Hey You Kid. Are you over 18?

I. J. Samson
St. John's, Newfoundland

By Jonathan M. (Grade 9)

"Act your age, not your shoe size."

God! Doesn't that just tick you off? Teenagers are always being told by adults that they are old enough to start acting responsibly. Well, adults obviously never heard the other side of the story. What's that? You don't believe me? Every teen you've ever met was a hooligan? Well, open your ears and pay attention.

To research my topic (and prove that we ain't livin' in a democracy) I went through some rather drastic measures. One included my hiding a tape recorder in my shirt and walking into Strictly Adult Video (don't laugh, it was my first time as a journalist but we won't get into that right now).

First things first, I had to find me a patsy, I mean victm, that could be interviewed. Buck Wheat filled that void nicely. My first question for Buck was if he'd ever been kicked out of a store simply because he was a teen.

"Well, I was in Smithbooks at the Avalon Mall, flipping through a copy of The Far Side (very educational as you can see). (Cue in theme music from Terminator 2) From the employees-only room emerged in a flash of light, the Clerk (OH, DEAR LORD!). She was a queer amalgamation between a wildebeest on steroids, Arnold Schwartzanegger, and Dustin Hoffman, and with a voice like Sean Connery. She stormed over to my position and told me (quite cruelly) that if I wasn't buying then I wasn't welcome. Traumatized and fearing for my life, I fled from the store and took my (gulp) business elsewhere."

Between his sobs and tear-choked words, I managed to decipher the idea that Mr. Wheat had been kicked out of the store for no appropiate reason, except that he was a teen (what did he do anyway, flip the pages in an abusive and sexually explicit manner?). My next question for Mr. Wheat was about the way teens are treated at the movie theater. He responded angrily,"The ratings system is all screwed up! I mean it doesn't take money to gain entry into a movie anymore, it takes luck! BLIND STUPID LUCK!! You have to line up, and hope that the cashier is in a good mood and doesn't expect I.D. I mean an AA (adult) rated movie allows anyone over 14 entry, yet we still get asked for identification. Where on God's green earth would I get I.D.? What do I have to do, carry my birth certificate around with me?"

After calming Buck down (it took 100 milligrams of thorozine), I was done with him and he could go home.

My next topic was yet another restriction on movies. At Blockbuster Video, all the rentals in the Stand-Up Comedy and Anime Sections have 18 and over stickers on them. To challenge this facist regime, I walked into the store (with an aura of manliness radiating from me) and picked up various selections of Eddie Murphy videos, and a copy of AKIRA (one of the ground breaking sci-fi flicks of the eighties and it was animated to boot). When I strutted to the counter (my manliness still intact) with my selections, I was stonewalled. The woman behind the counter (who wasn't much older than 16) told me that if I wasn't going to be serious in their store, then maybe I should leave (multimedia magnates think they're better than me, feh). After swearing vengeance I left the store without honor (but I still had my manliness) and a new question for my man Buck Wheat. I told him about my little ordeal and he replied by saying, "Eddie Murphy, He Sucks!"

So I severly kicked Mr. Wheat's collective rear and called up my friend Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo. He came up with something amusing, yet interesting to say.

"Sure, there are a lot of videos out there that should have 18 or over stickers on them, like Care Bears (argh), but anime and comedy, no sir. C'mon. If we can watch Ahhhnold tear some sucka's heart out, then we're sure as hell prepared for Sailor Moon (wheeeeeeeee). And if you're old enough to drive a car (17) then I'm sure we can watch some fool in a cheap suit poke fun at Mr.T (Ohhhhh hominahominahomina)."

As you can see, there is a long way to go before we're livin' in a democracy. So, adults beware. I've got a lot of friends, and we can all deepen our voices and act real mature (for short periods of time at least). So, if you're ever at the mall or something, and some teens walk by, don't run and hide behind a wall or something. We are not all agents of Satan; we are the future.

(Editor's note: Buck Wheat and J.J.J.J.S. are not real people, they are fake names. Ha!)

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