Stupid, Stupid Boy

So, it’s fairly certain that one of the biggest fires in Oregon at the moment was started by a 15-year-old boy playfully throwing a smoke bomb into a ravine while hiking in the woods. To hell with burn bans. The world is one big video game! Woo hoo! If we destroy everything, we just hit the reset button, right?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The vast majority of the crime and destruction in this world is perpetrated by boys between the ages of 15 and 24, regardless of race or religion. It’s like they take out their brains and set them on a dusty shelf in the back of their closets for a decade.

I know that’s a sweeping generalization. I’m sure there are plenty of good kids wandering around. But from a statistical standpoint, I wouldn’t bet the farm on any of them. When it comes to violence, theft, graffiti, traffic accidents, bar fights, rape, DUI, and general stupidity, the numbers bear me out.

I hope there are consequences for this kid. I hope he has to help fight this fire. I hope he has to walk through the devastated landscape afterwards and see what he’s done. Somehow, someone has to get through to him.

He won’t be in the stupid stage forever. How will he feel in his 30’s about what he did? This may sound strange, but I hope he regrets it quite a lot. Because that will show that he has developed some sort of a moral compass, as painful as it will be for him. If, on the other hand, he laughs it off, is allowed to get over it, or becomes angry and bitter and stays stuck in his stupidity, then heaven help us all.


Claim your copy of A Bridgetender’s View: Notes on Gratitude today and you’ll be supporting StoryCorps too!

Pick on Someone Your Own Size

Of all the collateral damage caused by our Grand Poobah, I have to say I feel the most sorry for Barron Trump. If he’s not being criticized about being sleepy at 3 in the morning, he’s being called “Poor Little Rich Boy” or being accused of mental health issues.

Childhood is hard enough without being bullied by the internet trolls and the comedians of this world. We all have scars from the cruelties we experienced growing up, but there’s absolutely no excuse for this. Give the kid a break. There are some lines that no one should ever cross.

Barron Trump did not ask for any of this. He didn’t choose his parents or the paths they decided to take in life. He had absolutely no say in the matter. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be him. He will never experience the luxury of a normal life. His father is fair game, but he isn’t.

Satire is fine. Criticism is often necessary. Opinions have a right to be expressed. You don’t have to agree with me. I don’t have to agree with you. But direct your slings and arrows at the adults of this world. Pick on someone your own size.

Say what you will, but at the end of the day, this is just a 10 year old boy. And he’s a 10 year old boy who gets to look forward to experiencing puberty under public scrutiny. Can you imagine?


A big thanks to StoryCorps for inspiring this blog and my first book.

Sleazy Little Punk

At a time when I can ill afford it, I’m going to have to go buy a locked mailbox. The other day I opened mine to find a bunch of bills I had left for the postman had been ripped open, wadded up, and thrown back in the box. Nice.

And then I started calling around and discovered several things that I have mailed never reached their destination. And that mangled envelope that was supposed to contain my new library card, which I had blamed on the post office, was probably the fault of this little scumbag, too.

I say little scumbag because this is almost certainly the work of a neighborhood kid. Most adults realize that they’re not going to be able to cash checks made out to someone else, or use credit cards that haven’t been authenticated. The Hope Diamond isn’t going to be shipped through the US Postal Service. But I sure would have liked to have gotten those fun Washington State travel books I ordered on I suspect he won’t be reading them.

What really ticks me off is some little jerk who can’t even shave yet is now causing me to change my life. I’ll have to drop all mail at the post office now, and buy that locked mailbox. And the sad part about it is he’ll never get caught, even though it’s a federal offense and I did file a report. I can’t afford to buy a video camera on top of everything else.

The worst part about it is that he’ll grow up and move on to cars and houses and God only knows what else, and he lives in my neighborhood, which suddenly doesn’t feel as safe as it did a few days ago. It doesn’t have to be this way. If I knew who it was, after I beat the ever-living shit out of him, I’d say, “You know, you have entrepreneurial instincts. You could really be a success in life if you turned from the dark side.”

You stupid little punk.