I embarrassed Maggie at the mall by (as she describes it) “acting childishly” in the food court.
Four teenage boys were exiting Dave & Buster’s restaurant while we were eating dinner. These kids, who looked to be about 14 or 15, had some sort of lung-powered air horns that made an obnoxious noise when they blew through it. The noise was loud enough to be disruptive all the way from the balcony over the food court.
If they hadn’t been so young, I would have thought they were drunk. The intoxication of youth, I suppose.
They kept blowing, and laughing, blowing and laughing. The noise was constant and stopped their conversations to look up at them.
They started down the escalator, coming toward us, and it became apparent that the noise had only been bearable because of their distance. They were right behind a teenaged couple when they blew their horns again loud enough to give the pair a jolt. The couple turned around and shot them a look of “WTF?” which served to set the teens into a round of derisive laughter. And pointing. That raised my ire.
Apparently, that set someone else off as well, because at that point a serious-looking police officer (not a “mall cop” - he looked more like state police) strode over and began to say something to the youths, who were suddenly a lot more quiet.
As their guffaws died away, I couldn’t help myself. I let out an artificially loud laugh of my own, drawing looks from all the tables around us, and in view of the noisy quartet.
This behavior was met with an immediate reproval from my wife on the grounds of childishness. I didn’t disagree. We discussed that clearly the youths wanted attention, though they probably got the kind of attention they were not interested in. I mused aloud that I might have uttered the stock Nelson Muntz “Ha ha” and Maggie suggested that, while this would still have been childish, at least it would have been funnier.
I could swear I heard a few claps of approval as the officer led the youths back up the escalator to D&B’s for some unknown purpose. Perhaps to make them return the horns.
M suggested that the official was simply going to make them walk back down again, this time quietly. A disciplinary technique we used to use when we got less-than-acceptable behavior from the children was to force them to repeat a task until they had satisfactorily demonstrated they’d learned to do it politely. Slam a door in our house (in anger) and you might find yourself walking in and out of that room repeatedly shutting the door quietly. We haven’t had to do that sort of thing in quite a while now. It works. The officer did not put them through that, but whatever he did say to them did the trick. They faded into the background of mall teens.
OK it was childish. But, come on. If you have to sit through the obnoxious first and second acts, you ought to get to heartily enjoy the finale.