I do, all the time. Parenting was obviously pretty laxy dazy back in the 70's and 80's because I recall doing whatever the heck I wanted a lot of the time as a kid. My siblings and I were out wandering the streets of the Western Suburbs of Melbourne, generally unwatched by adults and often up to no good, a lot of the time.
I recall getting into a lot of mischief as a kid, some of it downright dangerous when I think back on it. My parents were always at work early in the morning, so no-one was around and I used to cruise down to my mate Louise's house at like 7.30am. All the 'cool' grade 6 girls would meet in the morning before school at Louise's because her parents never seemed to be home. Her parents also had any number of open packets of cigarettes laying about that we would all get stuck into. We would just sit around drinking coffee, smoking, making the odd crank call and watching music clips before school. I recall seeing Bruce Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark a million times.
On occasion we would raid her older sister's room for porn, which back then was really just Cleo because it used to have a male centrefold back in the day. It was the first time that I saw a penis and I thought that it was hideous, I also thought that the men were generally pretty gross too, but I would still happily have a peek and giggle along with my friends.
One time Louise and I stole a beer out of her dad's fridge and drank it down at the creek, it tasted like shit, but we were determined not to waste it. We were eating bananas and all kinds of crap to try and disguise the smell on our breath. It was the first beer that I ever drank. But interestingly enough, not the first time that I had drank. The first time I got drunk was in my nan's garage on peach coolers, again stolen, out of her fridge. I was about nine I think, and I was completely alone when I did it. I don't even know why I did it, and to this day I can't stand peach flavoured drinks.
I sure did get into a lot of trouble during those 'un-watched' days when everyone seemed to be hanging out on the streets and no-one's parents were too phased about where they were during the daylight hours. The nights were a lot stricter in my household, but on occasion we would be allowed to stay out after dark in the Summer time. That was when my friends and I would have seances. We would make a Ouija board out of cut up bits of paper and sit around in the dark by candle light trying to commune with the dead. I don't recall ever really getting in touch with the dead, but we would all manage to frighten the shit out of ourselves, and we hadn't even seen the exorcist yet!
Perhaps it is the antics of my childhood that has made me and my generation so hyper vigilant about knowing where our kids are 100% of the time. Or maybe kids just aren't venturing outside as much these days because now there are more satisfying things to do at home, like gaming and the internet. Why would you go to a friends house to chat when you can just do it online?
Does that mean that technology is saving our kids from doing all the dumb things? Or is it actually stopping them from having experiences that are important to social development? Who knows? But I am glad that neither of my kids was puffing away, swilling drinks or checking out dicks at a primary school age, so I'm going to have to go with vigilant parenting and technology all the way here. Sorry mum and dad, but when you weren't looking, I was just up to no good.
Release Date: 2007
Running Time: 96 mins
Fast talking cutey Ellen Page makes her mark here in this bitter sweet tale about teenage pregnancy. Tastefully directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, Juno was filmed over the period of four seasons and received a standing ovation when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2007.
16 year old Juno (Ellen Page) discovers she is pregnant after only one sexual experience with her somewhat awkward teen best friend Bleeker (Michael Cera). After weighing up the pros and cons of abortion, Juno decides to give birth and place the child into the care of an adoptive couple that she locates through a Penny-saver personal ad. Juno plans to continue her education, befriend her child's new parents and get on with her life, but can it all really be that straight forward?
This is a wonderful story about teens having to make adult decisions, about the pitfalls of huge life choices and about the way that people raise each other up and also tear each other down. Excellent support roles are filled by Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman as the potential adopters and Allison Janney and J.K Simmons as Juno's supportive parents. There is certainly a lot to ponder here and you will definitely get a lot out of this touching teen story.
FINAL SAY: It started with a chair.
4 Chili Peppers