Just rows and rows and endless rows of every kind of boy one can imagine sitting in little chairs on extra large shelves is what you would see if you walked into The Boy Store. It’s a happy, safe place. A fun place. It’s sort of like The North Pole but less cold and more children.
This is the place I tell my boys about every now and then. They have heard the story so often that they usually say “We knoooow” long before I am done.
(They secretly love it.)
“Ummmm…excuse me, sir,” I say to the manager of The Boy Store.
“Yes, ma’am. How can I help you?”
“I know you’ve got a lot of great kids here, but I am looking for something very specific.”
“Yes. I am actually looking for two boys. One has blonde hair, is 10-years-old, loves football jerseys, is funny, really likes reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, is tall, likes history and likes to eat olives straight from the jar. The other one is 6-years-old and really enjoys games, is also very tall, has a sweet heart, has little freckles on his nose and cheeks, is very competitive, makes people laugh and falls asleep sideways in a recliner as soon as a movie starts.”
“You weren’t kidding! That is very specific! Let me see what I can find.”
The nice man starts looking through his extensive computer database. He adjusts his reading glasses at the same time he realizes that he may be a while and looks up to say, “Why don’t you have a look around? I am going to need a few minutes.”
“Sure! I can do that.”
As I start walking down the aisle, I am awe-struck by all of these happy, smiling, laughing, polite boys. I am tickled by the funny things they say. They are all so polite and so friendly.
But, I don’t see what I am looking for…
I walk down one aisle. Then two. Then fifteen. Then two hundred and fifty. Then 3,567,853. Then 12,537,111.
With my head hung low and my legs aching, I return to the front desk.
“I’m sorry, sir, but I couldn’t find these two specific boys I came in here to find. I have been here for what seems like days but can’t spot them anywhere.”
“Well, surely you have found some adequate replacements! We have some top-notch boys in this place!”
“No doubt. I was impressed by them all.”
“Aisle 8 features boys who will never make a mess!”
“And aisle 23 has boys who always say they’re sorry!”
“I know tha—“
“What about aisle 98? Surely you’d like a boy who never makes a mistake or error in sports! That aisle is full of them!”
“I see. It’s ju—“
“You like good grades, don’t you? The boys on aisle 11 have never made less than a 100% on anything ever!”
“Wow. That is gre—“
“The aisle 18 boys make their beds without being asked! Aisle 63 boys do all of their chores and then some on a daily basis. The chaps on aisle 33 never, ever start fights with their siblings! The boys on 44 have never said a mean word to their parents!”
“Sir! Sir! That is awesome to hear.”
“Aisle 7,899 boys don’t fart or burp!”
“Hmmm… Well, still, I—“
“They always flush the toilet and aim properly on aisle 18,555!!!”
“That sounds really awesome bu—“
“They are perfect kids! Perfect!!”
“Sir, I hear you. I agree. Those are all very admirable qualities but I’m afraid I am not persuaded to give up my search for these two other boys. I guess no luck with your earlier research?”
With a heavy sigh and one last glance over the top of his glasses, he looks back down at his files.
“Well, I guess you are in luck. I found them but I am afraid you will have to do a lot of walking to get to them. You will have to walk through the 10 million aisles in this store, then over a few treacherous mountains, through a few dry, dangerous valleys, straight forward for at least a thousand miles and around the corner to the left. There you will see another store just like this one. They are both waiting for you on aisle 67,327.”
Before he can look back up from his mound of paper, I have taken off.