Today, in a story I was reading with one of my 11 year old charges, we learned of the abduction of two guys who were out on a fishing trip by space aliens. They were examined and then returned to where they’d been fishing. Their first act upon return was to reach for their whiskey, presumably to soothe their nerves and whatever else needed soothing.
The kid looked up at me and said, “But Daddy says drinking in public is wrong!” I tried to explain that perhaps in this case the guys in question were pretty freaked out and that sometimes drinking is what adults do when they get upset. “But, Daddy says it’s wrong,” he repeated. I said, well, yes – drinking outside in public is against the law in some places. Adults are asked to keep that kind of activity inside because there are laws with names like “Open Container Violation” that will get you into a lot of trouble. Then he said, “But, what if you’re at a party and it’s in your backyard?” I told him that’d be okay because it’s private property. Private property is ok. “What about if you’re at someone else’s house?” Well, as long as you’re old enough, have permission to be there and you’re behaving yourself it’s ok, too. Otherwise, I told him, the law calls that “Drunk and Disorderly”. Sometimes, it’s even “Trespassing”. And, occasionally, that leads to “Restraining Order”.
"So, that's what happened to Daddy", said the kid.
I tried to give him a sympathetic smile as we returned to the story.
It's a bummer about his dad and the aliens.
But, I like to think that it was a learning experience for all involved.