Radio Free Montone: Chill Out

By John Montone, 1010 WINS

A teenager brought chili peppers to school, but it’s the adults who need to chill out.

Hi, this is John Montone.

As reported by CBS2, a Centereach student had super hot chili peppers on him, a couple of his friends took a taste test and burned their tongues so the superintendent suspended pepper boy. And now his parents are suing.

Back in the day, and by that I mean way back, only criminals and corrupt politicians hired attorneys. Which meant there was always plenty of work for those in the legal profession. But kids involved in high school hijinks did not lawyer up.

Grown ups pretty much let kids learn life’s lessons, just as they had once learned them.

I recall the night before my Confirmation. I was standing next to my partner, a fetching lass, who caught the eye of our class bully, Otto. A chain-smoking fifth grader, Otto, pulled me around by my shoulder and described how much he appreciated my partner’s physical attributes. I readily agreed with Otto. I did so because not to agree with Otto would certainly result in a beating. He was after all the class bully.

“You’re right, Otto,” I said too loudly, at which point Sister Mary Immaculate delivered a quick but efficient pummeling of her own. The short, squat nun cold cocked me, leaving me face down on the sidewalk staring at some ancient stepped-on gum.

I can assure you that had I gone home and told my father what had happened, he would not have hired F. Lee Bailey.

It was so unusual for adults to stick their noses into the affairs of the young that the one time they did stands out like the gross error in adult thinking that it surely was.

My buddy, Dave “The Rave,” clobbered the longest home run in the history of our hometown Little League. It was a high rocket launched over the centerfield fence that cleared a giant tree beyond the fence, flew high over a second fence and landed across the street behind the field.

But that night the elders of the Little League held a secret emergency meeting where they determined that the bat used by “The Rave” to blast the ball was not official Little League issue, but rather a “fungo,” with too thin a handle and too wide a barrel. The tape measure clout would not stand. They said in effect, the home run had never been hit. The kids on the two teams knew otherwise.

Dave “The Rave,” is gone now and so are all those grown ups who for the most part just let us kids grow up.

John Montone, 1010 WINS News.

Be well.

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