Saturday, March 14, 2009

Little Snot-Bag's!

"We're collecting for Red-Nose Day."

"That was yesterday."

"Yeah, well we don't give it in 'til tomorrow."

I am only half listening as hubby debates whether or not to toss a quid or two at the pair of ragamuffin's at the door. Not as easily parted from his cash as I am, he wants to know what feats they've pledged for sponsorship. I can tell he's none too impressed with the sheet of plain paper they are touting for a kosher sponsorship form. Grudgingly, he coughs up the minimum extortion fee to get them off the doorstep, and comes through for a moan.

"I swear that's the same kids who came to collect the Christian Aid envelope, y'know!"

"Look on the bright side - the money was probably aimed at them in the first place, they've just cut out the middle man, is all."

(Once a year envelopes are posted through the door asking for a donation to Christian Aid. Volunteer's stop by later in the week to collect them. Last time round it was picked up by a pair of impostors. The real volunteer had had a hard night of it when he later came a-calling, having to break the news that we'd all been duped.)

Before hubby could fully launch himself off on to one, Abby cut him off mid-flow, thundering down the stairs, screaming, "Dad, dad! They're smashing up the flag-pole - look! Look!"

She'd spied them from the upstairs window. Little bastards obviously felt we hadn't coughed up enough protection money. Hubby made to go after them, but I stayed him. What was the point? They were already moving on. Sure, he could have caught up with them, then what? He could hardly swing for them, could he? If he ranted and raved, we'd only open ourselves up as a prime target for further raids.

Yes, I know, I know, it's a pathetic mind-set to have, and I hate myself for it.


We lead a mostly peaceful life, and I have no intentions of changing that. We have four relatively happy kids, and no friction with our neighbours. These kids are not from around here, they are from the housing estate a couple of miles down the road - aside from when they invade the river in the Summer (spraying graffiti all over the glen) we have few to little dealings with them, and I much prefer to keep it that way.

When did I become such a coward?

Even in London, I was the first one to confront any disrespectful louts. But back when you are single and young, you have the belief you are invulnerable. Now I am just frustrated and angry at how gutless I've become.

Poor little Abby, her Manchester United flag flying days have been temporarily grounded. The line has been cut, the pole tilted and the top lopped off. Maybe we can fix it. I guess we can try. It's no big deal in the great scheme of things.

It's just that bad taste sitting in my mouth that I find the hardest to swallow.


Akelamalu said...

The little bastards! Pardon my French Shrinky. It's so bloody annoying isn't it? Grrrrrrrr.

TheWritersPorch said...

Doesn't it just cork your butt to have to take the closed mouth road
because of retaliation instead of grabbing them by the ear and dragging them home to a mother who would blister THEIR butt and make them think twice about even thinking it again? They don't raise em like they used to!

Marty said...

What a rotten bunch of hoodlums... they deserve a good beating from their parents. Sadly, they probably are coddled at home.

Anonymous said...

They are probably ignored at home and therefore seek attention elsewhere... even if it is negative attention. Christian aid needs to give them duties helpful to themselves and society, not just hand out money to them. And the organization should not be sending these troublemakers out to destroy property of homes of innocent families who want to donate. There are other ways to collect donations.

Anonymous said...

oh... me? I do not give money to anyone. If they want a donation they can leave an addressed envelope and a phone number for the group they are collecting for.

Shrinky said...

Chewy, you daft bat, you do make me laugh! Christian Aid has probably never had the likes of them in their sights - I was just being sarcastic. These little toe-rags merely got word of a collection due and nipped in fast to gather up the booty first!

But I do agree with you on the lack of parenting front, the poor sods could have probably stood a fighting chance if they actually had folks who cared about where they are and what they are up to.

(Hugs.. so literal you bloomin' Yanks are - giggle.)

Cath said...

You are not a coward.

You are a very very WISE mum. And a loving and caring one at that.

I know exactly where you are coming from there.

Scott from Oregon said...

Better to send a second cousin out to follow them home and then piss on their front doorstep.

That's what I always say, anyway.

Jay said...

Sadly, it's the position we've been forced into, Shrinky. If we go out and lay so much as a finger on the little snots, or even give them a tongue lashing, like as not the local policeman will be knocking on our door offering to give us our moment in court to answer charges.

An Englishman's home is no longer his castle (nor, presumably is a Craggy Islander's), freedom of speech has been taken from us, political correctness rules and we moan about the little brats who smash up property when extortion attempts fail.

Whose fault is it? I guess partly ours for allowing it to happen, but it does take a very brave soul to be the one sticking his or her neck out. And I'm afraid I'm with you. I won't risk my safety or that of my family for a moment's satisfaction.

What burns me, is that when we ask for help from the forces of law and order they practically laugh at you.

Jules~ said...

That is absolutely awful! Those kids need a good old fashioned spanking!
I am so sorry that you had to deal with those bad attitudes that they displayed.

SJ said...

Allow me to totally ignore your plight and say: I AM INVULNERABLE!!!

The Future Was Yesterday said...

"Now I am just frustrated and angry at how gutless I've become."
When we're young, footloose and fancy free, anything is within our realm of possibility - or so we think. When we get a family, responsibilities, and a home to care for, the color of the situation changes 100%. We can no longer throw caution to the wind.

A neighborhood watch may be one solution, where all of you band together. There is strength in numbers.

As the economy worsens, we can expect much more lawlessness.

Shrinky said...

I couldn't put it any better myself, Akelamalu (hugs).

Carol, that was hubby's first reaction, to grab 'em and frog-march them home - ha! As if.. their parents are probably just adult versions of them. We'd probably be cautioned for kidnapping.

In fairness Marty, I doubt they are coddled at home, largely ignored to run wild is my guess. Sigh.

Hi Chewy, aw Christian Aid is a very reputable charity and their envelopes always have an address attatched, it's up to us if we post it or wait for it to be collected. These little toe-rags just saw an opportunity and grabbed it, is all.

Thanks Cath, but isn't it infuriating how impotent it all makes you feel?

Haha, oh Scott, I love the way your mind works!

Hi Jay, it does seem the pendulum has swung far too far the wrong way, doesn't it? I would hate for any of my kids to join the police force for a career - how sad is that? The guys on the ground have their hands tied - these are the good guys, they just don't have any powers left to act on common sense anymore. We are all culpable, it's that what makes me despair. We are just too afraid to put ourselves on the line. I felt ashamed of myself yesterday. It's a sad state of affairs, eh?

Hi Jules, aw thanks hon, but spanking wouldn't be necessary if these kids were raised with any values - they have no respect for themselves either, I doubt they have ever been taught that.

sj, come and get your butt over here NOW and sort these kids out for me!

Sadly, you are so right Dan. As the economy worsens the gap between those who have and those who don't widens, causing resentment and bitterness. We seem to have a second generation of kids coming up who have no little to no hopes of improving their circumstances, turning to crime appears a viable option for them. They are hopeless more than "bad", but the division between "them" and "us" is splitting wider - I truly do fear for our children's future. As for a neighbourhood watch scheme, we never see our neighbours from one week to the next - our houses are set very far apart, and everyone drives everywhere. We have never have had any real sense of community. When a property developer wanted to convert one of the buildings into a block of flats, I did get up a petition and knock on every door on our road. The response was welcoming, but outside of a signature, no one wanted to get involved. We did manage to stop the block from being built, though. Shrug.

Leatherdykeuk said...

rotten little swines!

Maalie said...

Personally, I have always adhered to my own family motto: Discretion is the better part of Fowler.

Shrinky said...

Hi Rachel, good to see you in here. Yeah, I'm sure they answer to many names - grin.

Hey maalie, stop being such a wit or I'll ban 'ya for showing me up. How's it going with you? Been a while!

imbeingheldhostage said...

I completely understand why you're torn. Probably if it were just you and the Hubby, going after them would've been the right thing to do-- but now you've got kids and your home to think about. It would've been a hard situation to have to be in.

Helena said...

Hullo, Dizzy here! :)

I've had kids on the doorstep asking for sponsorship for this and that with only a blank bit of paper to offer, I tell them no, don't believe you, bring me proof and I'll reconsider. They never come back.

One time some little urks knocked and Kevin opened the door and they got a shock cos he had taught in their school the day before and knew dam' well that they weren't being sponsored for anything really!!!!

I also don't give for Guiyfawks Night or Halloween, and put a note on the door at those times to tell them not to bother knocking!!!

I just don't care if they think I'm a mean old witch. I never got pocket money when I was little, I never got 'sponsored' for chores (just had to do them anyway) so I sure as hell aint paying someone else's kid for doing anything!!!!

Helena said...

.... also, don't be hard on yourself. I know how you feel.

My mum has to live on one of those estates. She is a little old lady who never hurt anyone or anything, but we have stopped replacing her front fence because of the kids just ripping it to bits.

Last year she went into a really bad depression brought on after looking out and seeing them at the fence at the BACK of the house. They not only knocked it down, they stood there laughing and urinating over it.

When we try to complain, it just makes them laugh and do all the more. The parents don't correct them any more, they just stick up for their own kids. Even K has found it, at school- if you correct a child or tell them off, the parent is there next morning wanting to know why he dared to tell his child to be quiet!

In 'my day' you'd be terrified it got back to your parents. NOW they go straight back and report it, and then the parent is after YOU.

If either of you had gone after them, their parents would be round to demand why!

The excuse, by the way, for their wanton destruction is always 'got nuffink to do I'm bored.'

It's a mad world where, if you correct the hooligan, it's you that gets in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Like Helena... when I was a kid I was afraid of being caught nipping an apple or just cutting a shortcut through a neighbor's yard. These days the kids are bold and they know you can't do anything about it.

Shrinky said...

imbeingheldhostage, well the good news is, the flag-pole is back in action, and the even better news is, there are no more sightings of the little toe-rags since. Sometimes peace of mind necessatiates keeping your head below the parapet - nothing to be proud of, it's just a sad fact of life.

Oh Helena, your poor mum, now that really does make the blood boil, doesn't it? I can't imagine how frustrated and angry you must feel. How have we got to this? As for what you say about the parents marching down to the school to kick up high hell over their little darlings being told off for being disruptive, I agree, some of the parents are bigger bullies than their kids. I used to help out at my daughters school, the majority of pupils were relatively well-behaved and cooperative, it was the parents of the few kids who constantly acted out who were the most vocal. The apple never falls far from the tree, does it?

Hi Chewy, what really upsets me is because of this minority of unruly neer-do-well's, all kids get a bad rep. If I have to pass a group of kids on the corner, I feel uneasy. My kids hang out with their friends too, they are acutely aware of the suspicion they are viewed in. These are the same kids who do voluntary work for the elderly - it is so unfair that they also carry the brunt for the punks who apear to be able to act out without any fear of consequences. I guess my point is, why bother to have kids in the first place, if you can be bothered to raise them?

Suldog said...

I despise people of that ilk. Me, I would have taken the swing at them, and consequences be damned. I can more easily live with the aftermath of having done something than having declined to do what I know was right. Of course, that's probably just my testosterone speaking...

Maggie May said...

Oooooh! I am seething with you. How dare they!

~Babs said...

"Between a rock and a hard place"
That's where we are in this new society. The entitlement mentality will be the death of us all.

PRH....... said...

The everyday ups and downs, and minor bouts of luck, both good and bad, are the things lives are made of.....and yet, we keep chugging!

Good One Shrinky..


Mojo said...

I'd wonder -- assuming you could get the information out of them -- if you'd even be able to find their parents. Clearly they do an abysmal job of supervising them, and it's hard to blame the kids for the sins of their fathers.

Sadly, they won't stop at a bit of conniving trickery. Soon or later, they'll likely turn up on a slab somewhere after running into more than they can handle from types that don't have the same civility as you do.

What's a pity is that a good hiding now could spare them that.

Sandi McBride said...

I'm glad it's not just me...other peoples kiddies terrify me...could be all the times I had to take complaints on the little hooligans when I was on the job...yes, other people's children can be both terrifying and wonderful...luckily their behaviour makes it easy to tell the difference!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I love this post! How many times have I wanted to say something, but didn't! I can't even begin to count!! You are a superb story-teller--that's beyond question! And not only that, but you are a very kind celebrity as well...Thank you for returning my visit, and leaving such a generous comment! I'm glad to find you through David's blog, and look forward to returning here over and over again! Cheers!

SandyCarlson said...

I appreciate the wry humor of this. They probably are cutting out the middle man. As an American watching the crooks openly dig deeper into the tax payers' pockets for their own pleasure I feel like I have heard the last word in audacious. We have great role models in high places.

Maybe it's a matter of asking them if they can swipe your debit card because you have no cash. Let them improve their props before they come back!

Tillybud said...

what a horrible thing to have happened to you. i have a neighbour who has got on the wrong side of some louts. I am racking my brains trying to think how I can deal with them. you can hardly appeal to their better nature considering some of the rotten things they've done. They do it in the dead of night so it's hard to even know who they are!

Kit Courteney said...

'Snot-bags' is far too nice a term for little f**kers like that.

(She says with a big pointy stick ready in case they come to HER door too!)

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi I found you over on Leslie's blog, The Pedalogue....I agree with you entirely...Little Bastards....sorry I get sooo annoyed with this going on. They have no respect whatsoever for property or people. No you are not a coward just very sensible..I wouldn't risk it at all!!

Alex L said...

'The real volunteer had had a hard night of it when he later came a-calling, having to break the news that we'd all been duped.'

Technically it was him that had been duped, since you were already giving away the money. Hopefully the little cretins end up in the pokey...

Anonymous said...

As hopeless as it all seems to have snot-bags running around terrorizing the neighborhood, and as much as you blame yourselves for allowing political correctness to subvert common sense, it would seem that you have not yet reached the end of it all. Your slide into Hell won't be complete until political correctness allows Sharia Law to take over. And then those little thugs will get their hands chopped off. That is, of course, unless they're Muslim brats and are allowed to claim that Allah told them to do it. Then you don't dare say "No" for fear of having your head lopped off for blasphemy.