Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Excitable Boy

 I was about eighteen when I chose to climb over a friend's Honda wagon, stepping on the back bumper then leaping on the roof, crawling to the front and rolling off the hood "like Starsky and Hutch." It was that last bit that made my cousin, our insurance agent, turn off the tape recorder as I described the incident. This resulted in my A) having to retell the story without background snickers, B) the loss of whatever friendship I might have had with Mister Honda in the first place, and C) an increase in my parents' insurance premiums. The late night phone call to my parents' house was their tip that their middle son was about to make their lives a little less comfortable for a little while. I did this a few times. A lot of these had to do with errors in judgement on my part, fueled by youthful indiscretion and the mistaken belief that I was indestructible. Which I may have been, but the objects and vehicles around me most certainly were not. This behavior reached its peak around the time I chose to leap from a swing at a playground while under the influence of a somewhat regrettable mixture of chemicals. The result was trashing of my left knee that might have looked better if it came at the end of a career-defining touchdown run. Instead, it was yet another late night phone call to my parents.

I feel that I would be remiss if I did not mention that this experience has come back to me, albeit in a blessedly less frequent form via my own son's teenage antics. Firs of all, the fact that he chose to phone his mother and I when he got pulled over for speeding or the time he was in his friend's pickup when it rolled down an embankment is a source of some mild satisfaction. We have no secrets. Huzzah. However, I could continue to live a happy and productive life without ever receiving another call that starts, "Well, the good new is that I'm still alive." Yes. That is good news, but it is a setup for what comes afterward. I know it all too well. 

Bruno Joseph Cua's parents are probably way too familiar with this syndrome too. Young Bruno was arrested for his part in the January 6 insurrection at our nation's capitol. The eighteen year old was recently charged with a number of counts including assault on a federal officer; civil disorder; obstruction of an official proceeding; restricted building or grounds; and entering or remaining on the floor or gallery of either House of Congress, violent entry or disorderly conduct, engage in physical violence, obstruct, or impede passage, and parade, demonstrate, or picket on Capitol Grounds. It was Bruno's dad who suggested that they make a family trip out of their pilgrimage from Georgia to Washington D.C. to see what their Dear Leader might urge them to do two weeks before the Inauguration. What Bruno's parents might not have known was how deep he was into the mentality of the siege. And while mom and dad hung on the periphery, young Bruno went ahead and pushed and shoved his way eventually into the Senate Chamber, taking picture and swinging a baton. It was only after the hours of video and self-posted admissions of participation that all these MAGAts were picked up and arrested. At his hearing in federal court, Bruno Joseph Cua was denied bond and was kept behind bars awaiting trial. 

Which is to say that I was fortunate. My older brother was in law enforcement way back when, and the family joke was that he couldn't necessarily keep me out of jail, but he could get me a good room. Never arrested. Never jailed. But I did absolutely no favors for my parents' insurance. 

I wonder what the Cua's premiums are like. 

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