drunkTHEY’VE started stabbing each other.  They’ve been allowed to congregate under the watchful eye of the police and their parents for months now.

Neighbours and shop owners say they are drinking spirits out of soft drink bottles.  The police won’t intervene even though cars are being urinated on and wee girls are running around half naked and half cut.

Their parents know where they are because they drop them off and know rightly if their eyes are rolling in their heads when they come home.

If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you will know that I was fond of the drink myself at that age, so it leaves me free to comment and offer my tuppence.

Unsurprisingly, teenagers have all sorts of crazy hormones going on.  They are fighting a daily battle with who they are and what position they hold in this life.  One minute they’re confident and the next they’re a pimply b.o ridden ball of crap.  Who wouldn’t be messed up going through that five times a day?

They feel safety in numbers.  They listen to music that identifies with what’s going on in their lives.  They dress like their favourite pop stars and can carry it off.  This is one of the reasons we don’t like them.

Girls jump up and down, screaming and hugging even though they saw each other just two hours ago.  Boys walk around in gangs with their heads down without uttering a word.  Instead BBM’ing each other from a foot away.

Teenagers getting up to no good on the Andytown Road aren’t just a recent thing.  It’s been happening for decades.  Whether it’s been hijacking Citybuses, stealing cars, rioting or sitting on the wall of the leisure centre being punks.  These kids aren’t doing anything new.

But why are there so many of them?

Looking back, on a Friday and Saturday we had the DC, Ta Lockeys, the Glenpark, Exit 15 and the Arena.  All these clubs were rammed and  I can guarantee very few of its patrons were over 18.  After hours we had Space, the Seven Bells and the Stickie Clubs.

But the peace process ruined everything.  No more bringing a carryout to the McDee’s on a Sunday night and going to school with a hangover on Monday morning.  It was fun and something the Moneen kids haven’t experienced.

In our day we got away with using our Da’s names to get in the door.  The doorman knew you because you lived in his street and wore a school uniform during the week.  A blind eye was turned when a door tax was paid and we behaved ourselves inside.

So, go on.  I dare you.  Someone who owns a bar.  Just let them in.  The need to stab each other might subside if they can get drunk, dance and be merry.  Politicians should just ignore it and I can assure you the Andytown Road will be a teenager free zone.  The parents and PSNI are already on side.

First published in Facebook Notes on June 3, 2013