In order to make myself feel better I asked you folks about instances where you yelled at some damn kids (or maybe not kids). Good to know there are people out there keeping this place civilized:
Date: June 23, 2010
Mean Stranger: Mrs. Zulkey [my mom]
Victim: Young woman, probably in her mid 20's
Location: Supermarket parking lot
Thing that was fun: Tearing up a sheet of paper into small pieces and throwing them all on the ground
Why it was problematic: That's how things start
What Mean Stranger did: "Excuse me, Miss. I believe you dropped something". Her response: "Actually, I threw them there."
Mean Stranger's retort: "Well, it's not too late to pick them up."
How the Victim felt at the time: Guilty!! She picked them up and gave me a thumbs up as I was entering my car. I was thrilled to still be able to lay a guilt trip on someone. Haven't lost my touch.
Mean Stranger: Nora
Victim/s: late-night skateboarder
Location: Outside my apartment window on Southport, 2:45am Sunday night/Monday morning.
Thing That Was Fun: turning over a newspaper box, skateboarding towards it, and then performing some maneuver wherein he jumped/crashed on top of the newspaper box on his board, skidded on it, and then jumped off and landed on either his board or his ass on the sidewalk. (repeat >15 times)
Thing Mean Stranger said: (from my screened bedroom window on the 3rd floor) GO SOMEWHERE ELSE! IT'S THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!
Why It was Problematic: Don't mess with my sleep, kid.
How The Kid Felt at the Time: I'm guessing high, but lucid enough to heed my warning and skate away into the night.
Mean Stranger: Carol
Victim/s: 4 neighborhood kids + 1 non-neighborhood kid
Location: On the street in front of my house
Thing That Was Fun: Persecuting the non-neighborhood kid. Non-neighborhood kid was targeted for his penchant for skinny jeans & generally being "emo". There also seemed to be a dispute over a girl. These boys couldn't have been older than 13. Emo kid took greatest offense to being called Emo (worse than asshole, jerk-off, faggot). He claimed they had no idea what kind of bands he liked.
Thing Mean stranger said: "All of you shut up & go home"
Why It Was Problematic: Unsure. It was mostly annoying to have a gaggle of pre-pubescents yelling & gratuitously cursing outside of my house.
How The Kids Felt at the Time: Feelings were split. Emo kid called me a bitch. Neighborhood kids were mostly embarrassed & defensive of me against Emo kid because I was "an adult".
Lisa: I had to tell the neighborhood gangbangers that they can get high on the side of my garage as long as they stop tagging my garage
Kate: Once, with my very small daughter in tow, was looking at books in Vromans. She wandered off, and I heard this really shrill, tuneless whistle. Figuring it was A., I snarled "Knock it off!". Some harmless 40 yr. old guy looked really abashed and stopped.
Rebecca: I'm too passive aggressive with my neighbors/kids... Afraid of retribution. Instead of saying something out loud to the little punks when they cross my lawn on a corner, I just refuse to hire them to mow it even when the tiny kid pulls the lawnmower twice his size around the corner to ask me. (Yes our grass gets high, but it gets mowed in due time. So get off my lawn!)
Stephanie: Mine was when I was driving down Foster Avenue and there was a group of teen boys jaywalking in front of Amundsen High School, slowly. I gave them a thumbs up and yelled, "Use a crosswalk!" out the window and they started shouting obscenities back at me. I maintain I am in the right.
Alissa: The little kids who live next door to us are from Mexico and have been very, very exuberant about the World Cup and soccer in general for the last few weeks. They keep kicking soccer balls over my fence. At one point there were literally four different balls trapped in our backyard. At first I was semi-good natured about it and would throw the balls back, but it started annoying me when a couple of the balls fell directly into my tomato plants. I just started ignoring them and letting them build up. We currently have three in our yard (there may be more since I've been at work today, but at last count it was three). Last night, I went out to let my dog out and one of the little boys climbed up and stuck his head over our fence and said "Can I have my ball back?" And I said "This ball? This is MY BALL, now." and went back inside. I'm officially the mean old get-off-my-lawn lady. They'll probably be too scared to trick or treat at my house.