for anything Miley Cyrus gets her hands on, including herself.)
Case study: Glendale, California, September 12, 2012. Trader Joe’s.
A boy entered the store with his mother approximately 3 feet in front of me. The mother heaved an ottoman-sized Louis Vuitton bag into a cart, and headed inside with the child trailing slightly behind. The subject was maybe ten years old, but because of extra growth hormones in his milk and mutton, was over 5 feet tall and looked to be about 200lbs.
The kid stood by, gorging on a chocolate bar large enough to feed a Belgian family of six, as his mother struggled to hoist a case of wine into her cart.
As they exited the liquor aisle, the brat child finished his candy, and then threw the wrapper on the floor. I tapped him on the shoulder and began to say, “Young man, you dropped some…” but the lad spun around, gave me the Augustus Gloop stink eye, pointed directly at me with a chocolately hand, and screamed at the top of his lungs, “BAD TOUCH! BAD TOUCH!”
I was immediately surrounded by peasants with torches and pitchforks.
The mother swung her purse at me and screamed, “She molested my baby!” Her “baby” had 60 pounds on me, which I would like to have pointed out, but I was unable to find my words at that moment as I was ducking a giant designer bag.
A manager appeared and asked the lady whether she’d like him to summon the police, while the townspeople prevented me from fleeing to my cave in the Urals.
I explained what had happened and the manager took it all in—the wrapper on the floor, the chocolate all over the kid’s face and hands, and he seemed to understand.
He offered to pay for the mother’s case of wine if she’d just forget the whole thing. I stood, slack-jawed, as the woman actually took a few moments to think about it. The Spawn of Satan hid behind his mommy, smirking at me, like he wanted to be punched in the head and knocked unconscious.
The woman finally agreed to the manager’s terms, the villagers went back to their thatched huts, and I was asked to leave Trader Joe’s.
In the event I did not adequately describe the male subject, he was revolting. Inside and out. Top to bottom. Covered-in-chocolate-with-a-black-stain-on-his-soul fugly. There isn’t a pedophile or methamphetamine-addicted kidnapper who could have been paid to come within ten feet of that kid, so any breath that was wasted on teaching him good touch/bad touch did nothing more than give him a golden ticket to bullydom.
He would have benefitted more from a couple years in San Quentin, where, as the only inmate in history to not get “bad-touched,” he might have learned a little respect for his elders, and he damn well would have learned to pick up his trash.