There we were, my wife and I, sitting on the couch trying to watch a DVR’d episode of Downton Abbey, capping off yet another wild Saturday night (church, Pita Jungle), when we heard ruckus from outside.
We should not have been surprised. When we had pulled into our neighborhood an hour or so earlier, our street was flooded with cars, and there were kids on top of many of the cars and they were doing teenager-type things, like being dumb jerks. We drove by slowly to let them know what’s up, “what’s up” being that we had to get home to put our kids to bed and watch a PBS British drama. Anyway, they were on notice. (They were not.)
Our small dog, still woozy from the anesthesia of having a tooth removed earlier that day, was on my lap when we heard the noises coming from outside our front door. I unconsciously carried him outside with me when we went to see what was happening. What was happening when we opened our front door was that kids were scattering all over the neighborhood because, we later discovered, the cops had been called on a parents-aren’t-home party a few doors down. Two bumbling idiots in particular had just run across our front yard and were heading toward our backyard gate.
“HEEYYYYOOOO, I DON’T THINK SO!” I yelled, and I can only imagine how intimidating it sounded while holding a 13-lb dog who was half asleep. (Later on I was glad the stakes weren’t raised, forcing me to say, “Don’t MAKE me put my dog down who just had a tooth removed!”) My wife had added, “GET OUTTA HERE, [expletive]!” and this seemed to work, diverting the morons to our neighbor’s yard. Unfortunately for them, our neighbor was watching everything from his front balcony, and he said, “Get off my property,” only in a way that included several unprintable words and which seemed to imply he was Clint Eastwood and which convinced the idiots to do just that.
Kids were jumping into vehicles left and right and cars and trucks were peeling out. I heard a police siren and I motioned to the street, pointing, as if me pointing to the street would be the break police were looking for. “Thank you, Mr. Kenny, for pointing out where the cars were.” (pins medal to my chest) Only I soon realized the siren was coming from one of the culprit trucks, because OF COURSE one of these idiot kids had a police siren on his truck. Dammit.
The escaping vehicles honked incessantly and ran over the beverages they had left in the street, splattering fruity alcoholic drinks placed in Big Gulp cups everywhere. Most of our neighbors were outside by then, all of us standing in our driveways, and as the endless line of vehicles purchased by oblivious and enabling parents sped out of our neighborhood, these high schoolers yelled out, calling us very terrible names that I can assure you no one on Downton Abbey has ever used.
I felt like a dorky parental extra in Dazed and Confused II or Varsity Blues: Peoria, but at the same time my heart beat with excitement I haven’t felt since
doing the same thing 20 years ago that time I thought I saw
Joe Pesci while on vacation (it wasn’t him … still though! Joe Pesci!).
We conversed with our neighbors for a short while about how other people’s kids are the WORST. We never saw any actual cops, which was probably for the best considering I was pretty much in my underwear and also drinking a Miller Lite. Because yeah, I may be 36 and married with kids, but I still know how to party.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, then we went inside and finished watching Downton Abbey and then went to bed early. I mean, c’mon, guys—our dog just had a tooth removed.
Note: This column appears in the 3/19 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/20 issue of the Peoria Times.