I find it hard to separate “peer pressure” and “being a dumb teenager/twentysomething”, but racing someone on a semi-rural highway at night probably wouldn’t have happened without someone to race against and a few passengers in each car.
Lost my virginity at 16 just to shut everybody up because I was sick of all the snide “still a virgin” remarks. Wow people are all up in your business when you’re a teenager.
Mocked an ex-boyfriend who was never anything but sweet to me. I deeply regret it.
Helped shoot the engineer’s window out of a moving train engine with a pellet gun, which then stopped and a couple guys from the caboose jumped off and gave chase.
I hope Yakity Sax was playing as this happened.
It should have been. My friends and I fled and I was in my panic confounded by a waist-high fence that I somehow couldn’t negotiate properly, fell over, dropped my pellet gun (one of my friends did also) and barely got away.
We hid in a drainage ditch about a mile away for about an hour, thinking that the full complement of law enforcement, the FBI and CIA were on the case. We were fourteen.
The funniest thing about all of this is my friend Brent. We were perched under a trestle bridge waiting for the train as it approached; the bridge had two sets of tracks with a large space between them under the bridge. The train was approaching on the left hand track, and as it rumbled towards us, I got cold feet and told Brent that this was a bad idea.
His response, with a big, shit-eating grin was “Whaddya think they’re going to do, stop the train?”
Seconds later, train brakes were screeching and we sprinted away to shouts of “Hey!” behind us and I risked a glance back and saw two guys bounding off the caboose after us.
We went back the next day to try to retrieve our guns. We were so convinced that the “train police” were laying in wait for us so we dressed in our parents camoflauge BDU’s, covered our faces with ski masks, the whole nine. We found our guns and ran into some hippie guy in the middle of the woods leaning against a tree and reading a book. He was quite alarmed, thinking he was in the crossfire of a BB gun war.
So yeah: yakity sax
When I make my movie with many funny (in hindsight) story vignettes, this will be included.
My worst peer pressure thing was going into my parent’s wet bar with a buddy at age 11 or 12 and sampling and mixing stuff together. I knew that space was off-limits and my parents trusted me. Well, I broke that trust at the urging of my friend, as we were home alone after school one day. I remember feeling pretty sick afterward, and we were discovered when my mom got a call from my friend’s mom that he had thrown-up liquor-smelling puke that night. I have not been able to put brandy in my mouth ever since.
Committed crimes of fashion. It was the 80’s.
Theft. Motivated in part by driving like an idiot to amuse friends, resulting in citations that needed to be paid.
Vandalism, including stealing traffic signs. Lucky not to have gotten busted for that.
Oh, my ubiquitous friend Brent and I also did this when we were in eighth grade. Got into my Dad’s liquor cabinet, and because I was so paranoid that he would notice anything missing, we wouldn’t take more than a sip or two off each bottle. A little Old Grandad, some Bombay gin, a little creme de menthe…shudder
We were both very, very sick. Brent recorded me drunk with my tape recorder, acting as MC. I distinctly recall puking, and Brent asking me what it tasted like. “Tastes like hamburger” I said.
“He says it tastes like hamburger, ladies and gentlemen”. It was really funny listening later after we weren’t so sick. He left, came back and threw up ALL OVER me and my parents half bathroom floor, about a half hour before my mother was getting home from work. He passed out on the couch and left me to frantically clean up his mess before she got home. When she did, Brent was still passed out on the couch. I told her he was tired from us playing football in the street, and she naively believed me. So mark that down as another stupid peer pressure situation.
Later, in ninth grade, we so desperately wanted to smoke weed and get high and ended up smoking some catnip some asshole sold me and we thought we were high.
Oh my, so MANY regrets, some small at the time, but vastly more serious in retrospect.
Biggest mistake: putting social considerations above educational and physiological disciplines.
This led in turn to a series of other errors including everything from drug use, to excess tolerance of “friends” misbehaviors at my expense.
The ultimate mistake, of course, was the initial decision to pay more attention to the ideas of others than to my own instincts and reasoning.
The worst thing I did? Sprayed shaving cream all over a classmate’s car, someone I didn’t even know, at the urging of a person who I thought at the time was my friend. I have always regretted this, and if I ever have the opportunity to apologize to him, I will. He knew we did it (I had an accomplice - not the “friend”) because he saw us doing it late one night, out his bedroom window.
He doesn’t seem to be on any social media besides Linked In, which I don’t use.
So, Tony, if you see this and recognize yourself in it, I just want to tell you that I was too easily swayed, and I’m sorry.
Early teens: I was convinced by a friend’s older brother to run around the neighborhood with him at ~2am, turning off the outside disconnects on people’s central air systems. In Texas. In August. There were a few AC repair service vans roaming the neighborhood later that morning, and some pissed-off residents who were stuck paying for emergency call-outs to merely flip a breaker outside.
This is actually the first time I’ve ever spoken of this incident since it happened, back in the '80s.
Early 20s Marine Corporal: during a squadron deployment, I was intimidated by a couple of Maintenance Control SNCOs into signing off helicopter corrosion inspections that weren’t fully completed in accordance with the inspection checklist, using a toolbox that was not accounted for in the squadron’s Tool Control Program. How I managed to survive that epic a violation of the Naval Aviation Maintenance Program is a testament to Major Robert Burnett, who didn’t feel that a Marine’s first screw-up necessarily warranted the generation of career-altering paperwork. My ass, however, was thoroughly chewed by a man who never once raised his voice or stood up from his desk during the course of said ass-chewing.
Mid-20s Marine Sergeant: I was convinced by my SNCOIC to drive a large 4wd aircraft tug (with a 28,000lb CH-53E helicopter in tow…) off the partially-plowed, hard-surface taxiway and into 2ft of melting snow over grass, in Norway. The tire chains merely ensured that once the helicopter departed the taxiway, the time to get the tug stuck to the axles in snow/mud was extremely short. It took a TRAM and a 5-ton truck, both fully chained and working together, to push the helicopter back onto the taxiway.
Thankfully, the Staff Sergeant who egged me on to do it (and was sitting next to me in the cab of the tug) took immediate and absolute responsibility for it when the inevitable "What the fuck were you thinking?!?" questions came from our Maintenance Officer… and I’m still friends with him to this day.
I’m guessing if a helo actually crashed or somehow killed Marines would have resulted in far more than an ass chewing.
If anyone had been merely injured I would have been administratively destroyed. I don’t even want to think about what I would have had to live with had someone been killed.
One that comes to mind is popping hood ornaments off cars in a parking lot because some older kid told us he’d pay us $10 for each one. I knew it was an awful thing to do but my friends convinced me well enough to do with them anyway. And of course, the older kid did not pay up. Can’t remember how old I was. Maybe 12.
Lemme guess - early 1990s, right?