Furious to the Point of Speechlessness

by Terry 1/27/2009 3:26:00 PM

Seldom do I get my hackles up in anger to the point where I am almost unable to calm down and talk normally. Last night my hackle-button was seriously pushed.

I was on my way home from retrieving my daughter and her friend from school. A neighbor pointed out to me that three young teens where skateboarding on the corner and using some real-estate sandwich boards as ramps. She asked if I would speak to the teen that using other people property was not right. I said sure, knowing by past observation these teens are not so respectful. I can understand she did not want to make a show in front of her own kids and the skateboarding teens

I walked over and told the teens that I understand that there not many places to skateboard in the neighborhood, but could they stop using the signs as their personal toys. It is not their property and they are being destructive.

Here is where my astonishment grew to fury. First, they simply ignored me. When they realized this was not working, one actually said to me, “what do you care, it’s not your sign.” Explaining that who owns the sign was not the point, they continued to ignore me. I repeatedly asked, “Excuse me, do you hear what I am asking you? Will you acknowledge what I have said?”

Eventually one of the boys said, “Yeah, I heard you.” It took another minute, but one boy finally put the sign back and continued to skate around on the curbs. I walked back to my house, about three houses from the corner. Naturally, as soon as I shut the door the teens grabbed another sign and went back to their earlier behavior.

This is where fury grew to speechlessness. I walk back to the corner. I basically cut to the chase. “I will give ten seconds to put the sign back or I call the police.” This prompted another round of, “what do you care, it is not your sign. It was just sitting there.”

At this point I decided these are some of the stupidest teens I have ever met. The brightest of the bunch left without saying a word. The other two continued to alternate between skating over the signs and arguing with me. I dialed the phone and started talking to the police (I live four blocks from the police station). Amazingly enough, I think the two remaining teens thought I was bluffing and continued to argue with me that what they were doing was somehow alright. When they realized I was no longer talking with them, but with the police, they took off down the street, settling with the smarter boy in the school parking lot – in front of the no-skateboarding sign.

If finished my call to the police. Having spoken with the school principle about these kids, I figured the police would give it the priority needed. The point was made and the teens had stopped willfully damaging other people’s property.

What leaves me astonished is the lack of respect these teens have – none for adults, none for property. I can understand the need to have things to do, some of which are less than socially acceptable. My record as a child is not spotless by any standards. I cannot understand how they could believe ignoring me was wise.

Since I was in high school, people have assumed by my appearance that I am either a cop or in the military. I never think of myself that way, but I apparently have a presence. This may be the first time I have been ignored so blatantly.

So, to the parents of these teens, if you have any connection to your children at all, please advise them that their behavior is unacceptable. I am sorry these kids so disconnected. They need something to do. When speaking at the teens (not ‘to’, as ‘to’ would imply more conversation then they were capable of I fear), the first thought that came to me was these kids should take three months of martial arts. It would give them something to do, they may learn some respect and it would likely make them better at skateboarding to boot.

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About Terry Losansky

Terry Dee Losansky

I am a software architect, actively practice and teach martial arts and live in Snoqualmie, Washington. I have an amazing daughter who is the jewel of my life.

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