My nephew Dr. Jones will graduate high school in a couple of months. In addition to being the smartest person I've ever met ever in my entire life, he's also in the top five of the most hilarious people I've ever met ever in my entire life. He's a straight A student. Tip top of his class. All around a really good kid.
He's more than that, though.
He's the Boy Child's best friend (per the Boy Child who doesn't take such a distinction lightly). He's kind-hearted, intelligent beyond his book sense, compassionate, and strong in his convictions (and I could really learn a lot from him in that area). He's writes beautifully, far better than his Aunt Steph could ever dream of. He's one of the brightest spots in my life and many, many times he has made me proud to know him. Proud to be related to him.
You may think I'm saying all of this because I'm related to him. I promise you that I have less enthusiastic feelings about many people I'm related to (including my own spouse from time to time. No offense, hon). Because my nephew isn't just a good kid. He's a good human being. There is a lot to be learned from people like him (that is if he's not the only one left) and the fact that he's in the world gives me a small glimmer of hope for the future.
Which is good. Because most kids his same age? Seem to be huge douches.
I knew that purple jerkwad Barney was a bad idea, what with telling children constantly how special and fabulous they are. This, along with giving everyone a trophy and never letting anyone lose, has created a whole bunch of kids who think that they are perfect and entitled. Granted, most parents probably don't have to smoke their children's butts at Monopoly because "it builds character to lose", but still. The whole "I'm special" thing is really starting to grind my gears.
Take yesterday, for example. I'm driving home and tragically ended up behind a school bus. The high school bus, if you want to get all specific about it. The bus drops about eight kids off at a side street and then the eight kids LITERALLY walk four wide, covering the entire street, so cars could not pass them going either direction.
They continued walking, carrying on a conversation, blissfully ignoring the fact that they were keeping at least three cars from reaching their destination. Not to mention they were on the STREET. Where CARS DRIVE.
Two days ago I was driving to the gym and two girls who appeared to be about fifteen were standing in a driveway of a house that I was about thirty feet from. They both looked directly at me and my car, which was traveling at approximately thirty miles an hour IN THEIR DIRECTION and then stepped right out into the path of my car. I literally had to swerve to avoid hitting them. I have no idea if they were trying to commit suicide via Stupid Dumbassery, but it very nearly worked for them. The best part though, was that after I swerved to avoid them, they then flipped me a bird. That was awesome.
In the last month, I've been nearly hit three time by teenagers backing their cars into the street, EVEN AFTER THEY LOOK AND SEE TRAFFIC IS COMING. I suppose in their world it's not only NOT ILLEGAL to back into the street, but lo, everyone must magically stop for you because you are somehow more special and better than everyone else.
I don't get this. I really...I just don't get this.
When I was a kid and rode my bike, I was allowed to ride in the street. If a car came by I was to immediately exit my bike and stand in the ditch until the car passed. We didn't have sidewalks. I literally stood in a ditch. There was none of this "share the road" stuff that bikers who cut in front of me to go through the guard shack at work first understand so well. It was, "Get out of the road or you'll get killed". And that was it.
And I did it. I'm no fool.
The worst part is, I really think most parents don't give two craps if their kids act like this. I'm basing this assumption on the fact that when two boys on the street next to ours tore down part of our fence and my spouse went to speak to their mother about it she told him to go f himself and that "my kids will do whatever the f they want". (She didn't say f, but this is a family blog. Or some crap) Jason called the police and the police came and guess what? She told the police office to go F HIMSELF. Right in front of her kids who now think that this behavior is not only okay, it's encouraged. Add that to the people who drive fifty-five miles an hour through the school parking lot and don't even stop at the crosswalks where there are, you know, CHILDREN trying to cross and then glare at me menacingly as I attempt to park in a parking space because they want to park their car crosswise covering three parking spaces so little Jr. Baby Sonofabitch doesn't get any rain on his new boots? I think basically it's just going to get worse.
Lord knows my kids aren't perfect. I can assure you that they are pretty far from it and their crap really stinks too. But, I would like to let the citizens of my county know that I have literally threatened to beat the taste out of their mouths if they ever behave in such a way. And if I found out they did? I would. Because let me also assure you that if they behaved that way in front of me? They would have to unzip their pants to brush their teeth because I would knock them down as many notches as necessary.
Also, I know this makes me sound two hundred. I'm not. But I'd rather be two hundred and say things like, "In my day..." than be an entitled little twatwaffle.
So thanks, Dr. Jones. May you someday teach classes to your peers on how to be a decent human being.