Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When Kids Grow up in NYC

The other day I was standing on our back porch admiring the lovely early evening when my reverie was interrupted by some people arguing on the street. From our back porch we have a good view of a section of the sidewalk and street because one of our neighbors has a driveway (of which he is most proud and spends a lot of time maintaining, to each his own), and it was smack in the middle of this good view that I witnessed either the coolest way to deal with shithead kids or the worst adult behavior ever. I still cannot decide which. 

I need to go ahead and let you all know how differently kids are up here than in other parts of the country. I am more on guard with a gang of pre to teenagers up here than I am when I am walking around the city at night. They are stupid. They are minors. They know no repercussions or ethics.  They are in groups. And they are trying to impress one another. The worst time is just before dinner time, because they are HUNGRY.  This is what time it was when I saw what I saw. And what I saw was this: a group of loud 12 year olds had been riding around the neighborhood on their bikes shouting insults at the inhabitants (mostly mild mannered old Polish people) and being obnoxious like the shitheads they are. There were 6 or so of them riding back and forth, messing with people and then going back to flirt with the group of 6 or so girls that were on foot walking some ways behind them. A routine evening. But then, one of them picked the the wrong guy to mess with. He was roughly 5'10", 180lbs, 45, balding, and since he is in our neighborhood there is a good probability that he had been drinking (this was not outwardly noticeable, but this is Greenpoint and as my friend Maria puts it, "We Polish are keeping the concept of the 'Tramp' alive"). I did not hear what the kid said to the guy, but the guy was MAD. He stood in front of the bike forcing the kid to stop while all the others fled. Their conversation went a little something like this:

Guy: "What did you say to me?!"

Kid, not looking directly at the guy: "...."


Kid, quietly pissing himself: "no."

Guy, infuriated: "YOU THINK YOU'RE A BIG MAN?!"

Kid, defiant, in  spite of standing alone in a puddle of his own urine: "yes" 

Guy: "You are not so big. Don't fuck with me. I'll kidnap you and cut up your body." 

Kid, a fresh wave of urine and the stench of fear leaving his body, finally looking at the guy: "..............." 

Guy walks away. 

End Scene. 

Like I said, either brilliant or psychotic. There is a fine line up here. 


  1. I say brilliant (...having been that kid before).

    Also, pre-teenagers are 'tweeners. I didn't come up with it. I don't like it. But that's what they're called.

    Beef, it's what's for dinner? No, Hannah Montana, it's what 'tweeners watch.

    Well, I may have set the record for apostrophes in one response. I blame the 'tweeners.