It’s a tough scenario.
You’re busily shopping at Stew Leonard’s. A little old lady comes up and asks you to read a label for her.
Then she has a question about “oxidants.” She wonders if you like mangoes. She warns you about sodium.
What would you do?
That’s the exact question posed by the ABC-TV show of the same name. “What Would You Do?” uses actors to portray difficult social problems, in public settings — a mother yells at her child for not getting an A; a boss sexually harasses a waitress; parents react negatively when their child comes out as gay.
ABC took hidden cameras to Stew’s — stashed behind the dancing cow, maybe? — and filmed shoppers as they were confronted by an actress playing a lonely grandmother.
Nearly all were polite. They took time, chatted, made her feel less alone. Who knew that we’d find our better angels in Stew’s produce aisle?
Then ABC upped the ante. Another actor pretended to be the woman’s embarrassed and irate son. He spoke sharply to his “mother,” and apologized for her behavior to the shoppers she was pestered.
Once again, most folks did the right thing. They said it was no bother. They took her side. One demanded, “Why are you talking to your mother like that?”
One of the kindest reactions of all came from Lou Curcio. A longtime Mario’s regular, he’s always been a stand-up guy. Now the entire nation — or at least those tuning in to “What Would You Do?” — saw his kind heart.
You can, too. Click here (you may have to sign in with your TV provider). Find the July 10, 2015 episode; then fast-forward to the 9:45 mark. Lou’s the guy in the Nado Paving shirt.
Would you be as nice as Lou if no one is watching — except hidden cameras at Stew’s?