The Foggy 15’s
Another one of our kids has drifted into the foggy 15’s. The fog is that period in a teenagers life where whatever shreds of intelligence might have been there before disappears entirely. There may be only minimal brain activity when he is 14 but when he hits 15 the line goes completely flat. I had a teenager call me at the office one time and his first words were why did I call you? Unfortunately the foggy 15’s is not a precise time frame, we had another kid that was fog bound when he was 14 ½ but on his 16th birthday the fog lifted for 30 minutes while he took his drivers license test then settled back in for 3 more years. But I know the latest kid is deep in the fog the day I started to paint the front porch. I am on my hands and knees with a paint brush in my hand when the 15 year old strolls up the driveway and heads for the front steps. Although I am a reasonably sized person, the fact that I am on my hands and knees on the front porch does not slow his progress. Either he doesn’t see me or doesn’t find it worth wondering about. When it becomes obvious that he is planning to walk directly through an area of the porch I just painted I realize that I am going to have to say something. Stop! I shout in a voice loud enough to cut through the fog. Why? He asks? Because the porch is covered with wet paint, I point out. I don’t feel like having it covered with tennis shoe prints. Well how am I supposed to get in the house? He demands. Well there is a door just like the one in the front in the back. He replies Oh… He goes into the house through the back door. A few minutes later he opens the front door from inside. Hold it I say, believe it or not the paint is not much drier than it was 2 minutes ago. You still can’t come out here. I wasn’t going to come out here he replies. Good I say. Perhaps the fog is lifting for a little while. I was letting the cat out! The fog has not lifted at all. Don’t you remember the conversation we just had about wet paint and tennis shoes? The cat’s not wearing tennis shoes he says. Keep the cat inside I snap. He closes the door, but it will only be a matter of time before the fog rolls in again. Sterner measures are called for. I lock the front door, I latch the screen door and I prop a broom against the screen as a visual reminder. It wont stop him, but it might slow him down. I resume painting. My back is to the front door when I hear a noise from the inside. Before I could move the lock is unlocked the latch is unlatched I turn around just in time to see the screen door pushed open and the broom handle toppling toward the wet paint. Fortunately I am able to stop it with my forehead. Somebody left a broom in the front door the 15 year old informs me. We could be fogged in for quite some time now.
article clipped from a newspaper a loooooooong time ago!