What happened last night (actually, early morning)

was that I was riding my bike back from Poison Girl (a ride of, at most, five minutes, most of it down a main street — Westheimer) and some guys in a red car threw something at me. A drink from a fast food place? Water balloon? It slid off me (even though a pretty much direct hit on my back) and exploded on the ground. The guys yelled something then sped off in their red car.

This made me angry. I followed them for a bit — not that I could catch them on my bike, and, really, following is a misnomer since they were going my way anyway. When they turned off I considered following but

1. I probably wouldn’t catch them.
2. There were three or four of them in the car.
3. Getting into a fight might just result in my getting arrested. And then there’s
4. When I become angry, it’s somewhat of a suicidal rage, where I want to do everything in my power to hurt the other person(s) without regards for my own safety.

I thought again of confronting them when I noticed they had turned parallel to me on a side street, and then were coming down to Westheimer again. I also considered getting off the road and far enough away they wouldn’t be able to throw at me again. And I also considered turning down the road they were coming up, picking up my bike, and hurling it at their car (see number 4, above).

Instead, I kept riding home (now less than a minute away), and they threw something else at me. The thing clipped me and they sped off into the night, laughing.

Strangely, by that point, I was not angry so much as sad. Why is it that anyone would think this is fun?

And, unfortunately, I have an answer. Assuming the guys in the car were teenagers, then it might have to do with power, realizing, after all this time as a child, that you (they) have the power to destroy (I had friends who took baseball bats to mailboxes while driving through neighborhoods) and therefore to assert your (their) importance in the world.

I guess.

To me, it’s a sign of sickness.

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One Response to What happened last night (actually, early morning)

  1. Jason Myers says:

    As much as it can suck sometimes to be the object of teen pranks, try to put it in perspective. Throwing water balloons isn’t “a sign of sickness.” It’s a sign of immaturity, and it is a stage most male children go through (I certainly did with my friends, in spades; my brother and his friends stole street signs; Christian had mailboxes as well). The fact that you didn’t probably makes it harder to see it through their eyes, but, seriously, it’s water balloons.
    At least they weren’t throwing rocks. I remember once, I saw this kid (couldn’t have been more than 12) throw a stone in this incredible arc. I couldn’t figure out what he was trying to do. I followed it with my eyes all the way across the street and diagonal. He pegged a skateboarder on the back. It was an impossible shot. Simply impossible, as far away as the skateboarder was, and because it was a rapidly moving target. Simultaneously, from the outside, I was able to feel the skateboarders confusion and anger at being so randomly targeted out of nowhere (the kid was so far away, there would have been no obvious attacker), and yet appreciate the sheer beauty of making such a perfect tag.
    The power and destruction thing is part of it, sure, but, speaking from experience, it’s largely the adrenaline rush that comes from breaking rules and taking the chance that you might get caught. This is the way they’re rebelling. They’re probably not smoking, causing teen pregnancies, drinking, getting in fights, or shoplifting. They’re driving around (now that one of them finally has their license) throwing water balloons at innocent bystanders.
    One thing kids don’t get is the fear that they could be causing by their actions. They know that they’re being a nuisance, but they don’t yet understand the seige mentality that comes from living in the adult world. I’ve experienced this once or twice having a car full of kids pull up next to me and start yelling at me for no apparent reason. Chances are good that they’re not armed or psychotic, they’re just rowdy kids trying to get a rise out of me, but I don’t know that for sure.
    I was so thrilled a few weeks ago to be on the receiving end of a prank phone call. I was pleased to know that kids still did that. Of course, some pranks are easier to take than others. I pray to be lucky enough to be teepeed some day, but I’d be really pissed if someone stole my Halloween decorations.
    They’ll grow out of it. If they don’t, they’ll become frat boys, guerilla environmetalists, or those animal rights activists who throw paint on people and “liberate” zoos.

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