Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I had good intentions...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 By

At a community event, a woman complained to us. Teenagers down the way, acting like jerks. Little kids the innocent bystanders. Same old song. I trot off to put a stop to the nonsense.

"Hey, guys?" I approach the group of teen boys, who are firing bean bags at each other in a sort of mini-dodgeball game. They hardly notice me. "Guys!"

Two glance my way, but they continue hurling bean bags the size of sub sandwiches. One pegs another in the eye. The injured boy shouts a curse word.

These are big guys, 16 and 17 years old. They're probably very good kids, but they're in a group. Groups of teenage boys generally share a social IQ equal to a suitcase of dead pigeons.

"ALRIGHT!" I bellow. "Hand them OVER!"

They freeze. I march into the fray, snatching their impromptu projectile weapons.

"I think you all know this was not good decision-making!" I hear myself bark. "If you can't play correctly, you can't play! Bye-bye, have fun somewhere else!"

I have all but one bean bag. The ringleader has the last. I glare at him. He tosses it at my head, and I snatch it out of the air without breaking eye contact. I am the Matrix.

He shrugs and turns, but I see him surreptitiously flip me off as he leaves. That's okay. That's just teenage language for respect. So I let it go, and turn to hand the bean bags to a group of 4 and 5 year olds standing neaby.

"Thanks!" squeals a little girl, and the sweet group of delighted children trots over to play. Rare, it must be, to have the big kids pushed aside for once.

They separate into two groups, divide the bags, take aim... and throw them at each other.