Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Those Damn Punk Kids

Last week, my car was burgled.

All right, let me stop there. I really wanted to use the word 'burgled' in a sentence, but the truth is, we may as well have hung a sign over it reading, "Free Cycle!". We (and by saying 'we', I mean someone in my marriage who is not me) accidentally left the car unlocked and we parked it in the street.

It is a good thing I do not allow my possessions to define me. If I did THAT, I would be extremely sore about the items stolen. I think I'll list those items, now:

-My new navigation system. I was lost without it, quite literally. Now, I am all lost again.
-My older Nano.
-My silly RoadTrip device that allowed me to listen to my older Nano via the cigarette lighter.
-My D&G sunglasses that cost half of a paycheck. I mention these only for the sentimental value; Michael bought them for me the day before my wedding. What an ultra-ridiculous, glamorous gift!
-My body spray.

Here's the real problem: I have a strong suspicion of 'hoo-done-it'. It's those punk kids down the street.

Mmm hmm, I am aware that I referred to a group of teenagers as punk kids. These are the kind of67 kids whom I feared in high school. There is a leader, and he is skinny. He has a Bad Attitude. He smokes in front of his parents' home and swears at small animals. He Litters. His flock includes one severely overweight boy with thin lips, a cousin of small proportion, and a smattering of female teenagers, all drawn to this young man's 'charisma'.

Last summer, the gang walked down the streets with baseball bats, swinging them threateningly at old ladies. They do not go to school, as far as I can tell, because they are out in the streets through every season. They have a gang vehicle--it is an aged Buick with wide headlights and cruft dents. It must not often have gas in it, because I am more likely to see them sitting in the car with the radio playing rather than tearing up and down the roads. These punk kids drive me bat-shit crazy.

I give them the evil eye at every opportunity. I squint them with my laser eyeballs. I have stared them all down at least once, and I make sure they know I am watching them when I hang out in front of my house. I am convinced they despise me. This evening, as I pulled into my driveway, I revved the engine when I saw them and glared at them. And then, as I turned off my car, I realized:

These kids were probably never going to get very far in life. They didn't have much of a chance, period. Their parents are never around, and have never instilled discipline. The opportunities for these punks to get jobs and make money and give back to the community are slim-to-none. In ten years, I could most likely drive down this same street and find them sitting in their car, listening to the radio. I know they have already experimented with drinking, as bottles are often strewn about their yard and one of them seems perpetually drunk. I don't think they are going to have many chances to succeed. They certainly don't seem very happy.

In the end, I don't have any proof these punk kids are responsible for the theft of my items. I'd like to think they did it, because then I could carry around some anger and resentment towards them, and anger and resentment are key to living a fulfilling life. But then, I guess, there is a softer side. Perhaps, it's my role to smile at them. Perhaps, they are not safe and loved. Maybe I'm supposed to turn the other cheek and gently wish them well. It is one thing to steal from unlocked cars, but quite another to be robbed of a good life. Possibly, it might not be wise to get angry over this kind of thing. Rather, I should love my neighbors and their punk kids. I mean, what harm can a little love do?

Also: I'll be much more vigilant about locking the car doors.
Written by FRITZ
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Name: Fritz

Location: Detroit Rock City!
Where the weak are killed and eaten

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