I Fight Authority And
Authority Always Wins
As a young boy I always had a fear of authority. I don't mean the police, I mean adults other than
my parents. There was always some authority figure who was correcting me in the community or
in school. Since my father was the owner of a pretty popular bar in a very small town, I was well
known in the town, and I knew a lot of adults. If I was involved in some stupid behavior on one
side of town my parents found out through the grapevine very quickly. My parents never
questioned the guy who told them about my behavior, regardless of whether or not he was drunk.
They would always question me, because I was the kid, and they believed the adult. It always
seemed like I was found out one way or another.
The other thing that never failed was if I was told not to do something and I disobeyed,
something bad always happened to me as a result. I don't mean like getting yelled at by my
father; I mean something really bad would happen that was a direct consequence of my
As kids we all waited for the summer not because we were going on vacation with our families,
but because it was a time to play baseball, drink soda, hang out, and ride our bikes all over town.
I always had a pretty decent bike; it was fun to ride. I liked to ride my friends' bikes sometimes,
but for some reason my father had a problem with that. One day (I was 11 at the time) I pulled up
in front of the bar riding my friend Johnny's bike. I put the brakes on with my right foot and the
bike didn't stop. It only stopped when I used my left foot. My father was watching this entire
scene. He said, "Jimmy, I don't want you riding that bike; it doesn't have a coaster break."
I said, "Yeah it does, you just have to use your left foot." He said, "Are you right handed or left
handed?" I said, "Right." He said, "Well then, you're always going to use your right foot to
brake. If you're on a bike that has the brake on the left side, you'll try to stop using your