Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Diary of a Juvenile Delinquent

Published:Saturday | October 3, 2015 | 10:04 PM

Adolescence can be challenging times for a developing child. Needless to say, for the parent who has to face and overcome the stress it brings to their already worn mental and physical state. I am now older and wise enough to know that every "sweet little innocent child" has some skeleton in their closet waiting break out and introduce themselves.

March 12:

I was at Teen Jam, a popular weekly party hangout, when this absolutely gorgeous girl passed by and smiled at me. Her looks were accentuated by her skin-tight jeans and a cropped blouse - popularly known as a rib tickler, which stopped above her navel.

We hit it off with casual conversation. She was from an upper-class neighbourhood with a strict Catholic background. Within a few days, we arranged to meet at her house while her parents were out. Once inside, she warned that the lights should remain off in case her parents returned home, they would think she is asleep.

While engaging in some serious canoodling, the front door rattled. Her parents were home earlier than expected.

I felt around in the darkness and found my trousers and shirt. I quickly got dressed and again searched around for my undergarment -which was proving to be a difficult task. I felt a small garment, grabbed it, and then bolted through the back door, over the fence- straight into the blinding headlights of a patrolling police party.

I was now staring at five automatic rifles and officers demanded to know if I was a baggy thief. Confused at their accusations, I looked up at my outstretched hands and there was the girl's underwear hanging loosely between my fingers. After desperately explaining the circumstances, they marched me back to the girl's home where she embarrassingly supported my story, to the shock and anger of her parents. I was released by the officers who, by now, were laughing hysterically. Somehow, her parents never found the humour in it.

***

July 20:

It was an inspiring Sunday morning. The kind of Sunday mornings that leads parents to church from 8 am till noon. It was also a Sunday morning where our young restless bodies assembled at Wally's house to pass time while his mother was at church. Wally, Gary, Raymond, Roderick, and I were best friends in the neighbourhood. We sprawled out in Wally's living room engaging in various nonsense when we had an epiphany. Wally's was to pick up his mother after service with the van. What if we made a quick run to Hellshire Beach and got back before the service was over? This was the greatest idea ever conceived - at the time.

We assembled into the van, and off we drove. Half hour into the journey, the van sputtered and crawled to a halt along the deserted stretch of highway. Neither of us had a clue how to get old Betsy breathing again. We pushed Betsy for a mile until we got to a mechanic. He relieved us of the money we had collected for the beach trip, then he worked some mechanical voodoo inside the engine. It was now 4 pm and old Betsy was again up and running.

Would better judgement prevail? Of course!

Onward to Hellshire Beach, we agreed.

We quickly wallowed in the water then drove like the wind towards home. While barrelling down the highway, we saw a late model BMW gaining on to us from behind. We taunted the driver, daring him to catch up to us. He accepted our challenge. We retaliated with acceleration and more taunting. Just then, a large pot hole appeared out of nowhere. We swung to the right to avoid it then found ourselves heading towards the sea. We over corrected and the van overturned and rolled 6 times - if not 600. When the dust and debris settled, the van rested on its roof. There was an eerie silence that seemed to last an eternity.

I called out to Gary. He responded.

Raymond: "yeah".

Ten Foot: "yeah".

Roderick:"yeah".

"Wally! Wally! Wally!"

We crawled out and found Wally underneath the van semi conscious with a deep six-inch cut on his left shoulder. Dazed and battered, reality checked as we heard screaming and saw motorists running towards us. The driver of the BMW helped us lift the van off Wally and rested him on the grass.

We were transported to the hospital and were released that evening, except for Wally, who remained in intensive care and was released a few days after. Our near-death experience undoubtedly strengthened our friendship and commitment to be each other's keeper.

***

September 15:

There was a business next door to our house that was owned by a wealthy and established elderly man. I always wondered what his office looked like. So one evening I decided to satisfy my curiosity and snuck behind the garage wall, biding my time until he left for lunch.

Once the car turned up the road and out of sight, I weaseled my way in and got lost in the fantasy of his lifestyle. Tucked into a corner among some garbage, I saw an open box filled with magazines adorned with scantily clad women. They bekoned to me to come closer. There in Pandora's Box were jewels suited for a testosterone-filled teenaged boy: Series of Hustler, Penthouse, Forum, Sexology and Playboy magazines. This seemed far more rewarding than getting straight A's in school.

While rumbling through the remaining magazines, my hand stumbled upon a hard object - An adult toy. I grabbed all I could, including the toy and ran back to my bedroom, straight under the bed. Basking in the treasures and evaluating their worth, I saw no practical use for the toy However, how could this object bring some joy to someone else?

I removed the batteries, and gave it to the girl next door and told her it was a pencil case. She grabbed it with a burst of excitement that brought both a devilish smirk to my face and an enormous sense of guilt to my now condemned soul. She filled it with pencils and pens, and the following morning off she strolled with it to her all-girl high school.

Returning from school that afternoon, a hand grabbed me around the neck and pulled me into a corner. It was my brother's keeper, Wally. He warned me not to go home and pointed towards my gate.

The girl's mother stood guard at the entrance waving a wooden plank menacingly while my mother tried unsuccessfully to calm her down.

It turned out that the school officials confiscated this "stationery" from her and sent her home. I laid low for two nights until the heat blew off. To this day, I still could not fathom why she felt a pencil case would have a spring inside it.

She eventually went on to become the Head Girl of her high school. You're welcome!

Me? I continued the frivolities of a juvenile delinquent for another year until I was rehabilitated and transitioned into normal society.