Sometimes, when I get a spare minute here or there, my mind starts down a path of what might be considered antisocial behavior. Given a moment or two with little or nothing about which to think, I might consider some kind of low grade vandalism. This particular muse struck me a few days ago when I went past someone's front staircase that had glass slats for their railing. It did not take me long to pivot from the admiration of the design to "I wonder what a BB gun would do to that from a few yards away?"
But here's what you should know about these wicked thoughts of mine: They don't last long. They are chased out of my head almost immediately by all the practical considerations found in my cerebral cortex. "Okay, genius: how would you go about carrying out this petty crime? Are you going to come back later in the day, disguised? And whose BB gun are you going to use? I suppose you could come back late at night and carry out your nefarious scheme, but would you drive the car? Or would you walk up here, with the BB gun you don't have hidden under the trench coat you also don't own? If you drove you'd probably have to park a block to two away, and then run back to the car. That would be a pretty picture, wouldn't it? And as fond as you are of waking up in the middle of the night I'm sure you'll want to make a special trip up here just so you can scratch that malevolent little itch in your soul. Shame on you for even thinking such a thing."
So, that tiny bit of anarchic whimsy of my inner child was drowned out thoroughly by my inner parent. I might feel worse about this if I hadn't spent a good deal of my youth stealing the numbers off of busses and the occasional road sign. My parents, the ones who lived with me before the voices in my head took over, were aware of my faint brushes with the law, but since I was such a good boy in so many other ways, this little larceny was overlooked.
For the most part.
When I moved out to go to college, my father loaded all those bits and pieces of municipal property in the back of the family station wagon and, in the middle of the night, dropped it off in front of the county courthouse.
He got away with it. I would imagine that this transaction helped activate those voices in my head. Walking the straight and narrow used to be my parents' responsibility. These days I am responsible for a couple hundred elementary schoolers. Making those good choices is what I am all about, 24/7. Still, it's probably a very good thing I don't have a BB gun.