Whis­tle while you shop

The Labradorian - - Editorial - Steve Bartlett Steve Bartlett is an ed­i­tor at Saltwire Net­work. He dives into the Deep End Mon­days to es­cape re­al­ity and clothes shop­ping. Reach him at steve.bartlett@ thetele­gram.com.

My son and I are at the mall look­ing for a birth­day gift for his mother.

He seems to be­lieve he has a horse in the gift game.

“Dad, can I have an iphone X?” he asks.

“No,” I re­ply. “We’ll think about get­ting you a phone when you are 12.”

“How about when I’m 11?” he coun­ters.

I stand firm at 12.

A few stores later, he asks for a Fort­nite T-shirt.

I say no, we’re here for a gift for Mom and you just got a Carey Price T-shirt for your own birth­day.

(To an­swer the ques­tion on the minds of all Mon­treal fans, yes, the Price shirt has five holes in it. Arrr. Haar­rrr. Har Har.)

I’m crav­ing cof­fee and lineup at Tim’s.

“Can I have a Pepsi?” he won­ders.

I re­mind him it’s 10:30 in the morn­ing and that his only op­tions are milk, juice or water.

He ar­gues he’s nine now and all nine-year-olds get Pepsi.

I ques­tion his facts. He coun­ters with con­vic­tion.

“He’s go­ing to be a lawyer,” the guy be­hind me says.

Many have said that to me about him over the years. He’ll need to be a suc­cess­ful lit­i­ga­tor to af­ford his tastes.

“Can I get a Mon­treal Cana­di­ens hat?” he asks as we walk through the mall, cof­fee and water in our re­spec­tive hands.

“No,” I re­ply, “you’re wear­ing one.”

It con­tin­ues.

He walks into a video game store and asks if they have Black Ops 4.

I ask the clerk what that is and learn it’s the next Call of Duty game.

“No Call of Duty un­til you’re 18,” I re­mind him.

He seeks sup­port from the staff, but the clerk says, “You have to be 17 to buy it.”

That doesn’t break his stride. He is soon ask­ing for a skate­board and a Zoo York hoodie. “They are sick,” he says.

By this time, I’m a lit­tle sick too — of his con­stant re­quests. I try turn­ing this into a par­ent­ing mo­ment, en­cour­ag­ing him to pick an item he re­ally wants — and is per­mit­ted to have — and save his money to buy it him­self. I’ve been stress­ing this to him for a cou­ple of years. We pick up my wife’s birth­day gift in a yoga store, and sur­pris­ingly, my son doesn’t ask for any­thing there.

He also finds lit­tle of in­ter­est in the card store a few doors down — un­til I’m in the lineup with birth­day cards in hand.

From be­hind a ro­tat­ing rack near the cash, he bel­lows, “Dad, can I have a fart whis­tle?”

Every­one else in line laughs and turns to watch me shrink to the size of Ant-man and turn red­der than the cheeks of del­e­gates in the hos­pi­tal­ity suite at a Lib­eral con­ven­tion.

“Dad,” he yells again with great en­thu­si­asm, per­haps sens­ing an au­di­ence, “Can I have a fart whis­tle? They are only a dol­lar.”

He walks over and whis­pers that he has a dol­lar and will pay for it him­self, just like I was en­cour­ag­ing him to.

Af­ter an hour of say­ing “No” and turn­ing down his re­quests, he has me, and I cave in.

He bought the whis­tle, but I’m the one who blew it.

• Saun­ders St

• Mon­tag­nais St,

Com­mer­cial St

• Johnny Hill, Baikie Place

• Corte Real, Lower Mark­land

• Up­per Mark­land,

Cartwright Rd

• Ter­ring­ton Lane, Goose Ave

• Hamil­ton River Rd

• Roberts, Cooper

• Wind­sor, Tenth Street

• Clin­ton Street, NorthS­tar Drive, No­mad

• Spruce, Wood­land Con­tact at or email

to­day to in­quire about avail­able routes listed be­low!

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