I went out for a bike ride this morning and it happened to be when the local high school students were out having their lunch. I rode by a group of boys and one of them yelled “What’s up Stud?” and frankly, it pissed me off.
So I turned my bike around and said “Who said that?”
“I did, what’s the problem Stud?” one of them said.
“The problem is you don’t know me, I’m a disabled Marine Corps vet, I’ve served my country, I own a business in this town, and you’re being disrespectful.”
“How is that disrespectful, Nigga?” one of the white boys said.
I thought about my black friends, my African wife and daughter, and my buddy’s grandmother and decided to just ignore that whole end of the conversation.
“It’s disrespectful because you don’t know me, I’m not your friend and you have no reason or right to call me Stud, motherfucker, or anything else”
These were high school football players and a couple of them started moving towards me – at this point there were about ten of them – then the giggling girls showed up – “He said motherfucker… hee hee” and I felt the threat from a big dumb looking kid moving towards me – I know that look – he was going to hit me and impress those girls
A couple of options went through my head
1) Step off the bike, pick up the bike and use it to smack his big ugly face with the sproket and then kick him right in the nuts before doing a sweep and stomp on his face – then turn and give a big Marine death yell to the rest and deal with whatever they might have to give
2) Ride away
3) Keep talking and try to explain why what they had done and were doing was disrespectful
I wanted to believe those kids were just missing someone telling them how it was…that was stupid. They were too far gone to learn anything in that situation and I felt the situation escalating as big hoss moved toward me. At that point a smaller, wiser kid with a scraggly beard stepped forward…as I got ready to teach big hoss a permanent lesson.
“Passion lies that way – if you leave now” the smaller bearded said. Honestly, I don’t know what the fuck that meant. I was close to entering a rage and not far from attacking a 17 year old kid amidst a group of ten or so hormone addled boys in the midst of a couple of girls they were bound to want to impress. The moment I was trying to figure out what it meant, I realized it was time for option number two. I rode away – but boy was I pissed.
I can’t begin to explain how angry I found myself. I took myself into my garage and tried to calm myself as I looked at my baseball bat and a few other nice pieces of equipment that might level the playing field. Ultimately, there was nothing to be done. I had a series of options that led to nowhere good.
1) Beat up a bunch of minors
2) Get beat up by a bunch of minors
3) Argue with a bunch of petulent teens
4) Yell at disrespectful kids of disrespectful parents
5) Have bigger worse problems
None of it was good. I called the police and told them about the incident. I called the high school and told them about the incident. In both cases, they said there was nothing to be done about it and in the future I should ignore the teens taunts and disrespect. If we were still in Africa or Turkey, they would have been bleeding and learned something – but this is America. There is nothing to do.
I don’t really like it – but that’s all there is to it. I’m going to have a big dish of spaghetti next to the door when Halloween comes – if those dummies come to my door – I’m going to serve it to them cold and ruin all their candies – I remember their faces – and that, kids, is why you should never holler disrespect to unknown strangers. It might just ruin your Halloween candy.