Eavesdropping on Stupid Kids

I was sitting in a Cafe yesterday during my lunch break with a brilliant little latte at my side. My mood was soured by news that the state of Vermont is once again taxing non-profit organizations. I read it in the Manchester Journal, but it’s not online yet.

The latest fiasco is a $37,000 tax of Riley Rink. Riley Rink, a non-profit organization, provides crucial activities for local school children, children with disabilities, and just about every one else in Manchester. Knowing some of the people in the organization, I can say confidently that it’s a great little place that isn’t out to make a buck . . . unlike our local government. Though the rink only has to pick up $7,000 or the tax bill, it’s still an immense burden for a place that operates at a deficit and is dependent on contributions from the community.

This isn’t the first time our state government has tried to hit up non-profits, very important non-profits for the community, for some cash. Hildene and the Southern Vermont Arts Center were forced to plead their case against some major taxes dropped at their doorsteps.

While pondering the idiocy of our government, I overheard a conversation. With school children bustling around the cafe the volume level can be quite high, but no one could drown out this boy, probably in 9th grade I think, while he attempted to impress two girls at a nearby table.

The words that caught my attention were, “We couldn’t go snow boarding so we went back to his house and set the lawn on fire.”

I tuned in immediately. Sometimes there’s nothing better than eavesdropping on some stupid kids.

While I didn’t catch everything, I furiously jotted down a list of details from his story. You can create a sense of the story based on my list.

– Soaking wet towel on hand.

– Bucket nearby.

– Pool to jump into if it gets out of control.

– I always have a gallon of kerosene in my car . . . just in case.

– We poured kerosene into big plastic jugs.

– We dripped it out and set it on fire.

– We ran out of matches.

– They card you for buying lighters now.

– We had a stick of magnesium, shaved it into a pile, and then used some flint.

– Ended up using car lighter.

And there you have it, a week night with stupid kids. Maybe they have a future waiting for them in the government where they can tax non-profit organizations.