Sometimes, my job entails dealing with juveniles. Â As a rule, I’m not the biggest fan of that particular set. Â I love my own kids…but everyone else’s are not at the top of my list. Â They tend to be arrogant, ignorant, and cause for more than their fair share of piddly crimes.
More often than not, they think they know the law. Â (Most of them do not). Â Just because your Uncle Walt is a real estate attorney doesn’t mean you are privy to criminal law, Little Johnny.
At any rate, a few weeks back, I had occasion to run across a triad of the early-teen crowd. Â The three future Mensa members had taken it upon themselves to vandalize a building with a Sharpie pen. Â You know, the permanent ones. Â I won’t Â bore you with the pedestrian details. Â I’ll just cut to the bit that entertained me. Â Sufficed to say, we had them dead to rights with Sharpies and witnesses.
One of my suspects was sitting in the rear of my sergeant’s patrol car. Â It was a warm day and he was sweating from the heat. Â He was also wearing a fleece panda hat eerily similar to the one pictured in this post. Â He was about 14-years-old. Â He had attitude. Â His hat pissed me off. Â I’m not saying any of this makes sense. Â Short of those Sun Bears, the Panda is the laziest and most overrated of bears. Â Sorry, Ling Ling.
MC: You got a cell phone?
PB (Panda Boy): Yup.
MC: Ring mommy. Â Now.
PB does. Â I talk to mom and she’s en route and less than happy. Â This was a good sign. Â I gave the phone back to PB.
MC: Take off that hat. Â You look ridiculous.
PB: I believe I know my rights and I have the right to wear this hat.
*Hint to other age-challenged types caught red-handed. Â Don’t poke the tiger. Â I was going to say don’t poke the bear, but I hate to overuse one member of the animal kingdom in one post. Â Besides, not too long ago, some kids poked a tiger (kinda) and tragedy ensued.*
MC: Is that right? Â You know your rights, huh?
PB (condescendingly): Yup
MC: Perfect. Â Get out of the car. Â I’m going to read you your rights.
I read PB his Miranda rights and he answered in the affirmative to each of them. Â I asked him if he wanted to talk to me about what had happened. Â He said sure and proceeded to lie his pants off. Â I was tempted to bellow, “LIAR, LIAR. Â PANTS ON FIRE!!!” Â But, I am a consummate professional and only occasionally a child. Â This was not one of those occasions.
PB: We were just walking around, man. Â We didn’t do anything.
MC: You sure?
MC: Fantastic. Â Turn around. Â *click click* Â (That’s the lovely sound of handcuffs). Â You’re being detained for vandalism. Â Get back in the car.
PB, shocked face and all, sat back down in the car. Â I then had the pleasure of yanking the ridiculous panda hat off of his head and tossing it on the rear dash. Â Seems PB needed a little lesson in cooperation and respect. Â PB’s parents and the parents of his two compatriots all responded and were appropriately bent at the behavior of their spawn.
It was rewarding to see parents that actually seemed to care about the fact that their kids were being destructive and disrespectful. Â It was even more rewarding to see the vandalism had been removed less than two days later. Â Here’s to hoping PB learned his lesson and will think twice about a) being disrespectful and b) his fashion choices.
Since I know I’m not the only one with issues regarding today’s haute couture (I’m ashamed to say I didn’t have to look that phrase up to spell it correctly), tell me about yours. Â What drives you batty about what you see teens wearing these days?
Photo credit: Flickr and AmyRose of BMB