Teenagers are thick, aren't they?
Teenagers are thick, aren't they writes Dave Burrows.
Not all teenagers, you understand. Most teenagers are pretty ace, actually. Given that they are a bubbling cauldron of hormones and confusion it's amazing that they're not all little so-and-sos (I know I was. I still am).
The ones who ARE little so-and-sos, like I said: a little bit thick.
To 'rebel' - whether it be against their parents or other figures of authority - they usually turn to drink. It was ever thus. But times have changed.
In my day it was round the back of Somerfield, a hangover from the '70s when it was the Co-op (for which I blame the Jam's Town Called Malice).
Then somehow, in the 90s, kids started getting thick. The point of beer behind the supermarket (which I didn't do, mum) was that it was dark and no-one went there because the store was closed (remember that? When you couldn't shop for kumquats at 2am?).
But in the 90s the place to hang out suddenly became the kids' playground. Why? Why on earth would you go and sit on the swings to swill your White Lightning? Was this some extra form of rebellion which I don't quite get? As well as sticking it to 'the man' they also wanted to show five-year-olds who was boss.
Now, it seems, even the playground has fallen out of favour - to be replaced by rambling.
Kids now seem intent on enjoying cheap cans of Carling at local beauty spots. The latest in the news is Earl's Hill near Pontesbury. This hill is more than 1,000ft above sea level. It's just a little smaller than The Wrekin. That, in anybody's mind, is a hike. It's the kind of hill people in sensible boots and cable-knit sweaters tackle of a Sunday afternoon.
Why, as a rebel teenager, would you drag yourself all that way to drink you beer? Of course, having got it up there and consumed it, the thicky-thickos are too tired (and too drunk) to carry their empties back down again and so you get their litter strewn across what should be a beautiful part of the Shropshire countryside.
But it's more serious than that. I am, of course, not condoning teenage drinking. It is a dangerous practice wherever it happens. But these idiots are doing it at the top of a hill. They are in a remote location, miles from help if anything goes wrong, and they are unsupervised, which severely increases the chances of that being the case.
So here's the thing, thicky teenage drinkers: stop it. Stop it for many reasons.
Point one - look at yourselves. You think you are rebels, but you aren't, you are ramblers.
Point two - drinking alcohol at the age of 15 doesn't make you cool. It makes you look and act stupidly and it damages your health. You don't care now. You will later.
Point three - you are AT THE TOP OF A HILL. You WILL do something stupid. One of you WILL get hurt. And it will be a very long time before anybody gets to you to help. Maybe it will be too late.
Now I know the teenagers won't read this. If they do so accidentally, they will ignore it. So here's a message to the parents: take some responsibility. Know where your kids are and what they're up to. Summer is here. They're going to be doing this a lot more. Don't fall for their lies.
You are (I hope) more intelligent than them. They, after all, are a bit thick.