It’s late on a Friday night. Timmy’s been driving around and hanging out with his gang of friends. Lately, Larry and Margaret have been worried about the company he’s been keeping. They know that Timmy’s friends goad him into acting up and doing dangerous things in the car. Larry and Margaret have tried to talk to Timmy about these things many times, but Timmy always turns a deaf ear, saying that he will do things “his way.”
Timmy’s therapist says it’s probably something called oppositional defiant disorder, and that maybe Timmy will grow out of it.
Larry and Margaret are sitting in the living room watching a late movie on television and reading when they hear the door to the garage slam shut and Timmy stomp up the stairs to his room. Another theatrical door slam. Larry and Margaret know this isn’t the end of the evening with Timmy.
Sure enough, after Timmy paces around in his room for a while, he flings his bedroom door open and stomps back down the stairs, this time going into the living room to confront Larry and Margaret. He stands there glowering at them.
Larry gives it a half a minute or so, then lifts his eyes from his book and says, “How was you evening,Timmy?”
“You seem to be upset about something, Timmy,” says Margaret.
“It’s nothing.” Then, bursting into tears, Timmy wails, “I got a ticket for reckless driving!”
“Oh, my,” say Margaret. “That wasn’t very smart, was it?” intones Larry, using his stern voice.
“Sure,” says Timmy, “pick on me now.”
“Well, you won’t even talk to us unless you’re in trouble,” responds Larry.
“Throw that in my face, too!” spits Timmy.
[sighing] “Tell us what happened,” say Margaret.
Timmy continues. “I was just driving along, just regular, you know, messing around with my friends, and I came to this curve in the road, like really unexpectedly. And I drove into the ditch.
“This cop came along and said he been following me for a while, and said that I hadn’t been paying attention to signs like “yield” and stuff, and that I must not have paid any attention to all the curve signs either. He said that I needed to spend a lot more time concentrating on the rules of the road.
“He gave me a ticket and said it was going to cost me quite a bit. He was a big guy, funny little beard, and you know, he looked kinda familiar.
“You’ll bail me out of this, won’t you? I’d do it for you.”
[snorting] “Timmy, you’d do no such thing; you’re entirely self absorbed and oppose anything we do on principle,” replies Larry. “The rules will have to change. You need to learn that you’re not the one in charge here.”
Timmy whines, “But this is all your fault. You let me use the car. You said I could bring my friends along. And you forgot to tell me to be careful tonight. You enabled this to happen. You didn’t have any plan to keep it from happening. It’s not fair!”
Timmy heads back up the stairs, crying, and shouts, “You don’t even have a plan to get me out of this!”