One of my boys has the ability to respond quickly to situations without hesitation. Now that he has a family, it’s more actions than words. When he was younger, however, it was mainly words. He could verbally burn someone after they said something and they wouldn’t know what hit them. Of course, when he did it to me, we either laughed, punished, or both. Never a dull moment with this one.
I remember going to a football game he was playing in. He was playing defensive back (or cornerback) and did a good job of keeping his guy covered. I can’t remember a pass play going his way, but the kid he was covering apparently had orders to keep running deep. My son kept up with him, step by step. Then came the response play. They hiked the ball and like most parents, I was watching my kid. He immediately looked around quickly, knocked down the other kid, and then sat on him until the play was over. No whistle, no foul. When he came back to the sideline I had to ask about it.
ME: You knocked that guy down and sat on him.
ME: Um, why? You could’ve been called for pass interference, or, um, personal foul, um, well, I don’t know what rule covers sitting on your opponent, but I’m pretty sure it’s illegal.
ME: Why’d you do it?
SON: I was getting tired of running.
Good answer. Once again, he responded quickly to his situation. The funny part of it all was watching the other kid try to get up. Every time he tried, my son lifted himself up a bit before bouncing right back down on top of the struggling kid. Definitely fun to watch…for me. I imagine the other kid’s parents weren’t as thrilled.
Another situation involved the hardcore crime of skating in the bank parking lot. For now, we’ll just overlook the sign that said no skating and get to the event. The usual protocol was 1) The kids would skate at the bank. 2) The cops would come. 3) The kids would skate away from the bank. 4) Everybody lived happily ever after.
Now, before we get to the actual event, I’ll explain the scenario. We lived in a very small town of only 1500 people. Most everybody knew everybody…except for those weird people on the corner, nobody wanted to know them. As a county department head renting a house owned by the county sheriff, I was pretty well known as well, even though we had only lived in the town for a year or so.
Back to the story where we find the cop, let’s call him “Dilly,” came rolling up to the bank while my son and his friends were skating:
DILLY: Hey, you kids!
MY SON (not skating away this time): Yeah?
DILLY (still sitting in his car): Come here.
MY SON (noticing Officer Dilly weighed in at about 350 pounds): No, you get out of your car and come here.
DILLY (astounded and not knowing what just hit him): What?
MY SON: Why don’t you try to get out of your car and come here?
DILLY (very perplexed): Come here or I’ll tell your dad.
MY SON: Ok.
Then my son skated away with his friends, no doubt a hero amongst them after this interaction. Officer Dilly immediately drove the long two blocks to my house where I was woodworking in my garage.
DILLY: Your son was skating at the bank.
ME: Did you tell him to leave?
DILLY: I told him to come to my car and talk with me.
ME (getting that feeling that it didn’t go well): Ok…
DILLY: He got all smart-assed and told me to get out of the car and come to him!
ME: Ok…um, where is he now? (I was wondering if I needed bail money).
DILLY: Him and his friends skated away when I wouldn’t get out of the car.
ME (smiling and walking away): Ok, well, I have to get back to my work.
DILLY: I’m not done talking!
ME: Well then, why don’t you get out of your car and come here?
Possible moral of this story? If you’re going to make a cop angry, make sure it’s one that has trouble getting out of his car. It has a much better ending.