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Shaun Phillips and The Hat of All Hats

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Chapter 2: Price Check

I usually took the bus home from school but on that afternoon Mom picked me up. Katie was with her and I knew that meant one thing and one thing only; she had plans for us! Those plans were to go shopping at the big department store. Yuck! Katie was excited but I wanted to barf!

“Mom, do we have to go shopping?” I asked, sulking in the backseat of the car.

“Yes we do. You guys are growing so fast, soon you’ll be too big for your clothes!”

“Can you drop me off at home first?” I grumbled.

“I don’t think so. Ten is too young to stay home alone.”

“But you let me vacuum and do the dishes all the time!”

“What’s your point?”

“My point is that if I am old enough to do all those things then I should be old enough to stay home alone too!”

“Nice try Shaun but you are coming shopping with us. Besides, how would I know what clothes to buy if you aren’t there to try them on?”

I didn’t agree with her. I would’ve been fine at home by myself and my old clothes still fit perfectly. I argued all the way there but Mom didn’t budge.

When we pulled into the shopping plaza parking lot Mom parked really far away from the store entrance. I wondered if it was in a different zip code because it was such a long walk!

“Come on, Shaun!” She nagged. “I’ve seen turtles and sloths move faster than that!”

“Well they probably weren’t going shopping!”

Mom took Katie’s hand and they rushed toward the door with big smiles on their faces. I thought they were going to break into a song and dance number! I could see it already. “Buy Me Clothes- The Musical,” coming to a theater near you! No thanks! I would never want to go see that.

Anyways, the sliding doors opened and they happily went inside and over to the kids clothes.

“Mommy, can we look at some pretty dresses?” Katie asked.

“Sure we can. I think you need some new shoes too.” Mom said, handing her a pink box with sandals in it. “Try these ones on. They’re cute.”

“How long is this going to take?” I asked, getting very restless. I was thinking about a video game I wanted to play at home. Actually, I would have been happier going home to do chores than walking around the store.

“We’ve only been here for a few minutes Shaun. Try to relax.” Mom walked down another aisle.

”But it feels like we’ve been here for a million years.” I whined. “What if I die of boredom?”

“Don’t be so dramatic.” She said. “You need some new clothes too so lose the bad attitude and try some things on.”

She handed me an ugly pair of sneakers that I would never wear. Then we walked over to the shirts and she picked out this striped thing with weird sleeves.

“This is nice Shaun. See if it fits you.”

“No thanks Mom. I don’t want to look like a zebra.”

How could she possibly think that would look good on me? If I wore that thing to school I’d be laughed at all day.

This torture went on for a while. I didn’t like anything she handed me, especially the pants she picked out. They looked like something a clown would wear. And in case you were wondering, I don’t do clowns.

“You should pick up some more underwear while we’re here too Shaun.”

“Mom, don’t say that so loud!”

“Don’t say what so loud?” She shouted to me. “That you need more underwear?”

“Thanks a lot Mom!” I bet she said that on purpose! I was so embarrassed!

“Ha hah!” giggled Katie. “Shaun needs new undies!”

“Shut up Katie!”

“Shaun needs new undies! Shaun needs new undies!”

“Stop it! I don’t want underwear! I don’t want any clothes! I just want to go home!”

“Well I’m sorry.” Mom said. “But I need to get Katie a few more things. If you’re getting that impatient you can go look around the toy section.”

Finally, a good suggestion! I could only take so much family shopping at a time. It seemed like Mom and Katie could waste hours in a store. And if they’re looking for shoes those hours could turn into days! Believe me, I’ve seen it happen!

I wandered off, passing many shoppers who all seemed to be having fun. I really didn’t understand that.

A tall woman with big hair stood in the pajama section looking at a robe. She reminded me of a character in one of my video games. I imagined her pulling out a gold sword and slaying monsters as they jumped off shelves and ran down the aisles. Of course that didn’t happen. She just kept looking at the robe so I continued on my way.

When I finally got to the toy section, the first thing I saw was sets of building blocks. Most were ones that I already owned but there was a box I’d never seen before. So I took it off of the shelf to have a closer look.

“$79.95! No way!” I gasped when I saw the price tag. That was a lot more money than I had saved up with my allowance. Feeling defeated, I put the box down and headed back toward Mom and Katie.

I was almost to the clothing and shoe aisles when I came upon a big rack of hats. They certainly looked better than that zebra thing so I decided to spend a little time trying some of them on. I looked at hats in a bunch of different colors and styles and then I saw it. It was a faded brown cap hanging way on the back of the rack. I grabbed it right away.

I put it on and walked up to a mirror. I kind of looked like an old-fashion detective. I turned to my left and then to my right, seeing how it looked from every angle. It’s fair to say that I was hamming it up a bit.

“Oh yes. This will work.” I said, admiring myself.

Then I took the hat and went to find Mom and Katie. I met them as they were headed up toward the checkout lane with a cart full of stuff.

“Shaun, look what I got!” Katie said, holding up a bright pink shirt with paw prints on it.

“That’s nice Katie. Check out what I found.” I put the hat on and took a bow. I don’t know why. It just felt right.

“That looks nice on you Sweetie.” Mom said. “I’m glad you found something you like. Let’s get in line and pay for this stuff. Then we can go home.”

Maybe this shopping trip wasn’t so bad after all. We found an open register and started unloading the carriage.

“Hello.” The girl at the checkout counter said. “Did you find everything you were looking for today?”

“Absolutely,” Mom replied.

The hat was the last thing to be rung up.

“Gee, there doesn’t seem to be a price tag on this hat.” The checkout girl said. “Did you want to go grab another one like it?”

“That was the only one.” I said. “There were no other hats like it on the rack.”

The girl sent another employee over to the hat section. Of course he came back saying the same thing that I had already told them. Didn’t anyone listen?

Next they called their manager over. She also went to the hat section and then came back and looked up something on her computer.

“I’m sorry for the delay.” She explained, as she came over to the register and punched in a price for the hat. “Thank you for shopping with us. Enjoy the rest of your day!”

Then finally, we were out of the store!

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