Secret Pop

Oct 27, 2002

Fathers, teach your boys not to pee on other people's property.

I almost forgot. This afternoon, I looked out of the upstairs window and saw a boy being encouraged by his father to relieve himself on the tree in the front yard. I hurriedly slid the window open and called out to the youngster, "Please don't do that." He looked up, startled, not quite sure where the voice was coming from, not quite sure whether zipping up of his pants was called for. So I continued, "Please don't pee on our lawn." He looked embarrassed, perhaps traumatized. And he put his pants back in order.

I had seen his father standing out in front of his car, waiting for someone I suppose. And I can understand that the lad needed to go. But I would have happily let him use the bathroom if he had only asked. And there's a strip mall less than a block away with all sorts of commercial establishments in it. Surely, he could have taken the boy to Stater Brothers and had him pee on one of their trees. I just don't know what sort of manners are being passed on anymore. It's like languages that become extinct. Soon, there will be entire generations of young westerners who don't know where it is and isn't acceptable to have a tinkle. Soon, it won't even be a legal requirement to use one's turn signal. Soon, we will be replacing the wave and the handshake with the bird and the punch in the nose. I didn't go to some ritzy finishing school, and I don't remember ever being SPECIFICALLY told not to pee on something that didn't belong to me, but somehow, that became a de facto part of my social vocabulary. I would hate to think that I am one of a dying breed.

I also wondered where the boy finally ended up going. But that's none of my business.

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