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Canned Fun
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If you are a police officer who was working where I lived during the late 1990’s, please cease and desist immediately from reading this article. Or if you are an impressionable youth who would get ideas from this article, than the same applies to you. Proverbs 12:13 cautions that, “A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct, but a man of understanding delights in wisdom.” Oh how I wish those words would have found fertile soil in my mind when I was a careless and carefree teenager with money in my pockets and time on my hands. 

Now the conduct which I will entail here may not fall under the category of pure evil, and may even be found to be humorous by many including myself. My readiness and eagerness to participate in the activities themselves is what is disturbing. It is exactly my eagerness that almost inspires me to take a Calvinist view of human nature!

For a period that stretched over a few months one beautiful summer, my friends and I found out about a caper that sounded just too easy and fun to resist. Well, there was no resistance at all really. Just unadulterated excitement about what we all agreed would be a superbly awesome prank. It all began at an innocent looking grocery store. We would each stroll through the soda aisle and pick up two of the biggest packs of generic soda we could find. The whole affair probably seemed harmless to every checker since there is nothing suspicious about teenage males purchasing soda on a scorching summer day. That was all part of the beauty of our nefarious act. If they only knew how we planned to use their foodstuffs I am sure they would seriously question the future of our society. 

Soda Can Grenades

We would then proceed to a vehicle, usually the borrowed car of a parent, and embark on our dark adventure. After having downed some of the caffeine and sugar filled sodas, we would begin shaking the remainder of the cans. And we would continue shaking until the cans began to distort and push out their metal barriers that held back the explosive liquid within. Whoever was driving would find a road with as many signs as possible, and would accelerate to dangerous speeds. While the vehicle hurtled down the road, the heads and torsos of teenage males would pop out of all the windows with cans of soda held like grenades in their hands. We would reach back and hurl the explosive cans at a sign as we drove by at breakneck speed. The timing was tricky, but the payoff of foam flying thirty feet in the air and a sign that would attract every particle of dirt for the next two years was enough to make us delirious.

The gang of soda throwing hooligans struck so many signs that summer that there were probably countless poor souls who could not for the life of them read the street signs of the beautiful town they were visiting. In retrospect, the spectacle of wild eyed teens throwing soda at signs is pitiable, and yes, very funny. But the sheer excitement of being that destructive is still disturbing. The high that we were on that summer was without a doubt a false high. Soon after our acts of vandalism were finished, the excitement would subside and we would move on to some other act that doubtlessly included belches, grunting and elbows thrown at ribs. 

Since then I have found the remedy for this propensity to so readily enter into acts of pointless pranksterism. And the high that I receive from this remedy is lifelong and completely satisfying. "The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb" (Psalm 19:9-11).

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By Garrett Gladden. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.


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