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August 10, 2006

Things that perplex me, #16,435.

I was standing in a muggy grocery store yesterday, doing some just-in-time shopping assigned me by SWWBO (the heat this week is taxing large-box cooling systems). I was sandwiched in the slow moving line between a young family (Mom, Dad, two small kids) and a young couple. The couple own a local tattoo emporium. The Mom and Dad are customers. I'm in the middle, getting a look at everybody's new tats.

Fine, as far as it goes. Some nice work, if not to my taste.

The discussion moves to how proud Mom and Dad are about their new $300 worth of new art, $150 each.

One of the reasons the line is moving slowly is because people, for whatever reason yesterday, are out doing massive grocery shopping. The couple in front starts unloading their two carts of food. Good choices, not much junk food, just a little bit of the kind of stuff you keep on hand to give the munchkins some treats. They put a marker between the loads from cart 1 and cart 2. Pay for cart one. Then... out come the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) checks - which are used, with some real difficulty due to new computers at the store, to pay for cart 2.

What's wrong with this picture?

*I'm* We're subsidizing the tatoos.

I don't have an answer - people on assistance have a right to some fun and some frivolities - they shouldn't be stuck in a grim, grey world. I collect a disability check, even though I've got a job. I've also got limitations and expenses related to my disabilities, so I'm not exactly clean here... but...

But we're qualifying for WIC *and* we have $300 available for body art?

I can't get SWWBO to let me spend $300 on a gun until Andy and August are out of college...

I don't have an answer, I don't pretend to understand the whole issue - but I do know that if I was paying with WIC checks I wouldn't be bragging on the $300 I spent on tattoos.

Hey - everybody was clean, healthy, well cared for, the kids were behaving, and Mom and Dad seemed to have things wired, at least for that 40 minutes I stood on line. All credit to them for that!

Still...