Friday, July 22, 2005

But They're SUCH Good Kids

I'm so sick of fawning adults whining that kids are "such good kids" whenever they get caught doing heinous things.

Hazing a classmate until blood comes out of his ears, Coach Someone will inevitably say, "I don't believe it. These are such good kids."

Girls hacking their "friend's" blog while she's away on vacation and posting such disgusting, explicit smut that the girl, devastated, transfers to another school: "But these are such good kids. It's just not like them."

Teens taunt a scrawny kid in the marching band and call him names until he kills himself. "It's a shame. But really, these are such good kids."

Another group of SUCH GOOD KIDS vacationing in Nantucket decided last weekend that they didn't want their pal to have to go off to SAT preparation camp. So they phoned the Nantucket ferry company and said, "Don't let the ferry leave, or it will blow up."

The ensuing panic shut down the island from Sunday night until Monday morning, costing hundreds of stranded tourists extra hotel fees and work wages, and the ferry and boat services lost profits. Dozens of local and state police forces were deployed to find the "bomb."

"These are good kids from good families," said their lawyer, R. Bradford Bailey. Well, what'ya expect? He's their mouthpiece. But bet you real money that a whole passel of other whiners are saying the same thing.

You know what? Daphne Bragg and Brendan Reed and Brett Williams aren't such good kids. I don't give a hang about their families; their families didn't do this unbelievably stupid, selfish and damaging thing. Daphne and Brendan and Brett, coming from the best of families and receving the best of educations, are presumably aware that we live in a time of real terrorist threat. I presume they have televisions and that they see the occasional newspaper. Daphne and Brendan and Brett aren't good kids. They're indulgent little brats who should be grounded for life.

I'm glad they're being tried as adults.

No, PeaceBang does not have children, nor does she intend to. She feels that some child-loving adults need to remain child-free in order to retain some level of objectivity about the mishegas of family life, and she could never do that thing called ministry with such energetic enthusiasm if she had squirts of her own at home. She prefers to be that "cool grown-up" that the kids like to hang around with, mostly because she gives them excellent dish on their parents (not applicable for church children, of course).

By the way, I have to say ... well, no I won't. I brag too much on my church. (the kids are mostly really good and cute)

I remember a time in a previous congregation when one of our church teens showed up at the office with a police escort. "Rev. P.B.," he said. "I'm so glad you're here. The police were going to call my parents but I asked if they would take me here instead." Turns out that Clark (name changed) had been busted shoplifting a pack of cigarettes.

I told the cop I would call Clark's mom and thank you. I put a kindly pastoral hand on Clark's shoulder. As soon as the cop was out of sight I gave Clark the side of my boot in the tushie, hard.
"THAT's for stealing," quoth I.
And then I booted him again.
"And THAT's for stealing CIGARETTES."

We talked for awhile (including about my own shoplifting days, and how awful it is to get caught, and how stupid and jackassed it is to do it at all, and how I would make him eat a pint of dirt if I ever found out he'd been smoking) and then I phoned his mother. "I kept him here so you can kill him," I said.

I bet she didn't though. He was actually a really good kid.