Yesterday it was rainy and nasty…so when I looked outside and saw the sky was relatively clear I decided to take a walk for the last ten minutes of my lunch break.

I was walking down an alley when I heard a noise behind me… When I turned to look I realized I was dangerously close to being run over by a pack of hooligans on bikes. There were four of them, all probably between 15 and 16 years old, and they showed no signs of slowing down as they approached. Not wanting to get run over by a bunch of kids, I flattened myself against one of the buildings. I mean, how embarrassing to be run down by teenagers on bicycles?!

Three of them sped past me without so much as throwing an apologetic glance my way. One of them slowed, and I thought he was going to say he was sorry for his rude companions (I believe the kids call them Homies). Imagine my surprise when he said ” ‘Scuse me, ma’am. You got a cigarette I can bum?”

I was a little shocked that someone obviously so young would ask a perfect stranger for a cigarette, but I was more shocked by the semi-polite way he asked (though, truthfully, I wasn’t thrilled that he called me ma’am). I stood there for a second with, I’m sure, a rather stupefied look on my face. When I recovered, I said “I’m sure you’re far too young for that sort of thing.”

The teenager immediately pedaled away, and as he sped off he took the time to yell over his shoulder.

“I’m 19, BITCH!”


Well. So much for polite.