My neighbor. He keeps being stupid and I've had enough.
What's this all about? Kids riding ATVs up and down my street.
I went outside to grab my cup from the truck and spotted him loading up four (!) kids onto their big ATV for a ride down the street. The 10-year-old was driving with his little sister riding in front of him and two boys on behind - one on the seat, one on the rack. Nobody had helmets. This isn't the first time it's happened and they aren't the first parents I've had to talk to about it.
I enjoy riding ATVs and I've given my own kids opportunities to learn how to ride them even though we don't own one. But we did it on private land in the country. Not on public streets.
So, I walked four doors down to talk to him. I'd love to give a word-for-word accounting, but I'll just stick with my main points to him:
- Riding ATVs on the street is illegal.
- It's neither tagged nor insured.
- Kids aren't allowed to ride two-up.
- Louisiana has a helmet law and none of those kids are wearing helmets
His response? "I know it's illegal. But are you going to be the guy who makes it so kids can't play outside?" Then he started yelling at me about being that guy. About how I was ruining kids. Wouldn't stop yelling about it. Finally he stormed off toward his garage and since he'd stopped yelling, I got a chance to say something. What did I say? "You're a fireman, you should know better."
That led to another round of ranting and then an invitation to step onto his driveway so he could kick my ass. He'd even give me the first punch! Yeah, right, buddy. I'm not stupid. You want to kick my ass because you're embarrassed about being wrong. If you want to kick my ass, come do it. Don't try to bait me onto your property so you can have some lame excuses about it being my fault for stepping onto your property and taking the first swing.
So, he backed down again and started off toward his garage again. Never being one to miss an opportunity, I said, "I'll call the sheriff if I see it again."
There were more words exchanged, but he did say that he wouldn't let them ride on he street ever again. Of course he said it like I was ruining their lives and they were destined to turn into slugs who do nothing but play video games and watch youtube. I walked away after he finally retreated to his garage again.
On my way home I noticed the neighbors standing outside watching the whole thing. The couple next door to the fireman just moved in. I welcomed them to the neighborhood. It's been my experience that people like the firemen are misogynistic buttheads who are usually racist. One of my uncles is a cop and he's one of the more racist people I know. Did I mention that he fireman wouldn't let his wife speak? Yeah, he wouldn't let his wife ask me a question or speak her mind. Anyway, the couple who just moved in next door to him are biracial. I'm sure that I sure hope the fireman doesn't live up to my expectations and that the new couple don't have any trouble with him.
The other couple lives a two more doors down, just across the street from me. They knew exactly what was up since their kids play with the fireman's kids. Their kids aren't allowed to ride the four-wheeler for the same reasons I gave. They weren't surprised at his outburst.
So, now I've made an enemy. At least it's for all the right reasons.
I hope everyone else's weekend went better than mine.