Thursday, December 28, 2006

Who ya calling a pup?

When it was time to check out at the grocery store today I headed for a line that had an older lady I know, hoping to have a brief chat. Well, to call it a line is stretching things. There was one person ahead of her, and she was end of the line until I joined her. She was unloading her groceries onto the belt as I came up.

The bag boy looked up, saw her, and said, "Hi, Granny."

"Does everyone call you Granny?" I asked her. We do, and I think everyone we have as mutual friends does, but somehow to have a cocky teenybopper do it with a straight face was a surprise.

"Oh, him?" she said, picking up on my surprise about the bag boy. "I've known him since he was a pup."

He wasn't sure how to take that.

The checker grinned. "He's still a pup," she volunteered, teasingly.

To this, the bag boy took offense, and said so. The checker explained to him that since she had children older than him, he was a pup.

He spent his time bagging Granny's groceries and then mine alternating between proclaiming his maturity and trying to get back at the checker for saying he was still a pup. His main tactic was to compare himself favorably with her children. Not, perhaps, a wise course of action...

He insisted on taking my cart out for me. As we went across the parking lot, which slopes down, he apparently forgot he was in the midst of a mission to prove he wasn't a pup. He jumped on the back of the cart and steered it by applying his feet to the wheels, happily zigging his way to my van. All boy. All kid. All pup. Heh.

I kept a straight face and held my tongue. He was being careful and wasn't likely to run into anybody, which I figured was the main thing.

When we got to my van, without missing a beat or batting an eye he hopped to the ground and morphed back into a grown-up, pleasant and well-mannered and helpful.