You've probably heard of Wal-Mart. It's the superstore whose television
commercials feature the whistling yellow demon that bounces off
merchandise and terrorizes customers. Alex's local Wal-Mart doesn't
seem to be haunted by the whistling demon.
It does, however, have a McDonald's restaurant with a bench just outside. And permanently affixed to that bench is a brightly colored statue of Ronald McDonald. For some reason, there is usually a somber-looking octogenarian sitting next to Ronald on the bench. It's an amusing sight, to be sure. But on a recent visit Alex found the spot next to the famous hamburger clown to be vacant, and he happily posed for this photo.
He picked a scale model of a Tyrannosaurus Rex from the World of Science. (And he was lucky to find one two days before Mother's Day!)
It may have been an odd gift, but the process was a good experience for Alexander. By choosing a gift, and watching his mother unwrap and appreciate it, he learned an early lesson about the joy of giving.
|Only a few days after his first birthday, Alexander took his first halting steps. Within a few days, he was beginning to be a confident walker. On a Saturday afternoon in early November, 1997, Alex took his parents to the local shopping mall.|
|At the close of the 20th Century, it is generally accepted that the most amazing sights on earth can be found at suburban shopping malls. The finest dining (Sbarros! McDonalds! Dairy Queen!) can be found in the food court! Malls have fountains, and benches, and card stores. And some malls, as Alex discovers in this photo, have giant statues of cartoon characters. Here we see Alex gazing at a larger than life sculpture of Bugs Bunny.|
|In a candy store at the mall, Alexander encountered a large gorilla named George III. (The candy store owner seems to have some lingering Tory sympathies.) It was difficult to lure Alex away from the gorilla. He was mesmerized by the beast's soft artificial fur. At right, Alex checks out the offerings at Walden Books.|
|Of course, shopping is nothing new to Alexander. Alex has been shopping since he was a tiny infant, as the following photographs will attest. Here we see a very young Alexander waiting in a shopping cart in the baby food aisle of a local supermarket.|
|At left, young Alexander is at the mall with his father. (Alex is the smaller one wearing the overalls.) Alex is a casual kind of guy who doesn't mind going to the mall with his slippers on. To the right, we see Alex at a local grocery store, shopping for bananas with his mother. Fun Fact: Bananas are grown in the tropics!|