Separation of Genius
I was at the drive-in, sitting beside my new car and watching the first movie. When it ended, between it and the next film, some kids got out a frisbee and started throwing it. I thought it was an incredibly stupid idea with all the cars and other people around – people relaxing outside their cars between the films, paying no attention for an errant, hard plastic frisbee that might be heading toward their face.
As I say, my car was new – less than a week old. I looked at the parents seeming to enjoy their kids having a good time throwing the frisbee. Within a few more throws, their frisbee went afoul, bouncing off the hood of the car next to mine.
I immediately got up. I told the kids mine was a new car and it wasn’t gonna get scratched by their frisbee so they needed to stop or move much farther away like out in the field where there were no people or cars. I said this waiting for their parents to say anything in return. They didn’t. And the kids, not wanting to go to the field, quit playing frisbee.
I hate being the asshole raining on kids’ fun. But I hate being the schmuck to the kids of parents who don’t know how or don’t care to parent.
A few weeks later I was at the park. There were two families, both with children, enjoying a picnic together. The one family was white and they spoke with thick rural accents. They all spoke and behaved quite politely to the Asian family they were with. The Asian family spoke with heavy accents too. They seemed to be struggling with English. There were many questions being tossed between the families with many of the questions and answers needing to be repeated. I surmised they might be engaged in some kind of church or community building project.
They seemed to be enjoying their time. Then one of their kids got out a frisbee. There was an immediate chorus of whoa‘s and wait‘s from the adults of both families, some of who jumped out of their chairs and hurriedly guided their children well away from the circle of the picnic so the other adults, soon to be engaged and distracted in conversation again, weren’t likely to get struck by an errant, hard plastic frisbee.
We are stupid people. But maybe it’s not a matter of too many of us having IQ’s of 90 rather than 150. Maybe it’s not the difference between a GED and an advanced degree. Maybe it’s a matter of too many of us not knowing where and when it’s okay to throw a fucking frisbee.