Monday, April 20, 2009

It's Earth Week! Here a story from my distant past.

Does Earth Week exist?

I doubt it, but all of the hype and the thought and the emphasis on Earth Day seems to be indicate a need for a week leading up to the day. But more importantly, it provides a theme upon which I can hang one--and maybe more--WWYG?! posts.

For instance, today, I'm going to celebrate the need for recycling by recycling an old story of mine. If I haven't specifically posted this story on the blog, I really should have long before now. But . . . I am not expending lots of mental energy trying to create something new here tonight in this post. So, maybe you could consider this post carbon neutral?


One of my friends told me today that his wife (who is a teacher) was involved over the weekend with her local prom. And when I heard the word prom, I flashed back to one of my life's most nefarious (relatively) moments.

You see, back when I was in high school, I had a friend S---. His dad taught at the two-year college in town. His mom was also a teacher in the secondary school system. S--- was typical in the fact that he often didn't agree with his parents. Sometimes he fought with them. This was a different experience than I had with my family. I guess that isn't terribly important to the story except to note that S---'s choices were different than mine and maybe that contributed to some of what follows.

ANYWAY . . . S---'s mom and dad were chaperoning at the prom my junior (?) year in high school. S--- had a plan. I came over to spend the night on the night of the prom and we were camping out in the side yard. At least, that was what we told everyone. In fact, we were going to take advantage of the parentless (due to chaperoning) situation to walk across town and hook up with another friend of ours. In fact, I don't know if we were going to do anything beyond this walk across town at night. There was no discussion of illicit drinking, fireworks, or anything else that I might think of that a law-abiding high schooler might do to bend the laws a bit. We were just going to walk for a long time in the dark, without telling anyone, and get back home at some point. Naturally, S--- assured me that his parents wouldn't bother to check up on our tent when they got home.

So, we began the walk and we talked and after a long while we got to our other friends house. We tried to wake him up--again, to do what?--but he didn't show. So, eventually we turned around and headed home. By now it was probably 1:30 am Saturday morning. All was well, so we thought, until we were about a block from his house and a police car drove by. The car slowed and began to back up. S--- immediately told me to let him do the talking, which I was willing to do since I had absolutely no experience with police interaction (thought I don't think he did either). 

The cop asked who we were and noted that there was an APB out for us. (Naturally, the parents HAD checked up on us and noticed we weren't in the tent. They called my parents (waking them up) and found out that we were not with them. So, they called the police. The cop told us to get in the car--where I discovered for the first--and so far only--time that the backseat of police cars don't have door handles. He took us to S---'s home, where his and my parents were standing around in the driveway. Once out of the car, my dad curtly told me to get my stuff. I RAN to the tent, grabbed my bag and ran back to the car. Without a word to anyone, I was driven home. I keep my eyes firmly in my lap on the ride home and for most of the next several days. I was ashamed and embarrassed and really worried about what my parents would do to me.

They told me they were disappointed and worried during my absence . . . and that was about it. If they gave me any specific grounding, I don't recall it. (Truth be told, it wouldn't have been much of a crimp on my "social" life anyway.) 

Mom and Dad mentioned years later that it was mostly all they could do to keep from laughing at my mortification during the ride home. They realized how badly I was taking the entire affair and so they knew they didn't have to punish me excessively.

I haven't run afoul of the cops since--well, except for a few speeding tickets--and I'll always remember (a bit fondly, I'll admit) my night out. Prom will never be the same to me. I can only hope that this is the worst thing that happens to my kids when they go to prom.


Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? A junior in High School? How soon you forget!! You could not possibly have been more than 11 or 12 yrs. old, hence the parental angst. Mom

David said...

Sorry Mom, but I was definitely out of middle school.