Juvenile Delinquent: The Interview

He’s been called a punk, little shit, asshole, waste of semen, jerk and rabble-rouser; but juvenile delinquent and future prison inmate Tommy Snots refuses to be defined simply by labels. The twelve-year-old troublemaker of Tamarack Street, as known for his trash can tipping, as much as his skills with a lighter, is redefining what it means to be a modern day juvenile delinquent. Truancy Magazine caught up with Tommy over by the dumpsters behind the convenience store, to talk about life, detention and how this summer may be his most delinquent yet.

What initially drew you to the life of a juvenile delinquent?

I think I was just fucking born to it, you know, I mean when the other kids were playing football or baseball, I was just, you know, fucking shoving firecrackers up cat butts and ringing fucking doorbells and running away. It’s just in my blood.

Who most inspires your delinquency?

Probably my parents. My dad has two fucking families and he tries really hard to hide it from my mom and me. My mom goes to church so much that even Jesus is like, “Whoa lady, take a chill pill.” They give me a lot of fucking autonomy to run my own life.

You received a record amount of detention this year. How has that shaped your view of the school justice system?

It’s fucking bullshit man. I mean, you can’t even pants a kid anymore without getting thrown in detention for at least a half hour. I remember back in first grade, I pooed in Mrs. Franklin’s potted plant and the only thing that happened was Mrs. Franklin called a meeting with my parents, that they didn’t show up to. Now a day’s you gotta be on the fucking lookout. Cutting class, putting lizards in lunchboxes, even fucking cussing will get you fucking detention. It’s made me hard. Ha! I said hard. Julie Newman from eight grade makes me hard. Next question.

The sudden sound of a police siren gets Tommy’s attention. He pulls a cigarette from his pocket and lights up. As the siren’s wail fades, Tommy begins to practice his butterfly knife skills with a plastic, dollar store version of the weapon.

Your shirt says: Fuck Off! Is that a metaphor for life or just a blunt statement of attitude?

What the fuck is a metaphor?

What are your plans for the summer?

I’m going to be doing a lot of hanging out back here, smoking cigarettes and just looking dangerous. I plan on getting an earring and maybe even one of those chains for my wallet. I’ve got a pack of firecrackers stashed under my bed. There’s going to be so many fucking cat butt explosions this summer it’s going to sound like the whole neighborhood is in heat. I stole a bike, so I’ll be fucking riding that up and down my street, jumping off curbs and shit. I’ll probably steal some beer and I’ll definitely be leaving flaming bags of fucking dog shit on porches. That shit never gets old.

You’ve recently discovered masturbation. How’s that going?

What? Why would I do that when I’m having sex with so many girls? I don’t have time to masturbate. Seriously, so many girls. If you don’t believe me I’ll beat you up. Next question.

Tommy’s face goes a shade of scarlet and the sound of the wailing siren returns. Tommy shifts nervously and tosses the butt of his cigarette on the ground.

If you weren’t a juvenile delinquent what would you be?

I don’t know. What kind of question is that? How could I be anything else? I mean, I guess, if I wasn’t doing this I think I might just be a kid I suppose. Maybe hang with a couple of friends, go to the movies, find the courage to talk to Julie Newman, instead of just hiding in the bushes outside of her window imaging her naked. My dad and I would go fishing and my mom would take me to the library to check out a really fun summer read. I would eat ice cream in the backyard and watch the puffy clouds go by as my whole family said they loved me and I said I loved them too…and, shit, I’ve got something in my fucking eye. This interview is over. Fuck off!

 Tommy angrily kicks a can and darts off down an alleyway, leaving this reporter alone next to the smoldering remains of a cigarette butt. An employee carrying a bag of trash exits the convenience store and asks me what the hell a grown man in a suit is doing out back next to a rotting dumpster in ninety-five-degree heat. Perhaps inspired by Tommy or just feeling some kind nostalgic delinquency from my own past, I look him in the eye and tell him, “Fuck off! Next question.” He kicks my ass.