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Kathryn Hitchock — Stories From The Front

BLOG – Babysitters and the Colloidal Blues

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Vitamins at the Vitamin Outlet at the Yellow Springs News

Colloidal silver? Nope, don't see it here. Pretty much everything else, though, 'cept colloidal silver.

It’s normal to have had multiple careers and that’s good because I’ve had a few.  After being a young wife and mother (who sold Tupperware), I got my doctorate in clinical psychology, practiced here in the village, tried working at Marysville prison (don’t ask) and then joined the for-profit world managing senior living facilities (never got used to raising the rent on 80-year-olds). Now I sit at the front of the Yellow Springs News. It’s my voice you most often hear when you call and I am the first person you see if you drop by.  Every day I hear about or experience something remarkable, even if I don’t recognize at the time. Maybe it’s like this at other community newspapers (do you know that community newspapers are alive and well, while the big city papers that have, or had, scant local coverage are dead or struggling to stay alive?), but maybe it’s peculiar to our fair village. A recent phone call confirms my suspicion. Or does it?

A woman called asking for the number of the baby sitter she saw in the classifieds. She was out of town and did not have her paper with her, but it seemed pretty important to get that number because she called. I gave it to her, she thanked me and we said goodbye. Then it occurred to me. Who’s with the kids NOW? I’ll never know unless she reads this and tells me! I suggest if you are planning to go out of town that you take your paper, the original mobile news source (nod to my colleague, Matt) with you. You never know when you might need it. Enter the News number (767-7373) on your mobile right now just in case.

You’ve heard stories about the uppity, unhelpful retail people in town, and you may agree the service could be friendlier. The News receives letters from time to time from visitors who report a less than stellar shopping experience. On the other side of the equation, though, are the sales people who work for minimum wage. They don’t write letters about the not-so-seemly tourist. Maybe they can’t. But I can. Here’s a Story from the Front.

One late Thursday afternoon not long ago, a woman walked through the door talking in a volume more appropriate for a crowded bar, declaring “Dayton Daily News!”.  I assumed this was a question and answered, “This is the Yellow Springs News.” Her volume went up a notch and now more emphatically she said, “Dayton Daily News!!” I looked for clues as to what she wanted. I tried again to orient her to her present geographical position and spoke more slowly: “Nooooo. . . . this is the YELLOW. . . SPRINGS. . . NEWS.” She recovered her ability to ask a question when she said with obvious aggravation, “I’m from out of town. All I want to know is. . .  DO YOU HAVE THE DAYTON DAILY NEWS?” This represented a semblance of communication, though she was still yelling and I was with some effort maintaining my composure.  “No, but you can get it at the Emporium just a few doors down the street.”  With certainty of expression, she responded, “Oh, I’ve been there and all they have is books.”  No, lady, you were at Dark Star. “Well, I am from out of town. You should to tell me where to go.”  At this point, I am considering that an option. Seeing the vitamins on the shelf she inquires if we have “colloidal silver.” Wearily, I tell her “no,” and am certain that my body language conveyed my desire for her to exit swiftly. She left in a huff, saying something over her shoulder about my obvious lack of a “business attitude.” She’d be right about that.

But there’s a “silver” lining here. Thanks to this tourist, who I truly hope found her Dayton Daily News,  I now know that “colloidal silver” is considered by some a “cure-all.” While this fair lady did not appear blue or blue-gray, Wikipedia says that’s what can happen if you ingest it. To avoid blue-tinged citizens it is illegal to market it in some municipalities. We are  Mellow Yellow. . . we’d turn out in a putrid shade of green!

Lady, if you come back, can we start over?


2 Responses to “BLOG – Babysitters and the Colloidal Blues”

  1. Sharon Mohler says:

    Ah, but we really need such people . How much more interesting your day was because of her . A good chuckle for your blog. Thanks for sharing.
    Makes me feel like one of the sane ones . ha ha .

  2. Yvonne Wingard says:

    Kathryn, I LOVE it! And now you know why some of the clerks are less than amiable…we get asked the strangest questions! It seems that folks expect us to know each other’s hours and what who has what. Most of us can do fairly well with the latter, but unless the Chamber is going to come out with a handy-dandy guide of each business’ hours, I’m not even trying to know. I have enough on my hands at Dark Star.

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