Phillipe and Jorge are outraged that a North Providence police officer forced a carload of 'utes to do push-ups by the side if the road as penance for vandalizing a mailbox. What kind of sick, vigilante justice is this?
Yeah, right. Of course we don't mean that. Can you find more of a tempest in teapot — more of a perfect cuppa for today's overreactionary Hysterical Henrys and Henriettas?
In our own Wonder Years, P&J, to our shame, conducted a few out-of-school science experiments — testing the effects of an exploding cherry bomb on a tin mailbox, for instance. Potent, we can assure you. We escaped punishment because we weren't caught, but the fear of it was enough to get the heart pounding.
For people of a certain age, whenever you got in trouble as a kid, you most feared not the local police or the school principal, but your parents. And the constabulary knew it. So their best option was not threatening to lock you up, but delivering you to the front door of your house.
The sight of a man in blue and a cop car outside at your curb would have the neighbors talking for a week — a badge of shame your parents did not want to carry.
Of course, many households today are undisciplined to the point of dysfunction, which is a sad state of affairs. Too many modern kids know no manners or civility — willing to tell their mother or father, to their faces, to piss off, aware that there will be few repercussions.
It's a far cry from P&J's youth, when simply saying "shut up" to your mother would leave you suspended about two feet off the ground against a wall with your father's hand around your neck — Dad not-so-subtly suggesting it would be a good idea to sincerely apologize to your mother, pronto.
In the North Providence case, the officer meted out a bit of the justice an old-school dad might have. And after calling the boys' parents, he reported that they were "happy with the way the matter was handled." So are P&J.
When it comes to police work, there is the "book," and there are brains. In this case, a cop chose to use the latter. And if doing a few push-ups in public humiliated the kids involved, so be it. It was the least they deserved.
Fuming Nawt Prov Mayor Charles Lombardi should get off his soap box (unless he needs it to see over the top of the podium at press conferences) and worry about the real crime in his corrupt little devil's den of a community; and the ACLU's lawyers should sit home, do their crossword puzzles, and keep their noses out of this.
For all the heat police take these days, the cops should be applauded in this case for bringing an old-fashioned touch to law enforcement. They have a standing "O" from Casa Diablo.
OFF A SINKING SHIP
Here's a real shocker for you: after voters slapped around their party in the 2012 election, many top GOP lawmakers in DC — senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham and Congressman Peter King, among them — are reneging on the pledge they made to Grover Norquist, the skeezy head ramrod of Americans for Tax Reform, to oppose any and all tax hikes.