Since the beginning of this blog, I have been becoming aware of my geezer behaviors. Sometimes I can feel them coming on, sometimes they spring up from nowhere.
Yesterday, being the second day of the new year, I was eyewitness to my first official geezer activity of this 365 day period.
I was in K-Roger scamming the free wi-fi (in true geezer form, free wi-fi is the BEST), seated at one of the tiny bistro tables. There were about three other sets of surfers in the long, narrow venue, tending to their internet-based tasks. I noticed a group of three junior high-aged kids seated at the first table by the Starbuck’s storage cabinets. After I had logged in and well on my way to a good surf, I heard the unmistakable drumming of a pre-teen on the table to my left, the same kids by the cabinets, about ten feet away. Suppressing a strong urge to send a scowl their way, I calmed myself with the thought that perhaps he would tire of the drumming, as they usually do. Not so. The sound was pretty loud, too, I thought, loud enough to make me take my scowl off of “safety”. I was determined to wait the little nerd out.
The drumming continued with short respites in between which I began to pray for the short attention span to set in. He then began scraping his wooden chair backward on the terrazzo floor; “Skroooaawwwk, skroooaawwwk, skrawwk, skrawk…”, back toward the cabinets. Which he then began to drum upon. Same intensity as the table, except producing a different sound, which the astute young man noticed, “Hey it sounds different!” Genius. I was sure he was intentionally being annoying.
All this transpired with my eyes locked on to G-mail, my mind trying not to scream at my hands to throw a table at him. I happened a glance his way, because I could feel something about to happen; the drumming had ceased for a moment. I saw him open the cabinet and take a quick peek inside. The other little knotheads asked what was in there. “Raspberry flavoring, a lot of it!”, he said, grinning that goofy junior high I-just-found-something-interesting grin. He made a couple of quick looks back in and kinda laughed, “Ghyulk!”.
At this point, I had stopped pretending to work on the computer and just watched the little hammerhead. He proceeded.
“Hey, a bunch of little straws…” he snorked, pulling out a whole brick of the little stirring straws, thankfully wrapped in plastic. Putting them back, he found another doo-dad of interest. It was a little item, wrapped in a small plastic bag, and it was about the size of a key fob for your car remote. I have no idea what it was. He held it up with that same stupid grin, glancing back and forth between the thing and his little nerd buddies. Then he slipped it into the pocket of his hoodie.
At that moment, I ran through a couple of scenarios in my head. One involved me jumping up and grabbing his hoodie hood and dragging him to the Starbuck’s manager. My fear was that the manager would not back me up, to avoid trouble. Nix that one. The next one involved my boot on his little sunken chest with me screaming in his face about the dangers of shoplifting. Instantly dismissed that one, too. You can tell cuz this isn’t being posted from jail.
The third one is the one I used. I pointed right at the kid twelve-and-a-half feet from me and said in a loud, firm voice, “PUT THAT BACK.” The little noodlehead looked like he’d been taserd. Everyone in the area looked at me, then at the kid I was pointing at. He sheepishly put the item back in the cabinet and closed it. He then sat there, three feet from his table with a blank look on his face.
I went back to the computer, aware that he and his little goofball friends were looking at me. After a while, I noted that he was still sitting where he was, next to the cabinet. I stared him down and told him, “You need to move your chair back to your table, that would be best.”
He “skrooked” his chair back into its original position, and sat there with his little buddies, all giving furtive glances back at me every few seconds. I occasionally looked back at them, unflinching and direct.
My first official act as a geezer this year was very fulfilling; I got to call out a rotten little shoplifter, and hopefully he will remember the feeling for a long time. Who knows, I may have saved a kid from a life of petty crime, or worse. He may have been on the road to become a politician.
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Posted by aA at 5:01 PM