“I Know Your Father!” By Chris Zito

Over the Memorial Day weekend I witnessed a pair of boys scuffling in the Target. They were 8 or 10, obviously brothers, and they’re folks were no where in sight. The two of them raised a good old-fashioned ruckus right there in the barbecue grill accessory aisle, which as you can imagine was filled to capacity with folks looking for new spatulas.


Good to know the noogie is still available as a way to torture a little brother.

The same scene would have played out very differently when I was a kid. If one of my brothers and I acted out in a store the nearest adult would have come over and grabbed us both.
“Now see here you two. Stop that! What’s your name, young man?”
“Uh…Mark Zito.” (My older brothers always did the talking if we got in trouble)
“Zito…well, I know your father! And I’m sure he didn’t raise you boys to fight in public, now did he?”
“No, sir.”
“Now go on. Get out of here.”


I’m pretty sure this was the guy.

Who knows if the guy really knew our father. It didn’t matter. Any grown up anywhere could grab you by you shirt collar in those days and tell you off. And if you went home and told your folks they’d say, “Well, I didn’t raise you to fight in public, did I?”
How did they always get they’re stories straight?


My dad met secretly with every other dad in town.

Today, of course, correcting someone else’s child’s behavior is taboo. And God forbid you lay a hand on the kid, even to break up a fight. Somehow these kids, or the courts, or some mysterious virus, has divided parents in a way that didn’t exist back in the day. Maybe with both parents working, dads don’t have time for those secret meetings anymore.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito

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