Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I don't like to make sweeping generalizations. But last night it was hard not to, as I swore and muttered to myself while biking to the IFI. Mark and I had not been on our bikes for two minutes when we turned the corner and came upon two boys, aged ten or eleven, swinging a PUPPY (it looked only a few weeks old) from it's leash. When I say swinging, I mean, swinging it around, in the air, by it's leash, and then dangling it, above the ground. This puppy didn't even look like it should be separated from its mother, let alone put on a lead in freezing cold weather. It was honestly not much smaller than my hand, and it looked terrified. Actually, it looked traumatized. It didn't make a sound, and just hung there, hopelessly.

I stopped my bike and asked the kids what the hell they were doing. They looked scared for a second because I think they thought from our lights that we were bike cops. Once they realized that we were just regular people, they just continued to hang the puppy from the leash. I told them that someone ought to do that to them to see how they liked it, and one of them replied that he would like it -- he thought it would be fun.

So here's my sweeping generalization. Sometimes it feels like the children in this country are wild animals. Boys, roaming the streets, doing whatever the hell they feel like. And you can't say anything to them, especially in your own neighborhood, where they can terrorize you, or else you're going to wish you hadn't. They throw snowballs into people's faces. They call you names. They look into your letterbox and try to spy on you in your own house. They set things on fire. They try to play chicken with you when you're cycling. I could go on and on. It fucking enrages me. When I was a child, I wouldn't have dreamed of acting that way towards strangers. But so many of the kids here have no fear, no fear at all, of adults or strangers. I just don't get it. I really don't. Back in the US, I only had an issue with one teenage kid, and he was clearly mentally ill.

And they travel in packs as well, for extra intimidation. It's not that I'm walking around, being actively scared of the children and teenagers in my neighborhood, but at the same time, I realize that they are in total control, and cannot be reasoned with. I've lived in crappy neighborhoods all over Boston and I've never experienced anything like it. Even in Brooklyn I didn't see kids acting this way. It's annoying. Most days it's just "one of them things" but yesterday, when I watched helplessly as an animal was being tortured, I just really wanted to leave it all behind me.


  1. I wholeheartedly agree. Last night we were on the way to the grocery store when three boys ran into the street, throwing rocks at a security van. For what purpose? The van stopped and the boys took off. It shocks me that these kids aren't disciplined in any way and that they can so easily roam the streets and get away with everything.

  2. They roam like packs of dogs. And what I want to know is, where are all the girls? You don't see girls in nearly the same numbers as you do boys. It's downright odd.

  3. Disgusting. I was out the other night and saw some kids (and I use the term 'kids' loosely as some were probably in their 20s) throwing snowballs at people walking home from work. The people just kept walking as they were hit in the back. It was infuriating. Why didn't they say something? My husband said it's because they'd get beat up. So ridiculous. One of my friends in England said she saw some kids pick up a shovel of slush and dump it on the head of the person selling the Big Issue. No one said a word because they were all frightened. Why do people allow kids to terrorize them? Because they know the police will do nothing.

  4. Oh, it's the worst. I have a friend who was hit in the face (down near your place, btw) at close range with a snowball stuffed with something very hard (probably a rock). He was bleeding from the mouth, and still there's nothing you can do because the kids WILL kick the crap out of you. Another friend of mine was only 3 hours out of laser eye surgery and some dude came up to her and punched her in the face with a snowball. It was touch and go there for a few days, but her eye looks like it's finally healing normally again. But it's like, what's the deal? You're right -- some of them aren't kids, they're adult age! In New England, where it snows all winter long, I never saw anything like it.