June 13, 2007


It was a good day today because I got to shout at a gang of teenagers. This is one of the few pleasures still open to folks like me. Here's how it went down. I was riding my bike back from the store with a load of groceries, milk, potatos, bananas. I heard a sharp wooden crack from the playground and so I circled back and stopped my bike at the end of a path, watching the sandy clearing. It didn't take long for a teenage boy to say 'My turn!'. He climbed onto the platform above the slide, crossed the rope bridge and kicked the plank wall, hard. I stepped forward. 'What the hell do you think you're doing?' I said in English. He turned and looked at me. 'My kids play here' I said. He gathered his wits and figured out how to say something in English, 'I'm a kid too, I'm playing.' I turned to his buddies on the bench who were having fun watching their pal fend off the nutty foreigner. Perfect Swedish: 'You all think this is funny, kicking apart playground equipment?' That threw them off balance. A moment passed and the teenager climbed off the tower and said he was sorry. I got on my bike and rode away.

Those teenagers tick me off. It's not just that I don't want my kids to fall over the railing and land on a nail, not just that, it's that teenagers today need to think about what they are doing and channel their hormones to a higher purpose-- girls say, music or parties, or overturning the world order. The Primate Brow got me thinking along these lines. Today's teens are the lost generation.


At June 15, 2007 2:01 PM , Blogger rigtenzin said...

I applaud your ability to confront the kids -- they need our attention, but your age is showing through.

"Back in my day, we used to ..."


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