PILL THE DOG

 

10) WHEN KIDS GO BAD IN THE PERFECT FAMILY


    My childhood was perfect. My parents were the perfect parents. Nothing can be blamed on them. All my childhood memories are perfect idyllic moments. They loved me totally and completely. They devoted their life to me. My father would rush home from work to coddle me on his lap. My mother never let my feet touch the ground. She would hold me in her arms and watch tearjerker movies . We would cry together even though I was too young to know why. They never argued or fought in my presence. Our family meals together were moments of bliss and happiness over healthy, delightful, delicious meals. My mom was an incredible cook. We had meat and potatoes five days a week. Anything I wanted, I could have.

    There's a reason some of us go bad and it has nothing to do with genes, or parents, or family, or the environment, or school, or peers, or friends. We just go bad. That's all there is to it. There is no reason. It just happens.

    I was a hair's breath away from hell, from going bad, but managed to escape, and there's no reason why I didn’t go bad. I should have. I had every chance. Everyone else around me did. Maybe I did and just don't know it.

    When I was a kid, right around age ten or so, I had a friend -- and he went REALLY bad -- and we used to be bad all the time. But that was child-bad. Some people think that child-bad means you will turn out adult-bad, but I think that a lot of child-bad is really just good old fun, just bad-fun.

    Mike and I, my friend Mike, we used to play this bad game. We called it Ring-Doorbells-And-Run. Most of our games had names like that. There was Overturn-Garbage-Cans-And-Run. There was Let-Air-Out-of-Tires-And-Run. And the ever popular Toilet-Paper-A-House-And-Run. But it was Ring-Doorbells-And-Run that was by far our favorite, mainly because it was the easiest, required no special tools or skills, could be done on a moment's notice of inspiration and more importantly, it had two special features that make all Bad Things good: 1) the element of dare and chance whereupon you are notifying your victim of the crime by ringing their doorbell, making your escape very risky, and 2) by hiding in the bushes after you ring the doorbell and run, you get to see the victim's reaction, frustration and anger as they yell into the dark.

    I didn't realize it at the time, but Ring-Doorbells-And-Run could have been a studied model for future games, but for me it pretty much ended with Ring-Doorbells-And-Run.

    For my friend however, it became the basis for many, many more fun games.

    Games like Rob-Liquor-Store-And-Run.