Tuesday, May 08, 2007

If I Knew Then...


There was a recent article in the local paper about a bootlegger who supplies underage teenagers with beer and liquor.

I was giving the article a quick glance until the second paragraph — where it named the high schools these students attended.

Lo and behold, our local high school — which my sons attended — was mentioned.

Bingo.

The first of my kids to appear on the scene was the unlucky one to be grilled by Mom. (So what if it was in the past??? I still wanted to know.)

“Hey, buddy. Take a look at this article.”

Munching on his cereal, he reads and then exclaims, “Hey, this is about Petey!”

Yes, the entire article was about Petey the bootlegger. And for all the good it does me now, I have the answer to my question. My kid (kids?) were customers.

“Man, he charged an arm and a leg,” my son goes on — in a nostalgic tone of voice.

“Of course he did!” I pointed out. “Look at some of the areas he’s supplying — there are private schools on that list!”

What’s done is done — when it comes to my children. Apparently, Petey is still doing a thriving business despite past charges and convictions.

Underage party time? A simple cell phone call, a meeting place and delivery of the booze within a matter of hours.

Sure, the kids are going to get it somewhere. Petey just makes it that much easier and convenient. And makes a profit providing this illegal service.

My kids survived their teen years. And there’s probably a hell of a lot more that went on I know nothing about. I’m probably better off not knowing. I should just be thankful they made it through those years.

I’m still mad, though. There are other kids using Petey’s services.

And he has children of his own.

I hope they all survive.

22 comments:

oreneta said...

Pessemistic thought, be glad it's only booze...and I'm not even through those years yet. Eeek

Beth said...

oreneta:
I only know about the booze - who knows about the other stuff? I am so glad "we" are past those years.

patricia said...

Petey has kids? Sad. I had at first visualized a smart-alec young kid doing this.

Problem is, if Petey stops, he will only be replaced by someone else. Teenagers will do whatever they can to get booze. That is the nature of being a teenager, for many. Hell, I did some underage drinking myself.

Yeah...trust me...you don't wanna know all the stuff your kids did...my mom sure doesn't know everythiing about me, and whenever I mention the subject, she says "I don't want to know!" Heh.

Beth said...

patricia:
Petey just makes it so damn easy.
And you're right - I don't want to know all that stuff. Ignorance was bliss. (I can say that now...)

Trish said...

I read that article too...and somehow I am not surprised that it goes on. What does surprise me is that this guy has a wife and kids?? In my day it was a grad that had nothing better to do with his time than provide beer for tenth graders.

I am glad to see that other mothers have that same "...some things are better if I didn't know" attitude. I thought maybe it was just me wanting to be blissfully in denial.

Rebecca said...

I saw that article too - didn't they publish his full name? If so... how long can this guy go on?

Beth said...

trish:
I don't think we could get through the teen years if we knew everything - there has to be some kind of buffer (blindness?) in order to preserve a mother's sanity.

rebecca:
They did publish his last name - but is it real? I don't understand why he's still in business.

The Guy Who Writes This said...

So you didn't have a booze broker when you were underage? Many kids just took booze from their parents.

John said...

The legal age for drinking over there is 21 isn't it? How old were the kids? Our legal age is 18, but many places sell to kids younger than that. Altogether we have a much more relaxed attitude to drinking, and I'm not sure I agree with it. But as Patricia said, if he isn't doing it, then someone else will.

As for what you do & don't know about your kids...maybe that's something best left alone. Even though my Mum and I are really close there are things she doesn't know about me that would mortify her. But what's the point in her knowing? They're from the past & I've learnt from my mistakes. I don't need a lecture now about it.

Incidentally, can Petey get me a Canadian Marmot?

Beth said...

guy:
I have to be honest. I was a goodie-two-shoes "suck" in my teens. Didn't really drink until university. (And then I made up for lost time...)

john:
The legal drinking age here is 19. (In Quebec it's 18.)
"Petey" delivers to as young as 15. (I have my own sources - as I mentioned...)
Anything I find out now that my kids did then - no lecture - I just roll my eyes.

As for your Canadian marmot? I don't have Petey's phone number. I'll just go over to the high school and get it...

Attila The Mom said...

Oh I'd be absolutely furious.

Some years ago, a few parents got in the habit of renting a couple of rooms at our local hotel so that their teenagers and friends could swim in the pool (we don't have a rec center up here).

After many trashed hotel rooms, the management put a stop to it and finally just charged people a fee to use the pool.

Shortly afterwards, a cheerleader accidently left a notebook somewhere at school, and it was turned into the principal's office.

It chronicled the sex parties the kids were having at the hotel, listing names, multiple partners, sex acts---some had 10-15 different partners. Of course the principal had to investigate. ugh

Their parents must be so proud.

Beth said...

attila:
I would never, ever have rented rooms for a bunch of teenagers - unless I was right there - in which case the kids wouldn't have wanted to be there...
I know I made mistakes - but they weren't doozies like that one!

Diesel said...

My parents bought a motel in Florida when I was 17, and apparently the prior owner was the local underage booze supplier. So kids from my high school would stop by all the time looking for beer and I had to tell them we didn't sell it any more. Made me VERY popular in my high school.

John said...

I wish my old dear was as understanding as you to just roll her eyes. I'd definitely still get the lecture!

Beth said...

it's so sad, but what patricia said is true...if Petey stops, there's always someone else to take his place.

I guess we have to just raise our kids the best we can and hope for the best!

and I do not want to know everything my kids do...ignorance is bliss.

Beth said...

diesel:
Had you been a true entrepreneur at age 17, you might have figured out a way to be the new supplier - making you even more popular!
(Just kidding...I wouldn't have approved of that either.)

john:
I no longer have the energy for big lectures (little, tiny ones, yes).
Been there, done that...

beth:
Yup, we can only do our best - imagine if we actually took the time to go looking for "trouble?" We'd lose our (suspicious) minds.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I know all too well about drunk drivers and the time they do in prison. I knew an inmate-student who killed another kid while driving drunk. The family of the victim wrote to him in prison. I was fortunate enough to read the letters. I told him, "Do you realize how lucky you are? That they're willing to forgive you, and support your early release from prison?" You could see the tears in his eyes; he knew the pain he had caused, yet he felt grateful for their support.

Beth said...

jr:
I've often wondered how someone can go on with their own life after being responsible for the death of someone else in such circumstances - how one could ever experience happiness again, living with that knowledge.

Tracey said...

Good golly! Just gets all sorts of thoughts and emotions going, doesn't it? Sad for his kids, angry with him, frustrated with society in general.

I've got one who's 20 and escaped unscathed, but another just 13 and headed into that kind of storm. I'm not looking forward to it!

Beth said...

tracey:
One down, one to go...best of luck!

Princess Pointful said...

Haha... I just think your son's reaction was priceless. "Hey, that's Petey!"
I never knew there were really people who made a living off that kind of thing... seems a little unconscionable (I think that is a word, or at least a combination of a few). We used to just ask random people by the liquor store... ahhhh... small town life.

Beth said...

princess pointful:
Yeah, Petey - his long lost friend!
Failing that, I do believe my kids managed to get their hands on fake I.D. - even used each others.