--What To Do?
Your grinch sounds like Scrooge with a mood disorder. If he goes bananas because the kids are laughing too loud, and your 4-year-old is suggesting shipping him off, you have a real problem, one for which Prudie doubts that parking Dad at a Holiday Inn is the answer. The fact that his family didn't celebrate, and yours did, may have something to do with it. Your whining, yelling spouse may be whining and yelling for help. Try to get him to see a mental health professional, using the argument that his behavior goes way beyond not being in a celebratory mood. Christmas with a room-service waiter is not a solution.
As a former store manager and a shopper, may I add a small P.S. to the store manager who wrote last week about "grazing" in the supermarket? I had a lady who would feed her child all the way through the store. When it was brought to my attention, on her next visit I met her at the door and told her we wanted to weigh her son ... and then we would weigh him again on checkout. That was the last time she ever fed him while shopping, though she continued to shop at our store for many years. Sometimes all it takes to put a stop to it is to let the grazer know that you know.
You must have worked at some wonderful store to have embarrassed the lady like that and still kept her as a customer. That was a very creative solution, but risky; she might as easily have asked if you were a pediatrician and then stomped out. A few things we do know from the original letter, however: Eating from supermarket shelves is stealing--an act all consumers pay for--and open-access bins may not be pristine.
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