Friday, May 1, 2020

Some People's Teens

I am doing my best to make each day different from the day before it, otherwise it all turns into a pre-Expo '86 Sunday, where everything is closed and everyone is mopey. My only constant is my after-supper walk: out the back up the lane through the park to Kingsway east to Clark up the alley and home again. There are stops along the way -- a friendly neighbour, a curious gardening decision, the cat who darts from a bush and rolls on the sidewalk before me -- but all told it never takes more than thirty minutes -- enough to put some distance between me and the computer.

The park tends to have more people in it than usual, with most everyone obeying the distancing regulations (despite disobeying the open consumption of alcohol by-law). Couples are obvious because they sit closest to each other; with certain younger groupings it is harder to tell. Surely these teenagers don't all live together, I think to myself as I near a particularly vocal group, one of whom is performing that cliche known as drinking from a brown paper bag.

I don't get much exposure to teenagers anymore, so when I am walking near them I tend to take my time. A group from the other night has stayed with me.

Their conversation, if you could call it that, was a hissing match between those defending social distancing and those opposed. The death blow came not from a point of reason but from an attitude mistaken for an idea: "I don't care about social distancing because I'm too young and too healthy to die from it." When asked by the brown bagger how they felt about unknowingly passing on the virus to someone older or more susceptible, the death blower boasted: "I'm allergic to old people -- there's no way I could get that close to one." At which point a soccer ball rolled towards the group. Who should jump up and kick it back to grandpa but the death blower.

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