I should have outgrown it. I thought I'd outgrown it. After seven decades you'd think I would have outgrown it. You'd have thought I would have learned to resist the impulse toward this unexplained behavior.
I can't remember when it started. Maybe it was with my little brother. I used to delight in pulling pranks on him. It was obviously that delight that led me to expand the activity beyond my brother. It was in my high school years my delight in this began to reach for new challenges. I think the statute of limitations has run out so I will fess up. It was I who talked the offensive line of my high school football team to carry Mr. Snyder's VW Bug up the steps and sit it outside his
classroom door on the third floor.
Maybe it was that VW Bug prank that led to my desire to top it with a better one. I did top it, you know. There's a new generation of park police watching over the Washington Monument so I'll reveal my secret. It was me. On our high school senior trip I was the one who figured out how to fly a five by eight foot Confederate flag out the observation window at the top of the monument and to get it down without getting caught. Everyone thought that cool. Unfortunately, it got back to my Dad. He didn't share their appreciation.
Now, as for the rumors about the cow being placed in the Dean's office at my college, I will neither confirm nor deny that. I have a grandchild considering that institution of learning.
You may wonder why I'm recalling all this. You may wonder why the words of my Dad, “When are you going to grow up?”, are suddenly again echoing in my mind. Well, as I said above, you'd think I would have outgrown it.
But … last week I took two grandchildren to Tybee Island. I thought they'd enjoy the surf before school started.
We spread out our towels, rubbed on some sunscreen and started to enjoy the day. That's when I noticed him. He was yelling at a couple about twenty yards from where he was sprawled under his umbrella. “Hey, can't you people control your noisy kids. You're not the only ones on this beach.” I ignored it although I thought it rude and plunged with my grandkids into the Atlantic.
A little later he was yelling about someone shaking out their towel and the sand blowing near him. And then he was lecturing some high school girls on how indecent was their swim attire. The man was an obnoxious pig.
Even later I noticed him dozing on his towel in his self-constructed shade. I told my grandchildren to sit where they were. I removed a large bag of potato chips from our carry bag. Walking thirty yards behind the reclining gentleman I reached into the bag and removed some chips. I held them in my hand over my head. The sea gulls arrived hovering about me waiting a chance to snatch them from my hand. I moved closer to the man. I crumbled the chips up. I scattered them about his area, and across his area. I told my grandkids we had to go. When I looked back I couldn't see the man but I could see the hundred gulls surrounding him.
When will I ever grow up?