Here's what happened: I was sent on a mission for beach toys (don't ask). While wandering through the pre-school toys, I noticed a lovely wooden Thomas The Tank Engine train set on display. A woman and her toddler son (under three years of age) were playing with it. A zombie clerk was answering the woman's questions: "Is it returnable if he doens't like the one I pick out for him?" etc.
Later, after I circled the store ten times looking for anything resembling beach toys, and visited the ladies room where a scary woman chastised me for not noticing there was no toilet paper in the stall when I sat down (she worked there!), I headed to the ONE register that was open. The woman and child from the train set were in front of me, along with her husband. The boy had a train car in each hand. The child was not crying or fussing at all. The mother, putting on her best "I'm so tired and can't you give me a break" face, said to the clerk, "These cars are from your display. He won't put them down. Can I just pay for these two?"
The Clerk: "I'm sorry, ma'am. They aren't individually priced."
Mother: "Oh, but he won't leave the store without them. They are glued to his hands."
Me: (in my head) "He's a child! Take them out of his hands, walk out the door, and he'll forget about them in five minutes."
The Clerk: "Let me ask my manager."
Me: heavy sigh (I had already driven all the way to Santa Monica only to discover that the Toys R Us on 4th and Santa Monica is no longer there, so you'll have to excuse me)
Beleagered Manager: "They are part of a set. You can buy the set"
Mother: "But he won't put these down. Every time I try he screams."
Me: (in my head) "Oh really? Let me try!"
Beleagered Manager: "Let me see what I can do."
[Manager walks off. In the meantime, Father comes up with a hand puppet and begins to entertain the child, who promptly DROPS THE CARS in favor of the puppet. Mother picks up the cars and puts them BACK into his hands.]
At this point, the clerk finished ringing up my purchase and I left the store before I reached over and ripped the train cars out of the child's hands myself.
All was not a total loss, however. I bought this.It makes oinking sounds while a blue light shines out of its nose.