Tuesday, December 13, 2011

you kids get off my lawn!

Late this morning, I had a very important work call.

I work from home, so when the call started, I was in my kitchen. The cell phone reception in my house is less than wonderful, so, not wanting to miss anything, I headed to my front porch to take the call. I opened my front door and stepped outside, where I encountered two teenage boys, one of whom was mid-puff on what looked like a pretty densely-packed joint. The other looked up at me, smiled and said hello.

"Hang on just a moment," I said to the person on the phone. "OK, you guys need to find somewhere else to go."

"Why? We come here every day. This is our porch."

"No, actually it's not. It's my porch and you have to leave because I said so."

"Make us."

My jaw dropped. I would never, ever have said that to an adult when I was a teenager (or, um, ever). Suddenly all my years of teaching and working with kids fell away, and I realized just what was really going on there: two hoodlums were mouthing off to a mean lady--and she was too nervous (and pissed off) to do anything about it. They laughed at me and my obvious lack of a plan. Teeth clenched, I turned around and slammed the door shut.

Not wanting to miss any more phone time, I grudgingly shut the door, locked it and headed to the backyard, where service is not quite as good as the front of the house, but still better than the kitchen. Fifteen minutes after finishing my call, I went out to the front porch where evidently they had finished smoking and headed back to third period, or whatever.

I sat on my front steps, wondering what I should have done. Should I have told the person on the phone that I'd call him back shortly and then handled it? But, if I did that, what should I have said when they refused to leave? I have nothing against pot (though I don't think they should have skipped class to smoke it), and I realize I have no idea about the home/school situations of these kids, but I still don't think I should have to host their mid-morning cannabis party. The whole thing made me feel like an overprivileged narc, and also like a total wuss. And also really old.

So, my guess it that they'll be back soon and my question to you, wonderful readers, is, what should I do next time? Threaten to call their school (it's right across the street)? The police? Just leave them to it? Ask for a hit? Blast opera? Please help.

24 comments:

Michael M. said...

Call the police as soon as you see them and explain about the drugs. And call everytime you see them. Anything else and you are probably going to be help liable. Which sucks, but is the way things are any more.

Hester said...

Record them on video and give copies of it to the local truancy officer and the school principal.

Heidi said...

Wait for them every morning with the phone in your hand along with the number for the school. If they won't back down, then call the school. They'll back down once they realize that you're serious about it, probably when they see that you're sitting on the porch lovingly waiting for them. Also, it's unlikely that they'll even come back now that they know that you know about their truant escapades. They just wanted the chance to mouth off. I don't think that there's any need to get the cops involved unless they get violent.

Choles said...

call the cops and tell them they are smoking weed and it looks like one of them has a gun.
or you can just turn the hose on them or something

themessenger said...

I wouldn't do any of the previously suggested things, just like you said you wouldn't have dreamed of doing something like that...these kids do. If you ignite their ire against you you risk endangering your property and starting a "war" with them. One they usually win (kids have their ways!) Your blast opera or some other unappetizing music to them is the best suggestion! Turn it on and turn it up! They have themselves a peaceful environment to do as they will right now...I would do the opposite. Blast the "old" music, make a "pot" of coffee, and offer them chocolate chip cookies. Just don't leave the front porch. Make this a environment they no longer want to be in. If your there sitting, having coffee, listening to "gross" music, even kindly and OFTEN offering them eats...they will either leave or start thinking differently. Don't challenge teenagers, you will generally come out on the losing end.

Madfoot said...

I like the idea of blasting opera music. I'd also call the school, not telling them you were doing so, and ask them to look out their freakin' window. You don't have to mention the pot. Just say they're on your porch, they're mouthy, and you're over it. And in the moment, I'd have hung up the phone, then used it to start snapping pictures, wordlessly. They'd have been gone toot sweet.

pinkish.floyd said...

I really think the best approach would be to bake them something. They'll either be inspired, and you can teach them to bake, or they'll be so utterly startled by your sincere kindness that they will never return!

Frish said...

Get one of these - http://www.amazon.com/Contech-CRO101-Scarecrow-Activated-Sprinkler/dp/B000071NUS
They are great for keeping unwanted animals, kids & Jehovahs witnesses off your property.

L-Burt said...

I definitely wouldn't call the cops or school just yet. Like one of the above commenters said, you wouldn't want to set them off. If you see them out there again (I doubt you will, even though they mouthed off back to you), I would just go out there and call their bluff. I doubt they'll want to hang out too long on your porch if you're out there too. If that doesn't work, then maybe call someone.

sam said...

this is between you and them. stand your ground and just tell them to piss off.

Christine said...

Take their picture or vide them , call the police and school administration. Don't back down or give up.

Oddysey said...

It's your porch. Even leaving aside the pot issue, you have a right to be on your porch and not be bothered there. I don't think it's unreasonable, at all, for you to want them to leave.

If you're worried about getting them in an unreasonable amount of trouble, you can always give them a warning-- tell them that your porch is a private space for your use, not theirs, and that if they don't leave, you'll find someone who *can* make them leave. That's kind of the essence of what police are for-- to enforce people's rights, property and otherwise, against those who would attempt to deprive them of those rights by force.
Though calling the school is probably what I'd try first.

If you're worried about them skedaddling and then coming back later to make your life miserable, you'll probably want to take pictures of them, or otherwise get some identifying information. That might be enough to get them to leave in and of itself.

Also, I don't know what kind of terms you're on with your neighbors, but mentioning it to them might be a minimally-escalating option as well. They likely don't want teens hanging around smoking pot on your front porch any more than you do, and might be able to give you some backup.

Lily said...

I really think the best approach would be to bake them something. They'll either be inspired, and you can teach them to bake, or they'll be so utterly startled by your sincere kindness that they will never return!


kitchen pantry cabinet

Garnet Scarabin said...

pI don't know much about kids... I work with dogs at the local animal shelter. When they get out of hand (like starting a fight), I throw a bucket of water on them. That is the first thing that popped into my mind, if I dealt with kids like that. I have nothing against smoking cannabis either, but it's my lawn and they were just plain rude. Cold buckets of water never hurt anyone, but they sure do get the point across when nothing else will!

Allen Bates said...

I always have kids loitering outside our home that's why I keep the door locked. Thanks.
locksmith in Wichita

Laszlo Irving said...

I remember adding more security in our home because of those teenagers who always loiter around out neighborhood. Thanks.
security companies

lilly martin said...

This article was very nicely written, and it also contains a lot of useful facts. I appreciated your professional way of writing this post. Thanks, you have made it very easy for me to understand.
orthodontist oakville

Elizabeth J. Neal said...

Our backyard is fairly small, which is good because we spend most of our time working on a 140 acre natural area. However, in her "spare" time Kathie has done a great job of "restoring" it. best brand of self propelled lawn mower

thomas white said...

Your dad says the only way to mow a lawn is to trim the edges first, which puts the clippings back into the grass to be mulched by the mower. He's not wrong, but you can also mow first and then trim, which takes advantage of the mower's large cutting area to reduce time spent trimming. Pick one approach to avoid constantly swapping tools. You can find outlet a nice lawn mower from here: The Best lawn mower

historypak said...

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. Shante Trumbauer

Ali Khan said...

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article instagram web viewer

Ali Khan said...

This is the type of information I’ve long been trying to find. Thank you for writing this information instagram online web viewer

Ali Khan said...

Pretty cool post. It's really very nice and useful post. Thanks for sharing this with us! It's my first visit upload to instagram

Ali Khan said...

Super site! I am Loving it!! Will return once more, Im taking about youtube to high quality mp3