So Ron and I went to school tonight to see the girls’ playoff game. We didn’t stay for the boys’ game, partly because Ron needed to get home and work on a project, but mostly because the woman next to me — who was sitting on the home side of the gym and cheering for the visitors — had brought the Most Obnoxious Child in the Universe to the game and was allowing said child to lean across her and scream largely incoherent insults in my ear.
At one point, the kid, who was probably 11 or 12 years old, spewed forth some barrage of nonsense and then stuck her face right up next to mine and said, “What do you have to say about that? Haven’t you got anything to say about that?”
I gave her the indulgent smile I usually reserve for sophomores who are trying to shock me and said, “No, honey, I really don’t have anything to say. I teach here.” I naively assumed that the woman, upon hearing this, would — like any normal human being with a lick of sense — be profoundly embarrassed and tell the kid to knock it off.
Instead, she laughed and then praised the child for coming up with a new line of trash-talk involving the teaching profession in general and my skills in particular.
I wonder whether this woman will still think her little girl’s behavior is cute when she tries it on a police officer in a few years and ends up arrested for disorderly conduct — or worse? It’s one thing to get confrontational with an off-duty English teacher who is known for her patience with obnoxious teenagers. It’s something else entirely to pull that on a guy who went into law enforcement because he wanted an excuse to carry a gun and boss people around. They’re relatively rare, but those kinds of cops do exist, and I sincerely hope this little girl never bumps into one of them, because her mother is setting her up for tragedy.