"Here’s your fish, ma’am, and here’s your chicken fingers, little lady. Would you like a crazy straw for your Coca-Cola?" I deftly whip the contorted plastic tube from a pocket in my apron.
The little girl’s face brightens at the proffered novelty, but the mother wheels on me, clapping her hands around the girl’s ears and transfixind me with a cutting glare. "How dare you use that word?"
"The... the c-word. The girl’s father is in an instutution." The girl struggles weakly against the mother’s vise-like grip. "I don’t want her to grow up warped."