As the weather gets nicer each March, people yearn to return to the yards, parks, and streets for their entertainment. And some people who have been cooped up getting cabin fever all winter — even before Covid quarantined them in their cramped homes — leave their nests with mischief on their minds. Whether it be teens on Spring Break, drunk college students during Fraternity Rush, or juveniles venturing out on April Fools, there are many delinquents a/k/a bored children who have been known to push the envelope when playing what were initially intended to be harmless high jinks.
The message in this post is: Regardless of one’s seemingly innocent intentions, certain cute pranks can cause damage both physical and psychological. Think before playing a practical joke. One man’s quaint escapade can be seen as defiant trespass and thus cause the issuance of a warrant. Someone’s modest monkeyshine may be interpreted by the authorities to be criminal mischief. What may have been permitted to be a clever lark in the 1950’s could be viewed as an arrest-worthy caper in our current politically-correct-geared society. What may have passed for an innocent gag for your parents could well result in the issuance of a citation in 2021. The concept of “Let boys be boys with their juvenile tomfoolery” no longer sits well in our culture that punishes mean-spirited bullying.
So “look before you leap” when the possible consequences of keying someone’s car include a summons from the police. “Think before you act” when the potential repercussions of TP-ing a house could be more than just a slap on the wrist. “Weigh the risk versus reward” on your college application of that peer-pressure-induced hoax that might conclude with something way more disastrous than a mere grounding by your parents.