Sunday, June 03, 2007

It started as a peaceful evening.

So there I was watering the garden and thud. Something flew past my head and landed on the grass. Looked down and there was an empty beer bottle. Knowing the neighbours and the trajectory it could only be from one place so off I went. Only took a few steps before another thud informed me another had arrived and as I exited my garden I heard another bottle shattering onto concrete.

Two doors away I heard the teenagers laughing as they ran into the house after hearing the breaking glass. The must have thought that as it was going dark nobody would be out and the first we knew would be smashing glass. By the time we got out there would be no sign of anyone. Must have been a shock then when there was a loud banging on the front door. It went quiet inside as if they were hoping that ignoring it would solve the problem. After a couple of further bangs on the door it was opened by the eldest daughter.

Fourteen years of age. Already a heavy drinker, smoker and from what I understand also a different type of smoker as well. In the background her brother, twelve I think, and also a bit of a drinker and smoker, he looked a bit fearful. 'Hi, What's up?' she says as if I have just come round for a cup of sugar. 'Where is your mum?' I ask. 'Out at a party' 'OK. Who has been throwing bottles into my garden?' Silence.

'I want someone round right now to pick up this glass' I said as I walked away. 'I'll do it' said the lad. He followed me up the road followed by someone I didn't know. When we got to my house I let the son in and told the other lad to take a hike. Or something like that.

Got him some gloves and a bucket and while he was picking up the glass I asked him who had thrown it. He mentioned a name I thought I recognised. He also told me him mum would not be back until 4:00 or so. I told him I would be round the next day to speak to her. I also remembered where I had heard the name. He was one of a gang of troublemakers from a neighbouring estate. One with a bit of a youth problem, drink, drugs and violence. Great.

So tomorrow I will go around. She will be all apologetic, make the kids apologise, which they will do without any problems, and yet nothing will change. She will blame it on the others and carry on as normal, Well, normal for her.

What else can I do? My only other real option was calling the police. What would that have done? They would not have done anything. The only person who could do something is not even there. What hope do the kids have?


At 9:41 am, Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Great post. You have put your finger on the problem with our society. Parents don't know how to be parents. You, on the other hand, know not only how to raise your own kids but how to raise other people's! I am very impressed by your handling of the situation. I am not sure I would have had the nerve to do the same.

You could of course try to tell the mum that she needs to do more to stop her kids fraternising with the estate boy or else she is bound for prison visits in the future. Who knows? She might listen.

At 8:32 pm, Blogger Henry Crun said...

Had a similar problem a little while ago on a family visit to the cinema. Group of young lads (10 - 14) sat up near the front. Laughing and joking as young lads do, fair enough.

During the trailers, they start throwing sweets at the screen. OK only the trailers - no biggie, perhaps they'll settle down when the main feature starts. No such luck - still chucking stuff at the screen. I get up (wife gives me the look). I must point out that I'm not particularly big but I can do menacing quite effectively. I moved into the row behind them and sat down. Waited about 15 seconds for next sweet to be chucked at the screen. I then lent over the back of the culprit's chair and sotto voce said: Do that again and I'll rip your fucking head off.

Not a peep out of them after that.

It may not have been the PC thing to say or do, but if parents allow their offspring out in public, they should at least teach them acceptable behaviour.

It's not necessarily that these kids don't respect authority, it's just that they need to have the fear of authority instilled in them.

What pissed me off more than anything was that no one else in the cinema was prepared to do or say anything about it.

At 10:50 pm, Blogger Bag said...

Henry, I do the same. I had a similar experience once before at the cinema. I was at the front with the kids and popcorn was being thrown down. I went up and as I walked past them I stared at one of them until I was out of sight then I noisily sat behind them and nobody moved for the whole picture.

My fav was in the US but that's another story.

The problem is if they complain it's you who is in trouble. That's the problem nowadays it's much easier to keep quiet.


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