When I went to Frontier Park to pick the kids up from practice today, I was waiting with another of the cross country parents, and I observed a kid doing a bit of vandalism.
The bandshell at the bottom of the hill (officially the McCain Outdoor Classroom if you look at the map) has some broken glass (or possibly plexiglass) and needs some repairs. There was a kid down there, who looked like he was about 15, who was picking up a big chunk of glass and throwing it repeatedly against the bandshell. A girl was with him, but she was more or less innocently walking her dog.
It took me a while to realize what he was doing, but after a while I realized he was up to and then I decided to confront him, so I went down the hill a bit, and yelled at him to stop. I got his attention (obviously his IPod wasn’t turned up high enough) and when he looked up, I ran down to him, telling him lots of things that were sure to hurt his self esteem, and just generally letting him know that he was being really stupid and thoughtless.
He seemed completely without a clue that what he was doing was destructive, but perhaps I got it into his head. In hindsight, perhaps I should have grabbed him and called the police. I think he was wearing his pants down low, so outrunning him would have been easy, even for me. Or I could have made him clean up the broken glass. I’m sure he would have loved that, since most of the glass was already broken when he got there, and cleaning up someone else’s mess would have been the perfect punishment.
As it was, he said “I’m sorry” in the way that means “I’m sorry you are mad at what I did, can I go now?” and he skedaddled away on his scooter. He and the girl who was with him, who might have been his girlfriend, probably have an even lower opinion of adults now.
How many more kids do I have to yell at before I am officially a Grumpy Old Man?