No matter what our backgrounds or politics, there are certain values most of us can agree on. Be kind to the elderly. Healthy people who park in handicapped spots are jerks. Bullying and child abuse are horrible.
The Upper West Side’s Lady Gaga is leading an effort to combat bullying and child abuse, as are a number of prominent groups, including the Girl Scout Council of Greater NY (see my last blog). When charges of child abuse are made, we should take them very seriously. Case closed, right?
Then again, there’s an exception to every rule…
Last week in the Florida Panhandle, a pair of 71 year old retirees were enjoying a quiet round of golf, when two teenage boys thought it would be hilarious to blast an air horn each time the seniors were about to swing.
Hidden behind bushes on private property near their home behind the ninth tee, the boys kept it up until the old guys had enough and chased after them. One of the 71 year olds futilely tried to climb a chain link fence to get at them, as the boys backpedaled and mocked him.
But one of the teens dropped his jacket as he ran back to his private home. The retirees tried to fish the jacket back over the fence with their aluminum ball retrievers. The outraged boy ran back, screaming at them in a heavy southern accent “Hey dudes–you can’t do that! That’s stealing!”
Big mistake. As soon as the teen was in range, the furious seniors started smacking him on his back and shoulders with their ball retrievers, as the teen’s accomplice frantically sounded the air horn while videotaping the scene. The now panicky teen scrambled to dodge the blows, then scurried back to his home.
End of story, right? Wrong. The teen showed the video to his dad, who was irate__at the retirees. Even though his son wasn’t hurt, the dad marched the tape to the golf course manager to identify the attackers of his poor boy. He then called the police, who arrested the two seniors and charged them with child abuse.
The video was posted on YouTube and elicited a number of thoughtful responses, ranging from “Ha ha–you just got beat up by a 70 year old!” to “Good for the geezers! But a ball retriever? I would have used a 9 iron”, to “Good job kids! I salute you for annoying the hell out of these douchebag golfers!”
Yes, child abuse is an awful thing. So is senior abuse. You decide which applies here.