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Bad apples need behavior modification

April 21, 2008

by Ivan Raconteur

They represent only a small percentage of the population, yet their actions affect all of us.

Their neighbors complain about them at city council meetings and their misdeeds appear in the police reports each week.

They are the rotten apples at the bottom of the barrel of society.

Some of them get sloppy drunk and wander from bar to bar scattering trash and breaking beer bottles.

One might almost be tempted to feel sorry for them.

They apparently have a touch of incontinence, since they can’t seem to make it from one bar to the next without having to stop to urinate on their neighbors’ homes or gardens.

Perhaps they were never toilet trained when they were young.

Some say that these people are animals, but that is an injustice to the animals.

Animals relieve themselves outdoors because they have no choice.

People who defile the property of others in this way not only have a choice, but should know better.

These people apparently had no boundaries when growing up, and never had to clean up after themselves. If they had, they wouldn’t expect others to be constantly cleaning up after them now that they are adults.

People who go around trashing neighborhoods, vandalizing mailboxes, or squealing their tires through town at 2 a.m. are clearly begging for attention.

Perhaps they were dragged away from their mothers’ bosoms too soon, or perhaps their fathers didn’t love them enough.

Whatever the reason, they crave attention, and the only way their primitive pea-sized brains can come up with to get this attention is to act out against the rest of society.

The fact that they are old enough to drink in bars suggests that they must be adults, but they are certainly not men.

They are an embarrassment to men everywhere, and to other drinkers as well.

I enjoy an adult beverage as much as the next guy. If the next guy happens to be a Muslim, I enjoy an adult beverage as much as the next two or three guys. But, I still don’t understand why these clowns think liquor is a free pass to impose their offensive nature on the rest of society.

They are probably fairly obnoxious individuals when they are sober, and the addition of alcohol to the equation only serves to magnify their faults.

No matter how some might try to sugar-coat things, there are no victimless crimes.

The largest investment most of us ever make is our house, and people are entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of their homes.

This does not include being awakened by bottles shattering against the side of one’s house, or by morons who think it is fun to drag race on city streets in the small hours of the morning.

Peaceful enjoyment does not include having to replace the plants in one’s garden because slobs have been watering them in the night.

It does not include having to replace one’s mailbox because some tough guy thinks it is fun to vandalize things when no one is looking.

One sympathizes with people who have to put up with this nonsense.

For that matter, one also sympathizes with those who have worked hard and tried to make their home a decent place to live, and yet, each day when they look out their window, are confronted by piles of junk, old tires, and decomposing furniture in their neighbor’s yard.

One does not support the kind of strict regulation that prevents homeowners from doing anything with their property, but this does not mean that anyone should have to live next to a dump in a residential neighborhood.

This affects not only the peaceful enjoyment and aesthetic value of one’s property, but the real value as well. Some people would find it difficult to sell their homes because they are next door to something that resembles the town dump.

People who defile their neighborhoods and disturb the peace obviously do not respect others, and they very likely do not respect themselves.

It may take the involvement of law enforcement to change their behavior, but police officers can’t be everywhere.

If it is only a small minority of people who act this way, it stands to reason that there must be some responsible people in their lives.

One wonders why these people don’t step in and do something about the problem.

One would like to believe that if any reasonably responsible adult was walking down the street with a friend, and that friend stopped to hurl a beer bottle against a house or relieve himself on the neighbor’s rose bush, it might occur to the responsible party to call this behavior into question, and perhaps discourage a repeat of this type of activity.

Apparently this is not happening, and that is a shame.

If peer pressure can be blamed for bad behavior, it can also be used to promote good behavior.

Each individual is responsible for his own actions, but sometimes, there is nothing like a slap upside the head or a good swift kick in the seat of the britches from a concerned friend or relative to help someone see the light and do the right thing.

If more people were to step up and let their friends know when they are acting like idiots, city councils and police departments could spend less time worrying about imbeciles and more time on other business.