Clueless adults lead kids down delinquent path

PREVENTABLE INJURIES – These injuries might have been prevented had a clueless adult not contributed to the delinquency of these two children by arming them with rubber band guns in the name of fun. Parents must remain vigilant against these arms-mongering Pied Pipers.

Leaving church last Sunday, I noted an interesting phenomenon: my children actually beat me to the parking lot. Usually, it’s me threatening to beat them, or at least give them some serious paper cuts from the church bulletin for straggling, goofing around or still talking with their Sunday school teacher when we need to be heading out.

For a change, my children were not willfully disobedient. Rather, they were mesmerized by a Methodist version of the Pied Piper. He wasn’t playing a musical instrument, but talking dirty differently to them. I was a witness when he, slick as a whistle, pulled out two rubber band guns from the bowels of his SUV.

“What are you doing to my children,” I demanded of the formerly-considered-by-me-to-be-a-gentleman, although I knew exactly what had transpired. He was arming them against imaginary enemies and invisible forces of evil, most of which I knew would soon be emanating from the darkness of their own hearts and elastically zipping by my head as I drove.

“Just having a little fun, Mom,” the grandfatherly man said, proud of his handiwork. Granted, he had been the one who crafted those wooden dueling pistols, but the real handiwork I’m referring to adorns the irresistible metaphoric gingerbread house he placed in my kids’ path.

Kate bit first. “These are so cool, Mom,” she said. “You never buy us things like this that are fun.” Fun, my butt. That pine pistol she’s brandishing from the guy at church has Holy terror written all over it. Our cats have seen their last peaceful shut-eye. Within days, they’ll be looking like weary veterans of an uncivil war. My cut glass compotes on the formal dining room table will sustain accidental-on-purpose collateral damage during sibling skirmishes. And my vacuum cleaner will choke to death on far-flung rubber bands.

How old was this guy, anyway? Clearly old enough to know better. Didn’t he ever have children of his own? Of course he did. In fact, I met his daughter the other night. She was at the outdoor concert in Coldwater’s Four Corners Park, distributing hand-held nylon fans to the crowd while bluegrass and country performer Jim Stout crooned on stage, pretending it wasn’t 95 degrees in the shade.

“These are really cool,” his daughter announced to the group of behaviorally-challenged boys I had brought from my workplace to the performance. She showed them how to slowly unfold the fans from their coiled positions until they reached a diameter the size of a small pizza. “But don’t open them too fast,” she warned, “or they’ll pop out Ninja-style and someone will get hurt.”

Magic words. Say no more. She didn’t have to. My guys became instant masters of Ninja fan technique. “Hai yah!” Did you know that when you place your tightly contained fan next to someone’s head and release the flimsy closure clip, the round nylon fan viciously unfurls itself into the face of your opponent, or whoever happens to be standing beside you? With any luck, that someone is already legally blind, so you aren’t as likely to get sued.

The gun giver’s son works at Pokagon State Park in Angola, Indiana. How do I know? He was the guy who, just five feet down the winding trail, suggested to the group of seven-year-old Cub Scouts on my nephew’s survival hike (which I was helping chaperone) they should all find themselves large branches to use for walking sticks. Like father, like son.

I became so lost in my lamentations over the damage Kate would do with her rubber band gun, it didn’t register until later that the grandfatherly gentleman had also slipped one into my son Connor’s grateful hands. Drat! Hadn’t I said we were headed to a baby dedication at another church. Sorry about the baby’s eye! Well, at least he’s young and has time to learn to live without it.

So I did the meanest thing I could to “thank” the well-meaning, but clearly cursed man: I sent him a photo card with my kids posing with their rubber band guns. Kate sporting two Band-Aids on her face and Connor a black eye patch. “Hai yah!” Take that, you who lead my kids astray.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Heidi Louise Rawson
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 23:50:15

    This is made especially funny since I know that dastardly man and for the record I believe he is almost 90!! When he sells them at craft shows he often has a swinging target set up in a cardboard box!!


    Sep 20, 2014 @ 08:54:41


    “Usually, it’s me threatening to beat them, or at least give them some serious paper cuts from the church bulletin for straggling, goofing around or still talking with their Sunday school teacher when we need to be heading out.”



  3. Spencer
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 11:18:18

    Holy crap, you do know what you are describing in the first paragraph is CHILD ABUSE! Something illegal, and rubber band guns are not going to turn your kids into delinquents. Stop worrying about that and worry about the mental scars you will leave after abusing your children. And you need to realize what should be punishable (not a punishment that will harm them) and what isn’t, talking to the Sunday teacher for too long is not a punishable thing. It is people that do stuff like beating their children (even threatening children with physical abuse is illegal) is what makes me think that society is falling into a horrible Hell.


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