My little brother Kyle is one of my favorite people in the world, and it wasn’t too surprising to hear him laughing like that mentally handicapped hyena on The Lion King. He was all by himself in front of the television.
I rush into the living room to jump in on the fun and see him watching a show called Tosh.0 where the host makes fun of various You-Tube videos found online. This one was playing.
“I wanted to do hood rat stuff with my friend.” “He smokes real cigarettes.” “I yanked it…I yanked the uh thing.” And my absolute favorite, “I do it cuz it’s fun, fun to do bad things.” (Watch his shoulder go up in an ‘I do what I want’ kind of way when he says it.) This sole video has become Cameron and my favorite past-time. It’s easy to lighten any mood by doing a little shoulder raise and saying “I like to do bad things.” That quote has also become so frequent, that many think it’s an inside joke…well I’ll tell ya what. You are now on the inside.
Last Thursday, Cameron and I drove down to Utah to go to his friend Emily’s reception. The decor was beautiful, the food was divine, and there was even a comfy couch in the ballroom that we got all to ourselves. We were engaging in our typical routine, scouting out the people, making fun of any weird gestures, mannerisms, or outfits, and then the moment arose. The crucial moment when we saw…
We saw the hood rat walking around the ballroom, hands in his pockets, a huge bag of candy hanging out of one. We both turned to each other and without a word, we knew he was up to no good, we knew he was wanted to do something “fun”. After fifteen minutes of watching him roam in and out of each dancing group, go into the dining area, and come back to repeat, we noticed that not once did an adult-or anyone for that matter-come talk to Latarion. It was obvious to see that he came all by himself. It was obvious to see that he was the 7-year-old wedding crasher.
We had to talk to him, we had to see if he would PLEASE just quote a little “hoodrat” talk for us, so we signaled him over. He looked around, behind, and realized that it was him that we wanted, so he came over, walking very slow, wary, and careful. “What’s your name?” we asked him. “Jake. I mean Jacob.” His voice sounded EXACTLY like Latarion’s, so we knew that was his decoy name. He was wearing a Star Wars shirt, so we asked him if he knew all the characters and which ones he liked. He shrugged his shoulders and wouldn’t say a word. He felt interrogated and could tell we were on to his mischief so he spun on a dime and left us mid-question. He would make his rounds a few more times, hands still glued into his pockets, and we would repeatedly signal him over to us. He looked me in the eye, looked away, looked back, and did that signature shoulder raise that I had studied over and over. It was him. It was great. And it was the last we saw of Latarion “Jake” Milton.