Monday, August 14, 2006

Brat Pack

Am I going to be the kind of person who yells at kids for being in my front yard? Am I already turning into the wicked witch down the street? I like kids. I really do. But, twice in a two-day period, I found myself talking sternly to children for being rude and frankly, downright stupid. I must note that their parents were nowhere to be seen.

The first incident involved a preteen girl crossing a street against the light – a busy street where the speed limit is 40 mph. Her male friends hurried to cross while she actually slowed down the closer our vehicle – a Toyota 4Runner – got to her. We actually had to stop because the light turned red but she was in the middle of the street long before the light changed. I said, through the open car window, “You know you’d lose that contest if we hit you.”

She laughed. I said, “It won’t be funny if you’re dead.” Yeah, not very clever and totally something my mom would say. (My mom used to say, “Don’t coming running to me when you break your neck.”) But it had to be said. What if we were crazed lunatics out on a bender looking for little kids to run over? It wouldn’t be the first time. Don’t you people ever watch “Cops” or “The World’s Most Amazing Police Chases”?

The second incident was at a minor league baseball game. Three boys sitting behind us were eating sunflower seeds and spitting out the shells – not just the shells but partially-eaten seeds as well. I wish I could convey here the sounds they made while spitting out the shells.
My boyfriend went to the concession stand and I noticed there was some residue on his seat from these kids spitting out seeds. I turned around and said, sternly but politely, “Please don’t spit seeds on this seat. Someone will be sitting here.”

Again with the laughing. So I said, “I’m asking nicely.”

They moved to another row up and I thought things were solved until my friend found chewed up seeds in her hair. And my boyfriend and I found seeds on the backs of our shirts. At this point two of the boys had left so I say to the sole survivor, “Please stop spitting on us.” I got a blank (possibly defiant) stare. So, I said, “I mean it.”

When I turned back around I said, “I may have to get stadium staff.” Then I got up to use the restroom. When I returned the last boy was gone. I feel like I’m a mean old lady. But, I really wasn’t out of line. Nobody wants someone else’s food in her hair. And, where were the parents?

I said it before, I like kids. I just don’t like brats and I'm not going to put up with their crap.

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