During the summer in Charlottetown, I enjoy sitting for a portion of my lunchtimes on the benches by the fountain at Province House.
Today, as I was sitting there, I saw a man and a boy (maybe 10 years old) walking my way. They stopped, suddenly, and from the body language, I could tell the man was upset. Tired. Fed up. That piqued my interest.
He grabbed the boy’s arm, in a stern “I’m your father and you are going to listen to what I have to say” kind of way. I overheard the man say something to the effect of “come over here. we are going to sit down and have a talk. Enough of this.” They sat at the bench next to mine, and I could only hear some of the man’s portion of the conversation.
I quickly gathered that the man was the father or guardian of the boy. And he was fed up with what he saw as the petulant, selfish, whiny nature of the boy. They were tourists to our fair Isle.
Here are some snippets that I overheard, all from the man:
“Would you rather be home in Guelph, sweating in your living room all day in your underwear?”
“I should call you Captain Crabby. Do you like being called Captain Crabby? No I didn’t think so.”
“Go ahead and call her. Do you think your mother will be on your side?”
“Everything I suggest you just go ‘no’ ‘nuh’ ‘no’ ‘don’t wanna’. Do you think it’s fun trying to come up with things for us to do?”
“You don’t have to be Mr. Grumpy. You have a choice, you know.”
“Would you rather not spend time with me ever again? Is that what you mean?”
“I CAN speak to you like that. I’m the grownup here.”
I felt equally bad for both parties.