Back in my day

So Brisbane teenager Jordan Fuller justified the brawling rabble that ensued when his party was shut down by police as “what kids do”.

At least he got the “kids” part right. Because that’s what they are – kids. Children, juveniles, adolescents, minors, youths, teenagers. Not adults.

And as such, they should bloody well do as they’re told.

Well, at least we did back in my day.

So this turd of a kid pops his party on Facebook and over 200 kids turn up. The party turns into some sort of unholy uproar, with noise, shouting and fighting in the street.

What else do these kids do for fun? Slam their hands in car doors?

When concerned neighbours called the police, the kids were so infuriated at their instruction to shut the party down that they retaliated by throwing bricks at the heads of police officers and storming a council bus that was making its routine trip, smashing out its windows and causing major havoc in the street.

“Everything was all right until the coppers turned up and said it was over,” I quote Master Justin from the story in Brisbane newspaper The Courier-Mail. “They weren’t too happy because they were having a good time and everyone got upset with the coppers, as you can see.”

Two police officers are in hospital, a bus driver is traumatised, 18 patrol cars were called in as back up… all because some selfish kids wanted to “do what kids do?”

Oh good Lord.

Back in my day, if you were doing the right thing, ie walking your dog on a leash, buying milk for your Mum at the corner shop or posting a birthday card, and you saw a cop, you were immediately nervous. You’d never done anything wrong in your life except belt up your younger sister or stay up late reading by torch under the blankets. None of which needs police intervention. But you were still nervous.

If I saw my parish priest or my best friend’s mother when I was walking home from school, I made sure I was on my best behaviour. I was polite to the old lady on the bus and always offered her my seat. I said thank you to the lady who manned the pedestrian crossing outside our school. And I always waited until she said it was safe to cross before I crossed.

Why was I like this? Because my biggest fear was my parents finding out I’d done something wrong and then I’d have to incur their wrath and live with the consequences.

You see, my parents weren’t particularly interested in being my friend or even about liking me. It was their job to be my parents and that’s what they did.

My mother is someone you never wanted to make angry. She kept a wooden spoon in close proximity and thought nothing of whipping it out and walloping my brothers and me if we played up. Not just one nasty sharp wallop. She’d have a few good cracks at it. And it hurt like hell.

The one time I wagged last period at high school to hang out in McDonald’s with my boyfriend, I bumped into our neighbour from across the road. She lost no time in telling Mum, who then waited for me by the front door. I got a few wallops for that escapade.

Another time, I’d been given money to buy my Nanna a birthday present. Instead I spent it on buying the Abba Arrival record and tried to fashion up a home-made gift to cover my indiscretion. That lasted about 60 seconds before the wallop.

As I got older, we progressed to groundings. A week at home with the wooden spoon for company makes for a long week.

I’m not sure whether all this made me a better person or not, but it certainly taught me some self-awareness, to be mindful and respectful of others, and the simple fact that the world does not revolve around me.

Much as I’d like it to at times.

In the late 70s and early 80s, I couldn’t even have begun to contemplate having a party in the same vein as young Jordan. Or even accepting an invitation to go to one. My parents just wouldn’t allow it. Sure, we had birthday parties and we had sleepovers with friends and went out to the movies and so on. But it was all under strict supervision, was alcohol-free, and other parents were invited where appropriate. And interestingly, no one got drunk and no one got pregnant.

And no one insulted police officers or tried to knock their heads off with low-flying bricks. We were just too scared of them.

So, if these young kids were told by police to shut down the party, the adults in charge should have set about shutting it down, even if they didn’t have the foresight to do so before things got out of hand. Parents should have turned up to collect their children instead of leaving them to find their own way home. Alcohol should have been banned before anyone got past the footpath. And keep it off Facebook!

This incident has made me so cranky! It was unnecessary, self-serving and destructive. And such a waste of so many people’s time.

I wish I had a wooden spoon right now.

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