Last night, I worked some OT. Another DUI enforcement night. Nothing exciting to relay in that regard. However….
About 30 minutes before the end of the shift, I was sitting next to a little school playground near a church. I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It looked like a couple kids running around the playground. At 0130 in the morning. Time to have a little fun…but first, come with me in the Way Back machine…
Cast your minds back to about 1984. MC was but a young boy out with his friends for some frivolity. We thought it’d be cool to make a midnight run to 7-11. Of course, as we’re walking that way, we saw a car headed our way. One of my genius friends said, “Hide! It might be a cop!” So we scattered to hide. I hid in some random front yard beneath a home’s window. A few seconds later, someone inside threw something threw the window and began yelling, “I know who you are!”
Consequently, I ran as fast as I ever have away from the house. One friend stuck by me. The other ran home (pussy). Turns out that house had been broken into and they thought I was coming back to finish the job. What are the friggin’ odds? Needless to say, it was many moons until the next time I was out past curfew.
With that at the forefront of my mind, I decided to see how much fun being on the flip side would be. My car was running, but all the lights were off. I put the car in gear and crept forward. Until they saw me. They took off running. No more creeping…I came screeching around the corner, slammed on the brakes and jumped out of the car after them. I saw a couple of them jump a fence. I ran up to the fence and yelled at them to “Please return to my location, lads”, or something along those lines. Then I looked to my right and saw another kid hiding poorly behind a bush. Amateur.
They all came back and hopped back over the fence and followed me to my car. I asked them something to the effect of, “What are you scamps up to this fine Spring morn?” They regaled me with their tale of a sojourn to the local convenience market and that they were just enroute back to their young mate’s residence.
I was pulled through space and time and swiftly deposited in the body of my former 13 yr old self. I will never forget that experience in my life. Why should any of these young men be denied the same fond (in hindsight) memory?
I told the boys (who were all 16, with the exception of one 15 yr old) that I was once their age. (And yes, I did the whole “I can’t believe I’m about to say this” routine). Their fond memory will include how the cop that caught them both a) scared the shit out of them and then b) bored the shit out of them with a story about the silly shit he did when he was their age. Too bad, kid!
None of these knuckleheads had backpacks full of stolen property. They weren’t out breaking into cars or tagging or up to any other nefarious activity. They were being innocent teenage boys. Truth be told, I envied them their ignorance. Honestly, it was refreshing, in this day and age, to see four boys out just having some fun.
Maybe the world isn’t hurtling toward the Hot Place as quickly as I thought. A guy can hope, right?