The Most Infuriating Story You’ll Read Today

Update: It looks like this may be a load of BS.

A mother and blogger tells an absolutely infuriating story of an incident that happened to her family at Walmart. She was shopping with her two young sons, one of whom was wearing a pink headband, prompting this response from one ignorant, bigoted asshole.

Soon enough, we were done with our shop and were making our way toward the front. As we passed through the produce section, two teenage girls began giggling and one of them asked, “Is that a boy or a girl?” I smiled and said, “He’s a boy.” I looked on at him adoringly as they continued to giggle.

Out of nowhere a big booming voice rang out. “THAT’S a BOY?!” The man was overly large with a bushy beard and a camouflage shirt with the arms cut off. He had tattered shorts and lace-up work boots with no laces. I could smell the fug of cigarette smoke surrounding him, and there was a definite pong of beer on him.

“Yes,” I said simply, still smiling.

With no notice, the man stepped forward, grabbed the headband off of Dexter’s head and threw it to the bottom of our shopping cart. He then cuffed Dexter around the side of his head (not hard, but that is not the point) and said with a big laugh, “You’ll thank me later, little man!”

At the same time as I stepped forward, Dexter grabbed his head where the man had smacked him and threw his other hand forward, stomping his foot and shouting, “NO!” I got between my son and this man and said very firmly, “If you touch my son again, I will cut your damn hands off.”

The guy snarled at me, looked at Dexter with disgust and said, “Your son is a f*cking fa***t.” He then started sauntering out, but not before he threw over his shoulder, “He’ll get shot for it one day.”

If he does, it will be by another vile bigot like you. I don’t have children and I’m not a violent guy, but if I were in an identical situation I could see myself losing it on a guy like that. I suspect most any parent would.

25 comments on this post.
  1. Mr Ed:

    The first thing that struck me when I read this is that the description sounds like it is straight from central casting. I can’t say if it is true or not but it seem just a little to perfect

  2. machintelligence:

    If there were witnesses available, I would have had them follow me to store security where the police would have been called. I think this behavior borders on, if not crossed the border to assault on a child.

  3. Rev. BigDumbChimp:

    Lots of questions on the validity of this story. Supposedly the author has a history of stretching the truth, and by stretching i mean avoiding.

    http://getoffmyinternets.net/katie-vyktoriah-story-being-questioned-by-internets/comment-page-3/

    If true it’s infuriating. If a made up story for attention, also infuriating in a different kind of way.

  4. Sastra:

    And this part pissed me off too:

    Not a single person said or did anything. There were several people who had witnessed the encounter, but not one of them came over to offer support or console me or my son.

    Let me repeat to you: Dexter is 2 YEARS OLD.

    I was there with a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old baby, and my kid had been verbally and physically assaulted by a man. And no one did a thing.

    To be honest, if I’d been there and witnessed this I’m not sure what I would have done. Would I have yelled at the retreating troglodyte? Would I have informed the manager? Or would I have simply gone over to the young mother and told her what I thought about what happened and given her my support? Don’t know.

    But I sure as hell would have done something.

    What was wrong with all those people? Did they think this situation was in any way ambiguous?

  5. manfromflanders:

    If there were witnesses available, I would have had them follow me to store security where the police would have been called. I think this behavior borders on, if not crossed the border to assault on a child.

    As the author reported in her article, the apathy of said witnesses before a toddler being hassled by a grown man is really startling.

  6. Sastra:

    Rev Big Dumb Chimp #3 wrote3:

    Lots of questions on the validity of this story.

    Hmm. I see.

    That might answer my own question in #4.

  7. sisu:

    As the author reported in her article, the apathy of said witnesses before a toddler being hassled by a grown man is really startling.

    Just one of many reasons this story doesn’t ring true to me, even before I read the GOMI thread that Rev. BDC linked to above.

  8. godlessmatt:

    Well, Ed, I’m not generally violent either, but I think you know that had this been me, this bigot would have been picking his teeth out of his shit the next day.

  9. Raecon03 .:

    I work in a child development centre. For 20 years we’ve been teaching about allowing children to play and explore without being limited by gender expectations. Just recently a boy in my class wanted a ponytail so put one in his hair, he looked adorable but clearly still looked like boy. Of course some other parent had to make a comment “what’s he doing with a ponytail that’s a boy right? I feel like I just shouldn’t be having to explain this stuff any more, these ideas have been around a long time people should get it by now.

  10. iziktom:

    True or not, it’s a welcome reminder not to shop at Wal-Mart. And not just because of the caliber of the patrons.

  11. zenlike:

    Euhm, I wouldn’t hold the bit about bystanders doing nothing as evidence that the story is untrue, the bystander effect is a real thing, just remember some of the more prominent rape cases of the last year.

  12. raven:

    I would have complained to the store management.

    It might have not done anything but it would make me feel better.

    FWIW, virtually all stores have in store video cameras. I’m not aware of any big box type stores that don’t.

    The store could easily review the camera footage.

  13. manfromflanders:

    @Rev. BigDumbChimp, @sisu,

    Was editing my message when RBDC posted his. Thanks for the link.

  14. Raging Bee:

    Okay, there seem to be some questions raised about the blogger’s credibility. FWIW, I vote to hold off on commenting on the alleged incident until we can be reasonably sure of whether it actually happened. Let’s save our anger for REAL assholes.

    Just one of many reasons this story doesn’t ring true to me…

    Seriously?! You don’t think apathy in repsonse to threatening behavior is real? It happens almost every fucking day — not necessarily because people don’t care or agree with the aggressor, but because the aggressor looks dangerous, the witnesses were caught by surprise and didn’t have a plan, and no one felt they had either the authority, the competence, or the power to do anything. It sucks, but don’t think for a moment that it’s implausible.

  15. Chiroptera:

    Raging Bee, #14: It sucks, but don’t think for a moment that it’s implausible.

    Yeah, that’s what I thought, too. I mean, the first thing I learned as a kid in the last century was that by-standers do not tend to get involved. And not necessarily due to apathy — our culture does a lot to train people to be helpless.

    -

    And I wonder whether the gun people are going to weigh in on this? “If only every single person in that store were armed, then an innocent child would not have been assaulted.” Either way, they look ridiculous.

  16. DuWayne:

    Sisu –

    That should actually be the last reason it should ring false. There is a great deal of psych and communication research into the phenom in our culture that shows people generally unwilling to intervene in that sort of situation. Moreover, the more witnesses there are, the less likely it is that anyone will intervene. The only reason I linked this story on my FB, is that factor, something that really angers me about our culture.

    About five years ago a woman was shot in the leg, by a drive by shooter – an innocent bystander, close to a TRIMET light rail station. I was about thirty feet from the very crowded corner when it happened and had to muscle through a growing crowd to get to her. A fairly sizable crowd gathered around her, with absolutely no one doing anything to actually help her, until I clamped my hands around the wound. It was almost another minute before someone started trying to clear the crowd around her. It is entirely likely that were there few people around and one of the people who didn’t do anything came upon her, they would have helped her.

  17. Michael Heath:

    I’m highly skeptical this is true. And why is this mom using her toddler as a political prop to promote her own agenda? While I wouldn’t say or do anything I’d be sympathizing for this young child given the deficiency of character demonstrated by his mom here.

  18. busterggi:

    Only one ignorant bigot? Are you sure she was at Walmart?

  19. Moggie:

    iziktom:

    True or not, it’s a welcome reminder not to shop at Wal-Mart. And not just because of the caliber of the patrons.

    Er, what? What does that even mean?

    This one time at Walmart, an eccentric billionaire gave me like $1000! I’m told he does it every week! True or not, isn’t that a welcome reminder to shop there more?

  20. Dr X:

    Count me among the doubtful. The story smelled fishy to me when I first read it a few days ago. An alcohol soaked slob committed a battery on a child and the mother didn’t immediately call the police? The PD would have been there very quickly. Is there a news story about a report to the police… anywhere? There are cameras all over the store and there would be a good chance of identifying the guy, posting his picture on line if the police didn’t already recognize him.

  21. ianken:

    Color me as also skeptical. Ask that’s missing is the twirling mustache. It’s just too comically fiendish.

    In fact it reads very much like the rights often ridiculed imaginary confrontations with the gay agenda.

  22. namowal:

    I agree the story seems a bit contrived, but then again, this is Walmart, where “It CAN happen here” could be their slogan…

  23. oranje:

    I can see this being inspired from seeing a picture of Larry the Cable Guy. It reads like something Snopes would take a crack at.

  24. democommie:

    First. I read a whole SHITLOAD of stories that were more infuriating than this one was.

    Second. Regardless the truth of the mother’s story, that something like that would happen at Walmart is a given.

    “The store could easily review the camera footage.”

    You’re talking about a company that frequently and blatantly violates state and federal labor law (don’t take my word for it, google) because as Ford did with the Pinto, they’ve made a CBA that points to paying fines being cheaper than changing policy. If they saw the images as problematic they would disappear those images in a trice.

  25. Raging Bee:

    Dr. X: I really think you’re way off the mark in disputing the plausibility of the (alleged) events. Every element in this story is plausible, including the mom’s choosing not to call the cops after the guy buggered off. (And no, WalMart management would not have helped — what would they do, put the guy’s face on a “(not) wanted” poster and tell all their underpaid greeters to physically block him from entering and spending money?) We all know shit like this does happen on a fairly regular basis. There’s only one good reason to dispute her story, and that’s her past history of MSU.

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