mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

And I would have had it, too, if it wasn't for those damn kids...

I found myself driving down Gittings Ave to Panera Bread for dinner tonight, where I encountered two kids throwing tennis balls at passing cars. Almost got hit going - sailed over the hood - and on the way back accelerated past them when I saw them lining up to throw.

Beyond the obvious property damage, people tend to react when they see something flying at them, not realizing what it is - and an involuntary reaction isn't really a great thing when you're driving two tons of metal at 30 miles an hour.

However, I wimped out. I didn't call the cops. I didn't stop, pull over, and yell at them. I simply drove on. And I'm not sure what I should have done.

I don't really feel comfortable calling 911 - with all the crime in Baltimore, kids throwing tennis balls at passing cars seems like it should take a backseat to murder or heart attacks. Besides, I didn't want to have to wait around or deal with callbacks from the police. Besides, what would the police have done? Arrested twelve year olds?

I guess I could have stopped the car, gotten out, and yelled at them. But I'm not exactly an intimidating figure, considering I'm about as wide as I am tall. And even if I could physically intimidate them, it would probably get me in trouble. I can see the headlines... Crazy tech support guy threatens poor, innocent kids. Their parents would probably sue me.

Lileks had a good BackFence column (registration required) about him yelling at a kid who was cursing in front of his 4 year old daughter, and the kid totally blowing him off. Anyone who knows me (or reads my posts on NewsAmuse) knows that I don't have a problem with dropping the occasional F-bomb, but I think there is a time and a place for it. Lileks wanted to box the kids ears, but didn't.

I feel I underreacted. But I'm not sure what the correct reaction would be.


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