I went to a nearby park over the weekend with a friend. We walked a little ways and then came upon a roped-off area with a sign saying “Please don’t climb in the caves.” Silly. Of course we climbed in the caves. It got a little tricky when the rocks underneath started sliding out from under our feet–possibly the reason for the sign–but for once I wasn’t wearing heels, so we were more or less all right. I ignore all warning signs on principle, anyway.
A nearby family reunion spilled over into the meadow in front of the caves, and three little kids came up to the rope. They were old enough to read the signs and young enough to obey them. That’s a nice age to be at. All of the curiosity with none of the moral anxiety. One of them saw us and shouted, “You’re not supposed to be in there!” I smiled and shouted back “We’re rebels!” Always trying to set a good example, me.
My friend and I explored the caves as far as our mutual fear of spiders allowed, then set out to climb back down. Suddenly, we saw the same three boys as before tearing across the meadow on bikes, which I’m fairly sure they weren’t supposed to be doing, shouting “Rebels!” at the tops of their lungs. I waved at them, then saw their parents glowering at me and pretended I’d been stretching.
And the moral of this story is: if you work very, very hard and are lucky enough to have the opportunity arise, it is possible to be an extremely bad influence almost anywhere. Especially if you’re with the Little Blind Girl, who is on the government watch list of Very Bad Influences and has practically set the standard. Rebels! Yeah!