I can see the embarrassing headline now:
5 boys thrown in ditch off the New Jersey Turnpike – Mom arrested – Claims Mid-life Crisis Defense
It began as many crimes do, no malice or intent to harm and certainly no premeditation, a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. My Honda Pilot was packed with five 11 year old boys blabbing over one another about the recent New York Mets doubleheader, which girl is the bossiest and what would happen if a bird pooped on them. I turned down the awful hip-hop they were listening to in order to enjoy their chatter. The sun was shining and I only had to yell at them once or twice to keep their hands inside the car; all was right with the world until someone dropped an F-Bomb (F for Forty that is).
Please Officer, allow me to tell my side of the story.
Four boys listened intently as Andrew, the oldest and wisest of the group, filled them in on Abby’s shenanigans at recess which almost brought a Kindergartner to tears. Sweet Abby, I thought to myself, no way. I was about to interject and stick up for Abby when the conversation turned to eyeglasses as somehow they were knocked off the Kindergartner’s head in the altercation between him and Abby.
My son wears his sports goggles 24/7, looking like a neon poisonous dart frog; he refuses to wear his regular eyeglasses. It seems to be the look he and a bunch of other kids are going for. I’m sure they will rethink that look next year in middle school and beg for contact lenses. Andrew, never one to be left out, all-knowingly informed the group he would be getting glasses when he turned 13 as that is when your eyes go bad. 11 year old boys like to make sweeping, know-it-all statements about everything from sports (the Yankees have no pitching) to cars (Lamborghinis are so much better than Ferraris) to pizza (Luigi’s has the best pizza in the whole universe). I couldn’t wait to hear where this was going. In hindsight, I should have made an illegal phone call while driving so I wouldn’t hear what came next:
Andrew: I’m getting glasses when I turn 13 because that’s when everyone’s eyes go really bad.
Jake: 13? No way. 40 is when people’s eyes go bad.
Andrew: No, it’s 13. My Mom told me. And that’s when my sisters all got glasses.
Chris: I’m pretty sure it’s 40 – that’s when everything starts to go.
Hello, I’m right here! I’m in my forties, 47 to be exact, like the rest of your mothers who certainly wouldn’t be happy to hear they have basically fallen apart. If only I had turned up the L’il Wayne song playing in the background, I could have altered the ugly turn of events.
Andrew: I’m pretty sure by 40 you’re blind. 40 is old. Really Old.
The rest of the boys echoed in agreement. I almost drove off the road.
That’s how the boys ended up in the ditch, Officer. I am 47, surely you can see I was provoked. I am not guilty by reason of Mid-Life Crisis Insanity.
The cop who looked all of 24 wasn’t buying it. You wait, I muttered under my breath as he slapped the handcuffs on me, you just wait.