My middle son Johnny is caught between two worlds. On the one hand, he's only 14 and still considers himself a kid. On the other hand, he's in high school now, so he's beginning to grow up. One need look no further than the mustache growing on his upper lip, and hear no more than the bass tones of his voice.
He's also the middle child, which is a very difficult position. He'll never be considered as responsible as his older brother, but he can also no longer get away with some of the stuff his little brother still does. To combat this incredible "unfairness," Johnny has deputized himself a member of the Little Brother Police.
He doesn't just report his little brother to higher authorities (his parents); he takes matter into his own hands. No transgression is too small for Officer Johnny to lay down the law.
"Your napkin belongs on your lap."
"Your bedtime is 9:00."
"You're using that computer without asking Dad's permission."
"Stop chewing with your mouth open."
"Shouldn't you be doing your homework right now?"
Each of these transgressions can lead to a warning, or depending on the mood of Officer Johnny—something far worse. In those cases, this is how the five step process works:
1. The arrest is made by Officer Johnny
2. The case is immediately presented to the jury of little brother's peer (Officer Johnny).
3. The verdict is guilty.
4. Little brother is sentenced by the judge (Officer Johnny).
5. Justice (always some sort of political force) is administered by Officer Johnny.
Officer Johnny's justice is swift, too. (Sometimes before I can even make it into the room.)
Officer Johnny has an incredible grasp of the law. He has studied it extensively, keeps voluminous records of where and when previous rules were enforced. If those rules are not enforced exactly equally by the higher-ups (the parents), the officer has no choice but to take justice into his own hands.
I mean, let's be honest, how is it possible to stand idly by while someone watches television in the morning before school, when it was absolutely not an option just five or six years earlier? Who could put up with that sort of unfairness?
Surely not Officer Johnny.
In Officer Johnny's defense, his interrogations are not videotaped. They do, however, come with a soundtrack, and we've been told that sometimes that soundtrack wouldn't exactly synch up with the video, if you know what we mean. In fact, a witness (oldest brother) has testified that the perp has been known to scream in agony before any punishment was even administered. There have also been a few cases of the perp throwing the first punch, and immediately following that up with a very loud screaming "Don't hit me, (Officer) Johnny."
Furthermore, this witness claims that the perp has been known to commit perjury when questioned by the Supreme Court (Dad).
These criminals can be pretty savvy, but nobody ever said that enforcing the law would be an easy task. Officer Johnny didn't ask for this job, but he remains ever vigilant — ready, willing, and able to take the necessary steps to maintain the peace. Whether that involves physical force, physical force, or some sort of physical force, Officer Johnny will be there, nightstick in hand.
Unfortunately for Officer Johnny, our sources tell us that there's a fairly good chance that the perp is not always going to remain this small in stature. In just a few years, he may even be taller, stronger, and faster than Officer Johnny himself.
For Officer Johnny's sake, we certainly hope he has prepared himself for that reality.