True-story Tuesday redux: Parental instincts

Back when I was in junior high, I was on a bowling league, and my dad and I would go to the lanes early. My dad had a second job there and would very reluctantly give me money to play video games while I waited for everyone else to show up.

One Saturday morning, before the other kids arrived, a guy arrived with another boy. The guy was handing a Jerry’s Kids bowling event that day, and the boy (I believe his name was Tim) was there because, well, I didn’t know why. He wasn’t bowling, and he wasn’t the guy’s son, but oh well. The guy had a job as a clown; he’d perform at birthday parties and the like. He wasn’t dressed as a clown that day, though.

Later that day I got a call from the guy. He wanted to know if I wanted to come over and help with tallying the results and such. I thought it sounded like fun — yes, I’ve been a nerd for a long time — and I asked my parents. My mother asked for a little more information and I gave it to her.

“Absolutely not.”

I wasn’t happy, but it didn’t bother me too much either. My parents didn’t let me go over to people’s houses unless they knew the people themselves. Adding to this was the fact that my mother, years earlier, had worked at a grocery store called Family Foods, and she said she’d seen him come through her lane and that she’d always gotten a bad vibe from him. She thought he was trouble.

I told the guy I couldn’t do it because my parents said no. He said no problem, maybe another time, and that was that. He sent me a packet of advertising material for his clown business a few weeks later.

Months later, the guy made the local news. Turns out he’d molested over a hundred boys about my age in the area.

That is a true story.

No comments: