Sunday, September 07, 2008

Teach your children well...because I don't want to

I guess what I'm trying to say when I go on tirades like this is I just don't understand why all of you can't get together and make my life easier. After all, there are many, many more of you than there are of me. It shouldn't be difficult to get at least a few of you to form a committee or something to figure this stuff out. I promise, we'll all be happier if some of these things could just...go away.
For example, I came home tonight to find some stupid neighbor kid beating on a tree with a tire iron (just like the one pictured here). I didn't recognize him so I think he's new to the neighborhood. There has been an influx recently of children moving into my complex who are up at all hours, even so-called school nights, screaming at the top of their lungs. And I'm not talking about standard yelps of joy and delight that result naturally because that's what children at play sound like, I'm talking about shrieks of terror that result when you realize you were apparently mistaken about John Wayne Gacy being dead because that sure looks like him barrelling towards you at 50 mph behind the wheel of an ice cream truck whose chimes are playing "Helter Skelter" backwards. I used to be able to tell the difference. Seriously, the first few times I heard this screaming, I bolted outside fully expecting to see a homicide in progress. Nope, just kids running around, not even actually doing anything, and screaming for the sake of screaming. I've since learned to ignore it, which I'm not sure is healthy. So anyway, I think this is one of those stupid kids.

Okay, mom and/or dad, for starters, your kid is outside playing with a tire iron. You either didn't know this or you condone it. Regardless, this is something you need to get in front of and pull the plug on pronto. Because while I'm glad he's hitting trees instead of cars...or the parking lot, I'm sure it's just a matter of time before that's not the case. Trees don't really show dents, or shatter, or bleed, so their entertainment value as something to hit is pretty limited.
Secondly, why hit a tree in the first place? Or for that matter, engage in hitting as a play activity at all? Is that necessary in any way, shape or form? Without going all Green on you, would it kill you to maybe teach your little dumb ass some respect for nature and stuff?
Thirdly, it's a friggin' tire iron. And your child is playing with it. A tire iron, for Chrissakes!

On an impulsive first reaction to seeing this, I told the kid to knock it off. Actually, what I said was "Hey, stop that", for fear of him being one of these smartasses whose defense later might be to point at me and say "He told me to...". The kid did stop but at the same time an adult male head popped up over the edge of an upstairs balcony and scowled down at me. Oh great.
There are exactly two reactions a parent will have when you as an adult speak reproachfully to their offspring:
  1. "Oh geez, my kid is such a dipshit. I'm so, so, so very sorry!"
  2. "How dare you voice criticism of any kind towards the ever-precious fruit of my loins? Prepare to be disemboweled."

This guy didn't say a word but I knew which one I was getting. So in an effort to not escalate hostility (I really don't need to get into any kind of altercation in defense of some ridiculous tree that isn't even mine) I attempted to plead my case with word things. "He was hitting this tree. With that tire iron. See? See where the bark is all chipped away? He did that. Him. With the tire iron. I told him to stop doing that because he shouldn't be doing that. That's what I was saying to him, you know, when you looked down and saw me saying that to him." All I got in response was a look that said not only did he not care that his son was using an auto repair tool for a purpose for which it was not designed but he was going to come down and take a turn or two at it himself once the kid was done, which was either because I sounded like a complete idiot or that's exactly what he was planning to do.

At any rate, I gave up and went upstairs, resigned to the fact that I had done all I could do, which was nothing at all, and hoped that if there's screaming tonight, there's a reason and I sleep right through it.

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