Sometimes the best conversations are the ones you walk through. As I was leaving the grocery store yesterday, I passed a young boy, maybe 10 or 11, standing in front of the Redbox machine. Somewhere outside my field of vision was the boy’s mother. As I passed, the boy turned away from the machine, looked past me, and asked the unseen parent, “Mom, why do we need a watermelon?”
Something struck me about the lad’s tone of voice. It sounded awfully familiar. I couldn’t place it at first, but I gradually realized it was the same tone of voice my mother used with me when I was his age: “Why do you need a new pair of sneakers? Those still fit.” “Why do you need a new bike? You never ride the old one.”
I was out of earshot before I heard the reply, but the whole way home, my mind kept fixating on that one question, “Why do we need a watermelon?” It’s only a short drive from the store to the house, so I only managed to come up with these possible answers:
- Because it’s there.
- To get to the other side.
- Because I said so.
- Go ask your father.
(Disclaimer: I hate watermelon, so I never considered any responses that involve the consumption of watermelon or watermelon byproducts.)
(Disclaimer 2: The picture above is from a training video for the game Alligator/Watermelon/Intrepid Kitten, a coping exercise used to help crocodiles combat fruit addiction. That would also be a good reason why we might need a watermelon.)