Veruca Salt Sighted On A Bus In Canada

by admin on September 26, 2011

Have I got a whopper for you! Yesterday afternoon after a long day at work I managed to get a seat on a very crowded city bus. I have an app on my cell phone for the game Bejeweled that I like to play sometimes so I can zone out for a bit on my commute home. I settled in and pulled out my phone and began to play a game with the sound option turned off so I didn’t disturb anyone around me.

A short while later a man and his little girl, she looked to be about five years old, managed to get into the two seats behind mine (remember, this bus was extremely crowded and available seats were few and far between). The girl was in a sour mood to start off with but I couldn’t really blame her, it was so cramped in there!

After another minute or so she started to whine, “Dad! I want that. I WANT that!” At first I didn’t pay any attention and just focused on my game. Then she got even louder. That’s when I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was her dad and he said, “My daughter wants to play with your phone.”

Just like that: a flat out statement. He didn’t even bother to phrase it like a question. I stared at him for a few seconds and said, “Excuse me?” To which he replied, “My daughter wants to play that game on your phone.”  He made a jabbing gesture toward my cell with his index finger and looked at me expectantly, like it was obvious I should just hand it over to her.

“No, I don’t think so”,  I replied, and turned back to my forward-facing position. She started complaining again about how unfair I was being and he tapped my shoulder again, a bit harder the second time. “It’ll only be for a few minutes. It’s a kid’s game anyway!”,  he grumbled.

I turned back to him and said straight out, “Kid’s game or not I’m not giving her my phone.” To this she started wailing at the top of her lungs and her dad stared at me like he wanted to punch me.

Again I turn back to facing forward in my seat and tried to ignore them. “Why is she being mean?!”, the girl cried. Her dad responded with, “I don’t know, Honey, some people are just really rude.”

Thank goodness my stop was only a few streets away at that point. I couldn’t wait to get off that bus!   0920-11

I just love (not) how crass, rude people redefine rudeness to be any behavior or action that deprives them of what they want by entitlement.

Veruca Salt, for those unfamiliar with the name, is a child character in the book and movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” who demands that her father give her whatever she wants, regardless of who owns it.

{ 118 comments… read them below or add one }

Janos September 26, 2011 at 5:43 am

I…wow…there..there are no words….

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UK Helen September 26, 2011 at 6:53 am

“My daughter wants to play with your phone.”

“Then I suggest you buy her one/download the app to your phone.”

Wow! Who gives their phone to a stranger anyway? If the kid broke it, would he pay? Maybe OP could’ve offered to sell it to him – for ten times the real price. See how much he wants to keep his daughter happy then.

Here’s a related query:
I was at a street event, waiting for it to start. A woman behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked if her daughter could stand in front of me, because she couldn’t see. I agreed. Then a couple of minutes later I heard this woman huffing behind me, and she pushed past me saying, “I have to be with my daughter,” and stood right in front of me. Great – now I couldn’t see.

This is obviously not fair, as I got there early so as to be at the front and see (I’m average height). So what should I do next time? The best response I could come up with is, “No, I’m sorry but if I let your child go in front, you’ll have to go with them and then I won’t be able to see”. Would that be acceptable, or would it consign me to etiquette hell? (and will piggy-backing another query consign me to etiquette hell? Sorry!)

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grumpy_otter September 26, 2011 at 6:53 am

I just finished taking the annual security training for my state and one of the things they emphasized was not to give your phone to anyone because of how easy it could be to access sensitive information.

So maybe if it happens again–“I’m sorry, but my phone is used for my work and I am not permitted to loan it to strangers for security reasons.”

Not that I condone their behavior at all–but maybe it would have made them think “CIA agent” instead of “mean lady.”

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Aje September 26, 2011 at 6:57 am

You should have started to sing the Oompa Loompa song to him:

Who do you blame when your kid is a brat?
Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat
Blaming the kids is a lie and a shame
You know exactly who’s to blame

The mother and the father

Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-da
If you’re not spoiled, then you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do

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me September 26, 2011 at 7:07 am

I cannot believe that on top of being so entitled the man actually taught his daughter that taking other peoples things because you want them is ok….then we wonders why some teenagers steal cars!! besides these days most phones are extremely expensive and have private info on them, this brings to mind a phrase my best mate loves: GOOD GOD MAN!

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me September 26, 2011 at 7:07 am

oops sorry for the spelling!

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Mabel September 26, 2011 at 7:42 am

That girl is going to be a nightmare for anyone who teaches her, dates her and employs her. And +100 for the headline. That cracked me up! :)

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TheVapors September 26, 2011 at 8:36 am

I cannot even imagine… The nerve on that guy to first ask a complete stranger to lend their very expensive phone to his -child- and then to call the person rude when they say no.

Bad eggs!

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Kovitlac September 26, 2011 at 8:38 am

Why, doesn’t that little tale just take the Golden Egg.

You really do have to love how that man is raising his kid. If people don’t automatically give you what they want, they’re rude, condescending jerks. Nevermind that it’s probably a very expensive device (I know my smartphone was), and not at all a child’s toy. Sometimes I let my young cousins play a couple of the games on mine for a bit, but they’re older then 5, I’m keeping an eye on them, and they certainly aren’t demanding that I do so!

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Wheelchair Bling September 26, 2011 at 8:53 am

Well, I do hope Daddy enjoys supporting his spoiled little monster all her life – she’ll be entirely his own creation. I can foresee drama, drama, drama in that family!

Good for you for not being intimidated. It almost sounds like you were fortunate you weren’t alone!

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Susan September 26, 2011 at 9:00 am

Wow! Good for you not giving in!

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JennJenn68 September 26, 2011 at 9:03 am

As I’ve said before on this site a few times, I work as a volunteer librarian in a JK-8 school. It stuns me how much entitlement I see from these children during the day–until, of course, I leave after school and see the parents picking their children up and I realize where it all comes from. Parents are kowtowing to their children like they’re royalty–the favourite nickname that parents use for little girls seems to be “Princess” and by God they act it. Parents: Please parent your children! You are not doing them any favours by demanding that the world contort itself to accommodate their wants and whims. You cannot be your child’s friend. That is not your calling. Be your child’s advocate in situations where it’s needed, by all means–but please use some discrimination in selecting these situations!

And yes, I know the difference. I parent a twelve-year-old boy with Asperger’s. You better believe that I have advocated for him when he has needed it, to enable him to learn properly–but I do not use this as an excuse for entitled behaviour, and I’m the first to call him on arrogant rudeness such as that perpetrated by both father and daughter in the above story! (Although considering the child’s age the father is much more at fault; presumably he is old enough to know better!)

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David September 26, 2011 at 9:13 am

The father is not doing his child any favors by raising her so badly.

She wants the whole world…

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Wendy September 26, 2011 at 9:29 am

It would also have been rude, but it would be tempting to turn around and say, “Yes, your child is, isn’t she?”

Unfortunately, this is what happens when parents don’t discipline their children from an early age. Discipline is not a dirty word…it’s how we become normal, functioning adults. I can imagine this child in the future…demanding a sports car when she’s 16, demanding a certain boy ask her out, demanding to be admitted to a certain university even though she didn’t do the work in high school that would allow her into the community college, much less Yale.

OP, you did a good thing there…you didn’t give her what she wanted!

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AMC September 26, 2011 at 9:31 am

WOW. In a weird way, I feel very sorry for that little girl because it is a parent’s responsibility to teach their child how to function properly in society. This father is doing his daughter an incredible disservice by teaching her that this sort of behavior is acceptable. I shudder to think about the kind of future this girl has ahead of her.

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Shalamar September 26, 2011 at 9:32 am

WOW. That father was unbelievable. No wonder his daughter is an entitled brat with him as a role model.

That reminds me of when I was in the Brownies when I was a kid. I had the full uniform, including the little brown leather purse that attached to my belt. I had a friend who wasn’t in the Brownies (I think her mother, who was divorced and had two other children, couldn’t afford it). My friend was fascinated with my little purse for some reason and kept asking to borrow it. I finally said “Ok, but just for a little while.” Big mistake – once she had it, she refused to give it back. After a week of my repeatedly asking for it to be returned and my friend either refusing outright or “forgetting” it, my parents had to get involved. They insisted that Friend and her mother come by our house RIGHT NOW with the purse. They duly did so, but the mother was obviously furious. Her opening salvo was “I can’t believe you’re making such a fuss over a stupid little purse.” My mum replied “That’s not the point. It’s my daughter’s property.” The mother sneered “I guess it takes all kinds to make a world.” My mum: “How right you are.”

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LovleAnjel September 26, 2011 at 9:38 am

WOW.

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Chocobo September 26, 2011 at 9:45 am

But Daddy, I want a Golden Goose NOW!

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Spud September 26, 2011 at 9:45 am

Can’t fight The Seether.

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Margo September 26, 2011 at 9:46 am

Wow! That’s an awful lot of entitlement. It sounds as though you were very restrained in your response.

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The Elf September 26, 2011 at 9:54 am

Jaw-dropping. Her father is going to have a hell of a problem on his hands in about 10 years.

I want to address one little quibble here – the idea that Bejeweled is a “kid’s game”. I see this come up with any number of computer or console games. For that matter, I see attitudes like that crop up with board or card games, though less often. While there are definitely games marketed towards children (Candyland, etc), games themselves fun well into adulthood. Bejeweled is an all-ages puzzle game and is a fun way to engage your mind without taxing it after a long day of work. I play all sorts of games – card games with my parents, board games with friends, role-playing games with other friends, massively multiplayer online role-playing games with my husband, and console games by myself. The idea that once you become a responsible tax-paying adult you should give it all up is just silly. It’s a hobby, like any other. And there are games that are definitely NOT for children; that’s why they are marked “M” for “Mature”. The end result is that I’ve run into quite a few people who are somehow shocked or disappointed that I “still” play games well into my thirties. Ugh, it just irritates me.

But that rant aside, kid’s game or not, little Veruca better figure out that other people’s belongings are not hers exclusively or she is going to learn a very hard lesson in adulthood.

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spartiechic September 26, 2011 at 10:01 am

That is so ridiculous! I would have turned around and told him that, if his daughter wished to play that game, that he could purchase the phone from such and such. I wish that life were like the movies and we could see what happens to bad eggs like this daughter and father.

I have to admit, all the while I was reading this, I was thinking:

Oompa Loompa doompadee doo
I’ve got another puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa doompadee dee
If you are wise you will listen to me
Who do you blame when your kid is a brat
Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat?
Blaming the kids is a lion of shame
You know exactly who’s to blame:
The mother and the father!
Oompa Loompa doompadee dah
If you’re not spoiled then you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doompadee do

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K September 26, 2011 at 10:03 am

I always like how when that happens NO ONE HAS YOUR BACK! I had a woman yank her daughter on top on me on a public bench–while there were already 3 of us sitting there. She decides to sit down and pull her screaming, tantruming kid down on top of me.
So I got out my camera and filmed it for youtube. The kid is literally on my lap.
Then SHE had a conniption and told me I should have moved if I didn’t like it and how dare I film her pwescious child. What did the other 2 people on the bench say in my defense?
Nuthin’.
Yeah, youtube pulled it, btw, because someone complained or I’d gladly share the wealth.

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xallanthia September 26, 2011 at 10:04 am

At least Veruca Salt’s dad is willing to pay the people inconvenienced by her whining… this guy just expects to get a handout.

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Psyche September 26, 2011 at 10:12 am

That’s some astounding gall, I have to admit. Why didn’t the father bring his own means of entertaining his child? He should have been reminded that in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Veruca Salt ended up being punished for eating the experimental candy when she was told-explicitly-not to. Unfortunately, we can’t turn the little girl on the bus into a giant blueberry and have two Oomph Loomphas push her out, angry parents in tow. Pity.

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Just Laura September 26, 2011 at 10:13 am

Good comparison, Admin. I’d forgotten all about that little girl, but you’re right.

OP, you were far more polite than I would have been.
Does anyone remember in the Little House books, when a younger girl came over for a visit and demanded to play with and keep Charlotte, Laura’s beloved doll? Laura had to give the doll to her, and then Charlotte was found in the mud later. Sadly, entitled children, and the parents who indulge them are nothing new.

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Daisy September 26, 2011 at 10:14 am

I’m trying to imagine this child in 15 years, when Dad has given his little princess everything and she still just isn’t happy. How’s he going to arrange to get her other people’s cars, wardrobes, and boyfriends?

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josie September 26, 2011 at 10:22 am

Life will just keep getting better and better for daddy and his little princess. (Yeah, like the OP is really hand over a $300 phone just to keep the kid happy….don’t think so)

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Green123 September 26, 2011 at 10:24 am

Good on you for sticking to your guns. Spoiled, odious little brats like that are all too common these days and once parents indulge these little gimme-pigs with that cheap toy or that bar of chocolate or a packet of chips they soon start demanding more and more.

You did the right thing, OP. While I’m sure this little kid won’t meet the same sticky end as Veruca did, I expect to see her featuring a lot on E-Hell in the future!

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Lucy September 26, 2011 at 10:38 am

Speechless.

I’m totally speechless.

I’ve always thought I was a mildly spoiled child, but it seems that there are zillions of kids out there who left me in the dust. Holy cow.

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AS September 26, 2011 at 10:48 am

…and then, several years from now, the dad will wonder why his grown up daughter expects him to give her everything even if he cannot afford or don’t have something to give.

Of course, he’ll be the rude one then… and he’ll not know why.

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Teapot September 26, 2011 at 10:51 am

This man defies my vocabulary. I don’t know if there is even a word to describe his outrageous lack of parenting skills and common sense. And then to blame you for being rude to his little monster literally takes my breath away! Can you imagine someone actually caving in to his demand and then trying to get the phone back?

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Friendly Dentonista September 26, 2011 at 10:52 am

This is the most insane thing I’ve ever read. Ever.

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Yarnspinner September 26, 2011 at 10:52 am

Okay, Veruca owes me some medical reimbursement…I think I chipped my chin when my jaw dropped open. Where are those “bad nut” checking squirrels when you need them????

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Patti Purcell September 26, 2011 at 10:57 am

Wow, How totally rude of the father. Can you “imagine how that little girl is in the rest of her life.

I would have said somthing else, probably like Why is it that some people think they can have anything they want. Gee Life is not like that. Can you imagine had she handed over the phone, and somhow the little girl was jostled and dropped the phone, on a crowded bus, the phone would be lost. Gee don’t think the father would replace It then??? Sorry my phone is mine and not anyone’s.
Hey Dad be a parent and good luck with the teen age years and raising a somone who thinks she will always be entitled.

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Hemi Halliwell September 26, 2011 at 11:05 am

Well done, OP, well done. If the father wants his daughter to play a “kid’s game” on a phone, then he should buy her a phone, since it’s pretty obvious she gets what she wants anyway so he doesn’t have to actually parent her and teach her manners.

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Amber September 26, 2011 at 11:06 am

*sputter!*

Yet another entry into the “who DOES this??” catalog. Just be glad you only had to spend a few minutes on the bus with Ms. Salt. Imagine the relatives/classmates/teachers/future employers that will have to be around the results of that mess of poor parenting full time!

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Kara September 26, 2011 at 11:06 am

I have had similar things happen… with my smartphone, my kindle, and my ipad. Every now and then I come across a kid/parent who thinks that the concept of “sharing” means that what is mine is theirs. And how dare I refuse a child their request (demand)?

(For the record I have no problem refusing a child who wants to play with my tech toys, or any other of my possessions.)

Recently when I was waiting in an airport for my flight I there was a kid who didn’t take well to my answer of “no” when they wanted to play with my ipad. The mother snapped at me that I ought to let the precious child play with my ipad because she was “trying to teach about sharing”. My response to the mother was to say that she could use the opportunity to teach their child that not everyone has to share, and they they need to take a response of “no” graciously. And then I picked up my stuff and went to find a different seat in the gate area.

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Amp2140 September 26, 2011 at 11:11 am

Wow… originally I thought he was rudely asking how to get the game…

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Mary-Sue September 26, 2011 at 11:16 am

Maybe it’s because I’m in a snarky mood today, but I would have told that man “You and your spoiled brat daughter need to start learning that the world doesn’t owe you everything on a silver platter just because you exist.”

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James September 26, 2011 at 11:32 am

Well done to the OP for not letting herself be browbeaten into giving up her phone to little Veruca. If only her father took the same approach!

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nannerdoman September 26, 2011 at 11:34 am

“My daughter wants to play with your phone.”

I suppose it would be retaliatory rudeness to say, “So?”

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Pixie September 26, 2011 at 11:46 am

I give OP 5 stars for not ripping into them at the end. I am sure that took some restraint.

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Enna September 26, 2011 at 11:53 am

That is unbelievable. I would have been so tempted to say “It is rude for you to dermand things off strangers such as their personal property.” Wow.

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Calli Arcale September 26, 2011 at 11:54 am

WOW! Well, the dad got one thing right: some people are rude. He certainly proved that one in spades. I’m amazed he got someone to like him long enough to procreate with him.

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Another Laura September 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I’m surprised that “Daddy” hasn’t already purchased a smart phone with game apps for his entitled special snowflake, flower princess, or a gameboy or some other small, handheld gaming device. Maybe she has several but wanted THIS one?

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Hillary September 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm

And if OP had not been “rude” and had acquiesced to the demands of the child and her childish father, what was to stop the child from deciding she WANTED the phone and refusing to return it?

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Ashley September 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm

To ask in the first place was rude enough of the father (who the hell just gives a strangers child an expensive phone?), but then to imply that OP was the rude one in the situation? That’s on a whole other level…

It never ceases to amaze me how other people seem to think that they are somehow entitled to touch/hold/wear/play with other people’s things just because they WANT to. It’s something I encounter fairly often and it disturbs me. One of my favorite hobbies is cosplay. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s when you dress up in the costumes of various movies/tv shows/anime/video games. I do it at gaming conventions. It often involves buying expensive props or spending a lot of time and effort on making your own. It’s a labor of love that I will continue to do for as long as I possibly can. Most people are really respectful, take the pictures of my costume that they want, give me a polite thank you, and move on. Other people, not so much. I have had props snatched out of my hands (“Ohhhh your prop gun is soooo cool, where’d you get it?”), expensive leather top hats removed from my head by someone standing behind me (“It’s soooo pretty, I just HAD to try it on”) and my skirt unbustled (“How do you get your skirt to stay like that?” *Yanks skirt*). I try to maintain a very strict no touching policy when I am in costume, but no matter how strict any cosplayer’s no touching policy is, it cannot stop an overwhelming sense of entitlement.

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Vicky September 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm

OMG – the nerve of some people. Sure I’ll hand my expensive cell phone to your 5 year old just because she is throwing a tantrum….not! Honestly that father is doing this child no favors by trying to condescend to her wishes. This spoiled child is in for a rude awakening as a spoiled adult.

Oh and I totally get and appreciate the reference to Veruca…”I want it now…” Loved it when she went into the garbage/bad egg shoot.

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Cady September 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Wow. Just … wow.

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