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Clark: No matter the generation, it’s the same old story

We geezers love to whine about how weird the kids of today are, what with their twittering and texting and odd fixation with that chubby South Korean hip-hop lounge lizard.

But let’s say we could strip away all the cyberhooey for a moment.

Question: Are today’s adolescents really so different than, say, the members of my mop-topped generation?

The recent bust of a couple of hot-rodder juvenile delinquents may hold the answer.

The excitement took place last Tuesday afternoon in Spokane Valley.

The pair, according to a news report, had been racing another vehicle and, in the process, nearly ran an innocent adult driver into the harsh gravitational consequences of a concrete overpass.

Now, treating our roadways like a NASCAR track is NEVER a good idea.

Still, it is encouraging to see teenagers enjoying the outdoors, even if it is to violate the traffic laws.

What happened next is an old story: John Law was summoned, and the party, as they say, was soon over.

Here’s where our drama takes a curious turn of sociological importance, however.

Though one of the lads reportedly copped to the racing, the other claimed “the 48-year-old witness was ‘too old’ and (the deputy) should not believe him.”


I give you Exhibit A in the case that the generation gap is alive and well no matter what year is actually printed on the calendar.

When you’re a kid, every adult appears as dusty and decrepit as something that shambled out of an Egyptian sarcophagus.

This natural distrust between the young and the old has been going on ever since prehistoric times, when humans carried clubs and wore furs and smelled even worse than members of today’s Occupy movement.

DAD – “Ork, your cave room is big disgrace to tribe. How many times I tell you: No draw naked woman paintings on walls.”

SON – “Aw, bite me!”

It was the same when I was growing up during the Psychedelic ’60s.

“Don’t trust anyone over 30.” That was the mantra of our generation.

Or was it “Don’t trust anyone over 35”?

Damn. The older you get the more you realize that your memory is what you really can’t trust.

But getting back to our saga of Valley speed demons …

Without really knowing it, this wiseacre echoed the patter of a bazillion teenagers before him.

And 100 years from now?

I envision punks of the future, racing around in their flying cars and then trying to use the same lame defense when they get grounded by the Spokane Sky Cops.

“Don’t believe that witness, commander. He’s too OLD!”

The current situation was resolved efficiently.

One lad was popped for reckless driving plus driving sans license, the story reported. The other “was charged with racing and violating the restrictions of his license.”

After that they were both “released back to high school.”

But was that enough?

I don’t think so.

As an aged, creaky adult, I’d like to see some creative justice applied to the kid who tried to discredit his elder.

Sentence him to 100 hours of caddying for a bunch of cranky, middle-aged and pot-bellied golfers.

Let him take a good, long gander at the wrinkled, arthritic and balding future that lurks ahead.

That’ll make a believer out of him.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or

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