I just have a lot to say.
February 17th, 2016 by

Hey! Watch This!

“Linda! Pull his license!!” bellowed Chuck’s daddy to his mother with his finger pointed at the guilty teenager.

Chuck was 16 and the driver of the getaway car for a friend who smashed the mailbox of a girl who had recently broken up with him. In his defense, Chuck didn’t know what his friend was up to, but he didn’t stop to think to tell anyone either, until the police called his daddy.

And so it came to pass, a generation later, that the police rang our doorbell.

Phillip possessed a driver’s license and a truck. His BFF held an afterschool job and some spending money. It was spring break, and the teenagers had time on their hands. Individually, these components look healthy and harmless. Collectively, they knit a tapestry of trouble.

They wandered in and out of the house all day. I thought they were downstairs bombing virtual zombies when the doorbell detonated about 8:30 pm. I wondered who would come unannounced at that hour. I put down the pot I was scrubbing, tossed the dishtowel over my shoulder, and opened the front door.

Phillip and BFF looked up nervously. One of the two officers asked, “Mrs. Conner, do you know these boys?”

“Unfortunately, I do. Let me get my husband. This is Daddy’s jurisdiction.”

The knuckleheads had been shooting bottle rockets in the woods next door. In their defense, they didn’t know it was illegal within city limits. They had shot them many times before, but they didn’t stop to think that they had never ignited one in the neighborhood.

(How many stories that involve males, regardless of age, also involve the phrase didn’t stop to think?)

A neighbor heard the fusillade and called 911. The patrol car ventured stealthfully to the dead end of the road, then blasted the outlaws with lights. The panic-stricken stooges charged off running in opposite directions. The lawmen shouted, “STOP OR WE WILL RELEASE THE CANINES!!!”

Only a second ticked before the hoodlums extinguished their escape attempt and threw their hands in the air.

The peace keepers escorted them to our house. They told Chuck that the numbskulls were being reprimanded because their lightening reaction was to hightail it. Until that night, their closest brush with the law had been in-school detention for dress-code infractions.

Their carefree day backfired. Chuck sent BFF home.

It was one of the parenting moments that you are relieved and strict and exploding on the inside from suppressing laughter. With a sparkle in his eyes, Chuck grimaced at our delinquent son and pointed his finger repeatedly as he enunciated his exclamation:

“Celeste! Pull his license!!”

Driver License


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