There's this deli across the street from our work. It's an okay place to get a cheesesteak but it's an excellent place to get a burger. And for a brief period last year, it was A1 territory for fistfights.
Kids were going nuts with that shit. They'd show up, fight, record it, then run home and put it on Youtube (which, by the way, made it waaaay easy to catch them ex post facto). Around the middle of the last school year, one of them was actually stabbed there. Really, it was more like a slice than a stab, but still, that move is not the shit. Sprouting teenagers are pretty much the most assholey people on the planet, but nobody wants to see any of them get hurt.
So, every business day since then, from 3:15 to 3:45, we've gone to the deli and just stood there, making enough noise to let them all know we're there but not enough to get them more riled up than they would've already been anyway. Given the logistics of the situation, the most ready analogy to make would be that of a guy jumping into a shark tank, but really, it's not near as treacherous. Nearly all of the kids out there are just being colorful and showy, happy to be heading home. If anything, it's more like jumping into a tank full of peacocks. (Do they hold peacocks in tanks? Who knows such things?)
At any rate, we spend the bulk of the time out there chatting kids up, pretending to learn new slang that's actually old (the "FAIL" thing has finally dripped into the South Houston teenager lexicon) and discussing the merit of an untold number of music acts (FYI, arguing with kids about music is likely exactly as fruitful as arguing with peacocks about music).
Some songs that they are currently petitioning for the Music Hall of Fame:
Tyga, "Rack City" Campaign Leader: Michelle G., an 8th grader with a strong affinity for hair accessories. Her Reasoning: "Because it's Tyga, c'mon. I saw him in concert. He was really good. I wanted to buy a shirt. I didn't."
Drake, "The Motto" Campaign Leader: Maria R., a 6th grader who didn't know that Canada existed until she heard Drake say it on MTV. Her Reasoning: "Drake is the best. My cousin gave me his new album. I like it all. I have to go. My ride is here."
Duelo, ANYTHING Campaign Leader: Jorge S., an 8th grader that achieved mild fame when he threw a muffin at a girl during lunch in 2009. His Reasoning: "I don't know. I like it. Do you have $0.75 I can borrow so I can get a soda?"
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Flux Pavillion, "I Can't Stop" Campaign Leader: Martin R., a 7th grade Pre-AP student and perhaps the only person I've ever heard adequately explain how Dubstep is different from Drum and Bass. His Reasoning: "My [older] brother listens to that. I don't hear anything like it on the radio. I think they should play it. It's really fun."
Senses Fail, "Sick or Sane" Campaign Leader: Alicia M., an 8th grader that would "Give Lil Wayne all Fs" if she was in charge of handing out Progress Reports to musicians. Her Reasoning: "Their songs are about things I know or feel. That's good. I can listen to it and know what they mean. Have you ever even heard them?"