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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Johnny's Adventure in Town, Part Two

When we left off yesterday, Johnny had won his first ever grocery-store battle and was a happy little boy.

As they left the grocery store loaded down with shopping bags, there was the regular, large group of ne’er do wells gathered outside. Young men that have nothing really to do, stand outside the grocery store selling plastic bags which are better quality than the store issued bags. Since each bag sells for only a couple pennies, and there are at least a dozen boys gathered outside, it’s a hard life. Their big hope is to be hired for a small one-time job which could earn them a dollar or two.
Because these boys have so much time on their hands, and they are nearly all abusing alcohol and drugs, small squabbles and fights are common. Most of the time, it’s nothing more than some minor pushing and shoving but it always draws a crowd and gets rowdy.

Of course, as Tom and Johnny exited the store, one such fight was going on. Johnny got very upset and began yelling, “Hey, you! Stop that right now! Fighting is not good!” Everyone in the crowd was so shocked to hear a child speaking up in such a manner, the fight stopped. Johnny left feeling good about having done something toward good and  justice in the world.
Later on, another fight broke out in a different parking lot, and even though it was taking place about 100 feet away, Johnny didn’t let that stop him, “Hey, you! Fighting is not good”!
Something else that made a big impact on him was mannequins. When he got home and told me about his day, he made sure to tell me about ‘the mannequins which are statues in the window so that people will buy clothes’. “They only have legs. Their arms are broken”.  He absorbs so much information of what you tell him.
Public toilets were also a big deal with all the new rules:  We have a septic system and need to use wastebaskets, but in public it’s OK to put tissue in the toilet bowl for instance. When Timmy helped him wash his hands, they noticed that the sink was broken and the tap couldn’t turn off, so Johnny dove under the sink and turned off the main valve.
He was also very polite to everyone they came in contact with and shouted a ‘Thank you, Mr. Policeman’ at every checkpoint when the barrier was opened.
I’d say his first venture into town was a roaring success. I can’t wait to see how some of the other kids handle it.

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