So, I'm at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, waiting on line to buy a magazine for my flight home. The woman in front of me, maybe in her forties, holds a box up to the cashier. Although she's wearing a tacky souvenir t-shirt, she seems to be a normal person. A typical tourist. She certainly doesn't appear mentally-retarded or obviously deranged.
The box she's holding contains an assortment of chocolates. I can't see them, but the whole front of the package is a clear plastic cover, so I'd imagine it would be evident to her what was inside.
"Excuse me," the woman says to the cashier, "but I'm thinking of buying this for a child. Is this OK for a two-year old?"
"It's chocolate," the cashier responds in a heavily accented voice. She appears to be in her mid-fifties, pleasant enough, but there's nothing in her demeanor that screams "child safety expert."
"Yes, yes, I know," the passenger responds, "but is it OK for a two-year old?"
"It's chocolate," the cashier repeats. Its not clear to me if she understands the question. "It's good."
"Yes," the woman says, "but are there little pieces in it? I'm worried about him choking. Is is safe for a two-year old?"
There's a pause as the cashier carefully considers the woman's concerns. Or, maybe not. Certainly, no mental process is observable on her impassive face. She could be mentally calculating a helpful answer or she could just be staring into space. It's hard to tell.
"It's chocolate," she eventually offers. "It's good."
By this time, I've kind of stepped to the side to get a better look at the package in question. But it's held at an angle so I can't see much. I do, however, witness the customer break into a wide smile at the cashier's final assessment of this life-and-death question.
"Great!" the customer enthuses. "I'll take it." She puts the box on the counter and fishes for her credit card. "Thank you." Then, she buys the fucking chocolate!!!!!
Now, at this point, what you do? Do you point out to this woman that, other than confirming the fact that the item in question contained chocolates and that they were, in the cashier's opinion, "good," she's learned nothing that would give even the simplest soul comfort that these candies would not be injurious to her child's health?
Do you say to the customer, "hey, do you mind if I get a look at that? I have a two-year old at home too, and he'd love...holy crap, are those razor blades in there?" Do you just mind your business? Do you suggest a parenting class?
I took the second option. But if I hear a two-year old choked on some chocolate, I'm going to feel terrible.