Yesterday I became the Mean Stranger. What exactly is the Mean Stranger? The Mean Stranger is the stranger who tells some kids he or she doesn't know to knock it off, "it" usually being something that seems innocent and fun to the kid but to the adult can be problematic for practical reasons. To wit:
Mean Stranger: Some guy.
Victim/s: My brother and me
Location: The alley behind the tennis courts where my parents used to play in the summer, next to the playground that sometimes got boring after a while, especially if it was hot.
Thing That Was Fun: Breaking bottles in the alley.
Thing Mean Stranger said: (Something along the lines of) "Don't do that."
Why It was Problematic: Broken glass can be dangerous to people and cars and is a pain to clean up.
How I Felt at the Time: Horrified, shamed, indignant.
FULL CIRCLE TIME, YO:
Mean Stranger: Me
Victim/s: 3 neighborhood kids.
Location: The recently-installed metal guards that rim the grass in front of our townhouses.
Thing That Was Fun: Balancing on the guards.
Thing Mean Stranger Said: "'ey!" with accompanying stern look and finger wag.
Why It Was Problematic: I don't want to pay for the repair if they somehow knocked the guard over, not to mention if they fall off and get hurt.
How The Kids Felt at the Time: I can't tell but they did get off the guard and one of them asked me what kind of dog I have and then said "thanks" when I complimented him on his mohawk.
If you can make me feel better and send me a story wherein you were the Mean Stranger, then maybe we can get together and sit on our old-people stools in front of some stranger's driveway, which is the next step in this whole evolutionary process.