Kids do dumb stuff sometimes. Not an earth-shattering statement, I realize. Doing dumb things is part of growing up. And the great part is that everyone alive is either a kid or once was a kid – so everybody can relate – whether they want to admit it or not. Some don’t, but I will.
I can’t remember if I was six or seven at the time, but the rest I recall quite well. A friend and I were walking from my house to his – just across the street. As we crossed the road, we noticed a car approaching in the distance. For some reason, we both suddenly stopped walking and faced the oncoming car with arms stretched out like we were daring the driver to hit us.
At the same instant, we both realized that the white car coming toward us was a state patrol vehicle. “Cop!” we yelled, and made a mad dash for the bushes surrounding his house. Then, staying out of sight, we retreated behind the shed. Our efforts to escape were futile, however. A few seconds later, the officer pulled into the driveway and went to ring the bell. My friend’s Mom listened as the cop explained why he was there and then she came looking for us.
For the next several minutes, we were treated to a lecture about how dangerous our behavior was. I remember thinking, Does he really think we’re dumb enough to stand there and wait until the car runs us over? Apparently, he did, because when I asked him, he repeated how dangerous it was and said that we could’ve been killed. Eventually, the cop left. My friend’s Mom didn’t really say a whole lot – just shook her head. I guess she figured we’d learned our lesson.
But, remember what I said about kids doing dumb stuff?
It continued to bother me that the cop actually thought I’d simply stand there in the street with a car coming and not move – long before it had a chance to hit me. I’m not sure who I was trying to prove it to, certainly not the cop, who I never saw again, but several months later, I decided to try it again. Not wanting to get my friend in trouble, this time, I was alone. I chose a darker colored car, but other than that, everything was much the same. Same street, same place. And at about the same distance, I realized the approaching car was a county cop! Twice in a row! What were the odds?
No, I didn’t get in trouble again. Why? Let’s just say that one kid can effectively disappear a whole lot easier than two.