This morning’s papers had a couple of stories about stupid teenagers.
In North Conway, New Hampshire, some kids thought it would be funny to re-create a story I heard about on Paul Harvey. One of them dressed up in a phony prison outfit and handcuffs and went into a Wal-Mart to buy a hacksaw, while his buddies videotaped the whole thing. The clerks, naturally, called the cops, and now he is facing disorderly conduct charges.
But this story out of Gardner, Massachusetts is a bit more serious. A group of teenagers were bored one evening, so they decided to see which was stronger: a five-iron golf club or a fire hydrant. They took turns whaling on the hydrant with the club, seeing the club bend further and further.
Finally, 15-year-old Rafael Naranjo found the answer: the hydrant was stronger. Unfortunately, he found that out when the club shattered and a fragment of the shaft impaled him in his neck. He was rushed to a hospital, but died from the wound.
I keep hearing Mr. Naranjo’s death called a “tragedy.” No, it’s not. He died because he did something incredibly stupid. I prefer to save the word “tragedy” for calamities that aren’t someone’s own dumb fault.