Biff America: A friend’s son commits an age old crime
Here is what I knew for certain about Pete’s friend Greg.
He lives in Minnesota but has a buffed-out second home here in Colorado. His company is global, very successful and he travels the world on business. He has two children and is recently divorced. He is also a good friend of my friend Peter.
Pete filled me in on Greg’s status while we were waiting for him so the three of us could go backcountry skiing.
When Greg showed up he looked frazzled.
He apologized for being late and said he had a rough morning, “A little trouble at home with my oldest son Mike.” he said and didn’t elaborate.
Pete asked, “Is everything OK?”
Greg said only that his son got into some trouble the night before and has been missing since. He again apologized for being late and offered a second apology because he needed to carry his cell phone in case his ex-wife called. He added, “I never carry this thing (cell phone) while I ski but I know I won’t be able to relax until I find out my kid is OK.”
With that last statement the subject was dropped and we began climbing through the woods.
As we climbed uphill Pete and Greg were talking, generally about their families. Pete has three kids, two in college and Greg had two in high school. Greg mentioned nuns and priests as teachers so I deduced that his kids went to a Catholic school.
All the while we were skinning up on a narrow trail through the trees Greg’s phone must have rung softly 10 times but he never stopped to answer. In response to my unasked question he said, “My ex-wife has her own special ring.”
About 10 minutes later his phone screeched a loud, shrill, shrieking sound; Greg stopped and said, “That would be my ex-wife.”
Pete and I stopped while Greg spoke to his ex. From the one-sided conversation it sounded serious.
“Where did he spend the night? Who called the police? Did he force himself on her? Has he been expelled? Have you spoken to the girl’s parents? I’m afraid that his might interfere with his scholarship. Put him on the phone.”
Pete and I took a few steps away but I remained close enough to hear what Greg said to his kid, “Michael, you know I love you, but I am very disappointed in your behavior. There will be consequences and I’ll talk to you when I get home. Now put you mother back on the phone.”
Pete and I waited about 20 feet down the trail; when Greg skied up he was smiling sheepishly. “My kid just got kicked out of his senior prom for grinding.”
It seems that Greg’s son was dancing at the prom with his date and sometime during the song they started grinding. (Grinding: Slang. a dance movement in which the hips are pressed against a partner’s in a suggestive or erotic manner.)
The other dancers seeing how much Greg’s son was enjoying his grind soon followed suit. When the teens were ordered to “Save room between them for the Holy Ghost” they ignored the order. (It seems they couldn’t help themselves.)
The nuns had no other choice but to actually cancel the remainder of the senior prom and send everyone home. They then called Michael’s mother because they deemed that he was the grinding ringleader. (I know this might seem far fetched but this is all true.)
This was the first serious trouble that Michael had ever gotten into; he was too scared to go home so he slept at a friend’s house. Some time in the course of all this Greg was alerted.
This entire experience left me conflicted. On one hand the thought of a parent punishing a child for engaging in an activity most of us have enjoyed at that age, with no ill effects, seems hypocritical.
But on the other hand I do take comfort that, in this era of school-yard shootings, teen pregnancies, and disrespect for societal mores, there are still high schools in America where innocence prevails and grinding is considered a crime.
Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, can be seen on RSN TV and read in several newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Biff’s book “Steep, Deep and Dyslexic” is available from local book stores or from http://www.webersbooks.com