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Eric Myers' Man of the House - Beware The Swivelhead

January 20th, 2014 9:13 am by Eric Myers

Eric Myers' Man of the House - Beware The Swivelhead

I witnessed something the other day that caught my attention and amazed me yet again at how different we men, in the parenting role, sometimes look to the rest of the world. 

Granted, I was in Wal-Mart, which simply means there is a better than average chance to see things that catch your attention anyway, but this was something that was subtle and yet telling at the same time. I call him the swivelhead.

What's a swivelhead? A person (usually a man) who is pushing a shopping cart and is marching down an isle, or is on their way to an isle, and is rapidly moving their head side to side as they walk. Are they looking for a specific item? Are they looking for another person? Did they win a shopping spree? Are they just out for a stroll? The possibilities are nearly endless and your mind can come up with all kinds of interesting stories. But, as I followed behind this swivelhead and observed him for a short time there were a few things I came to understand.

First, swivelheads can be outright dangerous. This guy was keeping quite a pace as he cruised through one of the main isleways slinging his head from side to side with a young child sitting in the child portion of the cart. Because of his constant head rotation he eyes were seldom looking forward and oncoming shoppers were moving out of his way. This response revealed the primary rule of engagement with a swivelhead: the safest thing to do if you see one approaching is get out of their way. This becomes all the more important since they most likely will not see you approaching!

Second, because his glances were alternating between two totally different store departments - pharmacy on the right and home furnishings on the left - I came to realize that swivelheads have no idea where things actually are in a store. If they did know, they would be purposefully walking toward that specific part of the store with eyes forward on where they were going. So, at this point, we have a dangerous combination working of speed, unawareness, and unfamiliarity. And, lest we forget, all of this is happening with a young child as a passenger! 

Third, you don't want a swiveled shopping for you. The speed with which this guy was moving virtually relegated him to shopping only from endcap displays.  I can only imagine if this was his shopping method what kind of menagerie he would end up with - an enema, a tire, a garden hose, a box of cereal, some vitamins, Drano, a shirt, and some bananas. No thanks. I'll use my prepared shopping list.

I realize that most men shoppers are not swivelheads, and thank God for that. I also realize that there is no harm in fitting in your power walk while you shop with your child in Wal-Mart. Hey, I'm all for efficiency. However, be advised men, that as you shop you affect the people around you. There are certain shopping curtsies after all which make for a safe experience. Because you never know who might be looking. It might be a guy who will write about you.    

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