>Where Were This Little Kid’s Parents?

>This still bothers me a day later. Sometimes I wonder why I write these things up here. I mean, what’s anybody gonna do?

Last night I headed out to get some milk. the place I was going was in a plaza with a bank and a few other stores on a busy street. It was about, hmmm, 7:30 or so at night. As I got close to the bank, a little boy, pretty sure it was a boy, came out in front of me and in a small voice said, “Do you want to support my charity?” this guy was wee. I mean, I could look down at him and I’m not that tall. I asked him what he was selling. He said chocolate bars. I asked him what charity it was. There was a lot of car noise and it had just rained pretty hard so it was hard to hear, but he said something like “Care for kids.” I asked him what they did. He told me it was for kids from other countries whose families couldn’t afford to get them medical treatment…”so we fly them to Toronto so they can get it done.”

As we talked, I was getting freaked out. Usually when kids sell stuff, they are in pairs, and it’s in the middle of the day. Plus, it had just rained, and I did not notice an umbrella over his head. This little guy was standing out in the rain in a plaza that isn’t super dangerous, but stuff could go down, at night. I know it wasn’t terribly late, but it was not super early either. I asked him if he was alone. “yup,” he said. I said I wasn’t sure if that was so safe for him. I also asked him if he had an umbrella. He said no. I said I just didn’t like the idea that he was all by himself in the rain at night. He said, “Oh, people come by and check on me every so often.” that gave me the creeps. Every so often isn’t good enough.

I wish I’d been thinking faster. I wish I’d just stayed with him until somebody showed up. I went into the drugstore and told them what I saw. They didn’t seem too concerned. when I came back out after buying milk, he was gone, or at least I’m pretty sure he was. I figured he wouldn’t hit me up again, but I thought if he was there, Trixie would have gone around him since he had himself parked all close to the entrance to the bank, or she might have had a silly moment and tried to go to him. She did neither. We trailed the bank wall pretty closely. If he was still there, I might have just stayed with him a wee bit longer until someone showed up.

I don’t know what to think. I hope there was nothing cynister going on. Most of all I hope he’s ok.

This stuff always bothers me ever since I read about the Kitty Genovese case, and the bystander effect, in psych class way, way, way back. After reading that, I swore I wouldn’t be one of those dumb bystanders who did nothing when something weird was going on. I swore I’d rather overreact over nothing and look like asmall fool than witness something that needed attention and do nothing. And yesterday I essentially did nothing. Well, at least I’ve written down what happened. If I ever need it, I know where to find it.

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