Monday, September 28, 2009

The Mob Rules

I saw something odd today. Or perhaps I'm out of step with the times and 'odd' is the wrong word to use.

I was getting lunch together in the kitchen when I noticed a group of teens in the park behind us. It's not unusual to see a few there eating their lunch away from the Jr. High school. More kids used to hang out there, but the large wooden play structure they sat on was set on fire at 4am one morning about a year ago and the city never replace it. Good idea.

Anyway, there was a large group of kids milling about and more showing up every minute. There seemed to me something menacing about the group, so I kept watch. I estimated about 50 to 60 in number and they all moved en mass into the parking lot of the plaza just out of my view. I switched windows to the front of the house and saw them moving towards the creek. Cars started showing up and parking, and many more older teens got out of the vehicles and joined the crowd. All of a sudden many of the group started to run back in the direction of the park where they had started. Some cut through the opening int he fence and came in groups down our street. A police car drove up our street and many headed back through the fence into the plaza. Two more police cars showed up in the plaza and the kids began to scatter in all directions.

My son returned to school and reported later that the group had heard that two boys were going to meet in the park for a fight. Perhaps I'm a bit stunned to think that 50 to 60 kids, boys and girls, want to see two guys beat the crap out of each other in a public park. The mob mentality really is a powerful thing. Also, if the junior hockey team had had that sort of support from its spectators, it wouldn't have folded a couple of years ago leaving us with no team playing in our 7000 seat arena. It was a new sort of thing to witness, but I suppose it happens all over the does, doesn't it?


Natalie L. Sin said...

Watching teens smack each other around? Not unless they're in spandex and there's a referee ; )

BT said...

That kind of thing has happened around here since I was a boy. Nothing new I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

Jeeze Alan, there are entire websites dedicated to two or more kids knocking the crap out of each other. Human nature isn't it?

I was forever getting into fights, though none ever epic enough to draw that kind of crowd.

Is it wrong to feel jealous?

It's wrong, isn't it?

As for the junior hockey team... I think the clues to how they could have improved their popularity are all in Slap Shot...

Cate Gardner said...

I needed to move to Canada, it's been like that forever here.

Rebecca Nazar said...

I'm not aware of anything like that here, but I'm sure it has or will--rare, though. I stopped a fight between two boys in the high school lobby once. Well, one was kicking the crap out of the other one who was curled up into a ball. Okay, that was bad enough. The crowd of kids blithely, ho-hum blithely watching as this go down disturbed me just as much. *shudder*

I love hockey. Good for you.

Aaron Polson said...

Crowds are people magnets. The fight could've lasted one punch, but it would be an epic struggle between titans by the time those kids made it home.


Laura Eno said...

That's happened for as long as I can remember where I grew up (San Diego). Maybe it's because it's a big city. I think you're fortunate to have missed it for this long.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

This would be a new experience for me as well. It sounds nasty. Aaron is right on the money; crowds are people magnets. Always have been, always will be.


katey said...

I was a fighter when I was really young, but I always had the decency to do it where no one could catch me!

Weird, weird kids.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Natalie-I should have seen that one coming...

BT-Maybe I haven't been living in a large enough city to see more of this happening.

Anton-I suppose that there's web sites for just about everything out there. I suppose if they mixed a bit of sex with the violence it would have perked up sales for the hockey club.

Cate-Go ahead and move..there's room for everyone here.

Becca-Maybe the eastern seaboard is more laid back than the rest of the continent.

Aaron-You're right about the crowd and magnet scenario. I'm sure the kids will take the tiniest thing and embellish the hell out of it.

Laura-Yep, maybe I'm lucky to have avoided it. Suppose I can't be living in a bubble, though.

Elspeth-Yeah, I don't remember much of that in Victoria either. Now that was a layed back place.

Katey-Ha! You remind me of my little sister. She scared most guys!

Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

I truly hope not!! Wow. That's sad!

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely horrifying to me. I used to work with juvenile male deviants, so I know the sinister feel that you were describing. It's sad, but some kids will always be this way.