Friday, December 30, 2005


Farris Hassan wins the prize for the "story of the month. " You have to give this kid bonus points for his willingness to go the extra mile for a high school class. However, he gets points deducted for stupidity. Major stupidity.

His story raises a question in my mind, one that has yet to be mentioned.

How does a 16 year old, minor child, traveling alone, walk into an international airport, purchase a ticket to Baghdad, Iraq, and not get questioned about parental approval? You would think someone at the airport would ask about mom and dad. Think about it. He wasn't buying a ticket to Atlanta, Ga, for crying out loud; he was buying a ticket to the most dangerous place on the face of the earth! Ok, so Detroit is the most dangerous, but that's just splitting hairs, if you ask me.

Hassan's flight of fancy made me think of the dumbest thing I ever did at 16 years old. 1972 was the year. My girlfriend and I were madly in love and disliked our parents' methods of managing our lives. She was 14, but mature for her age. We bought a car, packed all our worldly possessions into it and began our adventure of running away from home.

Home was Kankakee, Illinois, and we pointed our car towards Titusville, Florida. In a few days we were there. To no one's surprise, except ours, a couple months later we were back in Kankakee, Illinois. At the time, the most dangerous place on the face of the earth was Viet Nam. However, it was soon replaced by Kankakee, Illinois: My girlfriend had two extra large brothers, 18 and 20 years of age. But, instead of death, they decided to have mercy on me.

Did you do anything stupid at 16? If so, share away.

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