‘HEY PUNK, I’M NOT GOING TO GET THREATENED ON A TRIP TO MAKE SOME COPIES!’By Ben Baeder
Dear teenage boys,
I didn’t even mean to see you tag up that sign in the parking lot over by the FedEx Office and Ralphs. I just happened to be looking in that direction. So why did you ask my friends and me what I was looking at? I probably wouldn’t have called the cops on you if you had let me go on my way.
I have more questions:
Why didn’t you leave when you saw me immediately pick up my phone after you stared me down?
And why did you sell out your friend so fast and lead the cop right to the orange spray can? No honor among vandals, I guess.
And why are you guys so comfortable with your mid-day tagging? Don’t people in Downey confront you? I don’t even live in Downey, but I’m not going to get threatened on a trip to make some copies.
I don’t think the cops arrested you, because they couldn’t get in touch with anyone at the westside-Los Angeles based Limited Partnership that owns the center. So I suspect you weren’t charged with anything. But I hope you all had a nice time talking to the five cops who responded to my call.
Honestly, even though you tried to scare me, I didn’t take it personally. You obviously have other things going on in your lives if you feel like you need to tag a sign to feel important. Here’s a tip from a person who has written a story about every type of person: Stop tagging.
I have never, ever met a happy, grown-up, well adjusted tagger. Even the “urban artists” who make a few bucks by painting the offices of hipster corporate dudes are miserable inside. All of them are still trying to figure out why their father left, or why their mom did drugs, or why even worse things happened.
I know you don’t want a sermon, so I’ll spare you. But get off the path you’re on. What if some idiot gangster decides to shoot you? What if you have kids someday, and you don’t want to explain to them why you ruined other people’s stuff because you felt weird inside?