On a high school trip to England, my friends and I thought it would be a hilarious prank on the security guards at the Tower of London if we placed a big ole maxi pad right there on top of my wallet, so when they asked me to open my purse, they’d get a big shot of Stayfree.
Mind you, this was well before 9-11 when Americans became accustomed to bag searches. We thought it was silly. I mean, what would a bunch of teenagers have in their purses that could harm anyone?
I imagine this is the kind of thinking that landed an Alabama high school kid in trouble last week when she took a smiling selfie next to a cadaver during a senior anatomy class field trip, and then posted it on Instagram. Her school was alerted, she got in trouble, and the offending photo was taken down, but not before the news media (and bloggers) got a hold of a screen shot and reported the story.
All I can say is: Thank God we didn’t have cell phones when I was in high school. No Instagram, no Facebook, no way to broadcast our stupid little prank to anyone beyond the small group of us and the red-faced security man dressed like a Beefeater, silly hat and suit and all.
The school never knew about it, and neither did my parents. (Until now. Sorry Mom and Dad.) Generally speaking, we weren’t hooligans. We were the brainy jocks of our class, but we were also teenagers a long way from home. And so, sticking a maxi pad face-up for a security check seemed like an absolutely brilliant idea at the moment.
But today’s teens have broadcasting power we didn’t have until after they were born when, presumably, we had the maturity to know what shots to delete (and what not to take in the first place.)
As a result, I worry for today’s teens, and I pity the parents whose kids’ pranks end up in their Facebook feeds or on TV. (I also feel bad for the family of the cadaver that was donated to science, and the beefeater security guard at the Tower of London.)
So Mommas, teach your babies to keep their pranks to themselves. Doing them is bad enough. Broadcasting them is a sure way to get in trouble.