Thursday, February 28, 2008

Damn Kids - Geroff my Lawn

What IS it with young people these days? I've got these shiftless drug-using neighbours who seem to have several teenage children hanging around the house at all times. I think most of them live there, but possibly not all.

A strong whiff of BC homegrown permeates the atmosphere around their house at certain times. My daughter and I were selling Girl Guide cookies one day and the (presumably) dad of these kids tore up in a junker car as we passed his driveway, opened the door (accompanied by a cloud of smoke and a riff of Robert Plant), staggered over to us and genially demanded four boxes of cookies, digging a stained hand into a stained pocket and breathing alcohol fumes all over me.

The kids amuse themselves by breaking into people's sheds and trying all the parked cars for unlocked doors. If they find one, they rummage through the door pockets, pilfer a few CDs and - oddly - Canadian Tire money. If there's change available, they may or may not swipe it. I suspect it was they who overturned the Postes Canada Post distribution box at the corner of the street a few months ago. At any given time you can see them scrambling over fences, slouching through people's yards on their way to the woods behind the houses, or maybe tearing along the road on a really whiney electric skateboard of some kind.

I was going to write some wry, amused observations about the youth of the world going to hell in a handbasket, but then I found this:

The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behaviour and dress.

-Peter the Hermit, 1247 AD

And this:

The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, they show disrespect to their elders... They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and are tyrants over their teachers.

-Attributed to Socrates, 470-399 BC

So I guess it's not going to change anytime soon, eh? Although I'd be quite happy to have children who cross their legs, and even gobble dainties, as long as they aren't smoking crack in the woods. Y'know?


Annalea said...

It's all a part of the cycle of "civilization", it seems. The Socrates quote came from an era in his civilization which wasn't long before the fall thereof. We're coming close to it, ourselves. You should check this out:

It's a review of a book called The Fourth Turning by Howe & Strauss. It's on my to-read list, but I haven't gotten there yet. The review itself is fascinating to me, and opens up a lot of new territory for examining where we are now, and what is coming.

Then again, you might find your brain crawling out of your head at the thought of reading it. ;o) I just thought I'd offer a link. It's definitely food for thought.

lizbon said...

Snort. And sorry - I do deplore kids who trash an otherwise decent 'hood. Though if we're talking about ladylike deportment and modesty of dress, I am easily as bad as any teenager.

Tabatha said...

I LOVE that you quoted Socrates and Peter the hermit. Okay, I didn't know Peter the Hermit until today but still I love that you quoted them.

This post makes me think how rude I was as a teenager. No, I wasn't smokin' crack (did we ever smoke crack? :P) but I was very self involved so self involved I do not remember how horrible I was to my poor dear parents. I wonder how horrible my kiddos are going to be. I sometimes get a glimpse of how Toria is going to be and I am scared.


Penny said...

I love quotes like those: the Peter the Hermet one is completely new to me.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Hey, Shannon, thanks for your defense on my blog today, sheesh ... now onto YOUR blog. Not only do I deplore smoking crack, please stop showing it PULL UP YOUR @#$%^&* PANTS.

Gwen said...

Dave, I am still laughing. Good one.

Jo said...

Does anyone ever call the police about the kids?

Shan said...

"We'll send a cruiser to do a drive-by. Should be there within an hour or so."

mel said...

Great post - it amuses me to no end that we're now old enough for my formerly hoodlum-street-sign-stealing (among other things) husband to rant about the kids in our neighbor running around causing minor mayhem... When I'm not ranting myself because my house just got egged. But I'll take egging over smoking crack in the woods too ;)