When he was senior in high school, a friend of mine’s son and some of his buddies decided to go camping one weekend. This was more than 20 years ago at least. In the middle of the night the boys got hungry and drove up to an isolated country store to buy some peanuts from a vending machine on the front porch. It took their money, but gave them no peanuts.
The boys went back to the house where they were camping and got on the Internet. They decided they would find a way to crack the machine and get those peanuts.
They built a bomb.
Just a small bomb they thought. Just enough to get the machine open. After all, they had already paid for the peanuts.
They drove back to the country store placed their bomb strategically, lit the fuse, and watched as it blew the vending machine through the roof over the porch. I’m told peanuts went everywhere. It was a federal offense and they were soon caught and dealt with as the juveniles they were. Probation and community service I believe was the sentence.
My friend’s son went on to graduate high school and then attended culinary school and is now a professionally trained chef with a family of his own. I’m not sure if he cooks with peanuts or not, but I see pictures of him on the Internet and think what a wonderful father he is. What a great citizen he is of the community in which he lives and works.
It was just a little bomb off of the Internet and three high school seniors having a little fun, and some peanuts. It could have been tragic. Thank goodness it wasn’t.
It’s that time of year now. The time of year when 17- and 18-year-olds begin to get a little careless as they begin to get very excited about adulthood. It is different for this class, though. This is the year that graduations will go down in the history books like no other. The year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was 41 years ago last week when I graduated. I did a lot of careless things my senior year that could have had some adverse effects too. Fortunately they did not.
I didn’t go so far as to build a bomb and blow up a vending machine, but then again we didn’t have the Internet in 1979 so who knows what might have happened if we had. Thank God we did not have a pandemic and have to be out of school for months. The extended vacation sounds like it might be fun, but I am positive it would have only meant trouble for me and some of my friends.
I did learn a lot my senior year. Nothing epic like how to social distance, or wear face coverings, or shelter at home. It’s hard enough to do all those things in this 58-year-old “somewhat” still obsessive, hyperactive, body. It would have been hell when I was in my prime!
You seniors out there are having to deal with a rather strange, to put it mildly, senior year and an even stranger graduation celebration. You’ll be fine though. You’ll be just fine, and believe me you will have the story of stories to tell when you are some 40 years post graduation and telling your kids and grandkids what life was like in the 20s.
So, enjoy these last few weeks with your high school friends — properly social distancing, of course. You think you are ready to move on, but you’re really not. Before long you’ll realize what a wonderful time you had in high school even though the last term kind of sucked.
You should also thank your parents for being there with you. Some folks don’t realize it but this “new normal” is super hard on a senior’s parents too. They’ve waited and watched a long time to see their child march across a stage or football field with their classmates and claim a diploma. I feel for them.
In the end, y’all don’t let a little old pandemic get you down, but if it does, please, please do shy away from Internet bomb making if at all possible. It’s just the wrong thing to do...even if you have already paid for your peanuts.