Some People's Kids Dude
So, the kids are over last night, I check in from time to time. I even strapped on my bottleneck guitar to do an old blues number or two with them, then I go back to putzing around the house. At this point my son comes into the room and says "Dude, (yes, he calls me that all the time) did you know that the boys out there are drinking beer?"
I am floored. I know kids will drink, but I can't think of anything I've done that would lead these guys to think that it's something I would be alright about. My nephew in particular knows that I have been clean and sober for a long time now. He also knows from listening to my sister, my kids, and myself that my drinking and drug abuse was a huge problem that nearly destroyed my family, myself, my career, everything I hold dear. I can't imagine a situation where he would think that this is OK with me.
My first instinct (which is almost never something I trust of act upon, I tend to try and bring my reactions down and calmed to a point where I am on a level of say, Ghengis Khan) is considered and appropriately discarded. Then it hits me that, these aren't my kids. I figure that it is the duty and concern of the parents of the boys to find a way to appropriately deal with the situation.
I get on the phone and call my sister and brother-in-law and tell them what is happening. I ask them to call the parents of the boys involved and for them all to please come over and collect their kids. I don't feel good about watching a bunch of teen agers drive off in their cars after they've been drinking at my house and want them, when they leave, to be absolutely certain that what has just been taking place is not something that I will tolerate. I also don't figure it's my job to listen to a bunch of drunk teen agers explaining to me the facts of the situation.
One by one, the cars start to arrive. Things go pretty well until the last kid's parents get here. They are upset and angry. Not with their son, but with me. It turns out that they are the ones who got the beer for the boys in the first place. They tell me that it's none of my business how they manage their children. I tell them that I am in total agreement with that. I also tell them that the things that go on in my house are absolutely my business and that underage kids drinking is not something I will tolerate where I have any measure of control. I tell them that I don't give a flying fuck how they choose to rear their children. I point out that all I have done is make clear that this is not going to happen at my house. Everywhere else in the entire goddamned world is their business. My house, my business. As soon as they leave, and the sooner the better for that, they are perfectly free to do as they fucking well please.
Except asshole dad of the world here isn't buying in to this line of reasoning. He's wanting to get into my face. I tell him that the best thing for all concerned is to get the hell away from me and go on his merry way home. He feels there are things that must be explained. I tell him that I am done with this. That I am going into my house and if I don't see his fucking taillights leaving that I will call the sherrif's office. Then it hits me. Dude here is probably drunk too. I tell him that I am going into the house, calling the cops, and giving them his name, make and model of car, and his home phone number. He says "Go right ahead. I'll be right here."
I am amazed at the response time of our local deputies. I gave them a pretty clear run down of the events and said that while the asshole here is still standing around trying to prove what ever point he's trying to prove right now, he may experience a moment of clarity and make a run for it. Turns out I was wrong there. The guy is still out in the driveway shouting obscenities at my closed door when they roll up.
It also turns out that my instincts about the level of his inebriation were understated. He blows a 1.14 which is pretty drunk by anyone's standards. I end up being the one to drive his son home. I tell the kid that it really was nothing personal, that I didn't want things to go this far and tried to give his dad every opportunity to have it turn out differently. I tell him that any time he's not bringing booze with him he's still welcome at my house (I figure with a dad like that this kid's going to need a long fucking list of safe places to hang out).
Things have settled down quite a bit. I've settled down a lot. Here's where we are with things. The boys know that they still have a rehearsal space, and that this space is contingent upon them being drug and alcohol free while they are here. I will also be wanting to hear from each of their parents before they come over for a while. I want to make sure that everybody involved knows what's going on here. I haven't gone into stuff like drugs and alcohol abuse with these kids. I don't know if I even should. My gut says that if they should ask me about the needle tracks on my arms or ask why I don't drink I will tell them what I can about me and my journey. I'm not somebody that figures kids can make decent choices without being told the truth. I don't know where the dad that got taken by the cops is standing. I did tell his wife that if he decides that maybe it's time for him to try not drinking for a while that I will be willing to give what ever help I can.