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Friday, March 24, 2006 

Anger: A Trip to BK

My daughter has been really great during the last week of trials. A big treat was in order and the wife was feeling good enough to go for a ride. It may not sound like a major treat to you, but to a 4 year old a trip to a Burger King that sports an indoor playland is a huge deal, especially if you live in a very small town and the nearest BK is a half-hour drive toward civilization. In this case a nice ride is also a treat for the parents, we are all a tad sick of the sight of each other being cooped up in a small house for a week or so.

So it is decided, we will pack up the emergency supplies and head down to BK-Land for supper.

When we arrive, we wonder why the normally crazy playland is virtually empty. Usually the horde of kids is visible (if not audible) from the outside (remember this is the hub of playland activity for the area). With a mutual shoulder shrug, we place our order and sit down. It then becomes apparent why we are the only ones there. The playland had been taken over by 3 pre-teen boys (I would guess 12-14 years old). They are actually in the works, smoking cigarettes and (as pre-teen boys are prone) swearing like sailors. One of them is on a cell-phone, which is another rant, asking for a ride to some girl’s house. We hear that and figure that they are on their way out and try to enjoy our food (such as it is). Suddenly, the punk on the phone loudly says “That is BullSH!T MA!”, which then leads to a foul-mouthed tirade about how much he hates his mother. The other two then pull out their cell-phones (Grrr! 12 year olds with cell phones!) and start dialing. In a matter of minutes this degrades into a profanity laden outburst and a realization by me that this trio is not going anywhere soon.

So, I stop here in the story just to say that if I were on the receiving end of one of these phone calls, I would have gladly come and picked up the boys. I would have so glad to pick them up because then I would be able to get my hands around their foul-mouthed little throats. I understand that at this age boys (girls too, but more so in boys) are profane. They are jockeying for position in the tribe and think that this behavior makes them more adult-like. As parents, you really can’t stop them from this type of behavior when you are not there, you teach them right when they are younger and hope that they will remember those lessons when the time comes. BUT! There is no way that I would allow a punk kid talk to me like that. These parents missed the opportunity to teach against this, but now is the time to apply a little “teaching” to their behinds.

OK, I feel better now…

Anyway, the wife moved first. We were both on our way, she toward the manager, and me toward these little punks. About the time I got over to their little circle they were getting up and were getting ready to confront me. I was giving them a lecture on public behavior that was about to get me in a difficult situation (do I get my ass kicked or do I fight back and get arrested) when the manager arrived with reinforcements. The punks were ejected and I was spared a painful (literally and figuratively) decision.

Of course, my daughter was upset by this and was crying to go home (a very rare thing for her). I feel bad because I should have known that starting a ruckus was going to upset her and should have just waited for the Manager to do his thing. A treat turned into a big disappointment.

I blame testosterone.

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