This post is part of Fusion’s Teen Month series, a month-long dive into the lives, loves, and language of teenagers.
Do you remember when your capacity for wonder scraped the outskirts of the universe? Do you remember what it’s like to walk through half-lit streets as the sun rises on the dawn of a muggy July day? Do you remember driving through town on a sweltering afternoon—windows down, music blaring—and do you remember the accompanying sensation of being intoxicated by possibility? Do you remember what it was like to be young? Do you remember when you believed in love? Do you remember when it felt like every day held the potential for something incredible?
To be a teenager during the summer months—to be unburdened by responsibility, to be free of supervision, to be fueled by hormones and naiveté—is to truly be free. In the summer of 2015, American teenagers celebrated this freedom in beautiful, inspiring ways. Here are just a few of their stories.
Alabama teen kills a bunch of chickens so his Mom would call his girlfriend’s parents
In June, Haden Smith—an 18-year-old from Limestone County, Ala.—reportedly found himself struggling with how to repair his relationship with his girlfriend. Presumably after running through a list of potential solutions, he turned to an unconventional one: threatening to kill his mother’s chickens until she called his girlfriend’s parents, AL.com reports. There’s nothing like a summer romance.
Like any good hostage taker would on an episode of Law & Order, Smith set a strict deadline: unless his mother made the call, he would begin the “chicken massacre” at noon sharp, and proceed to kill a chicken every 15 minutes. When his mother refused to budge, Smith began.
With each successive slaughtered chicken, he texted his mother a picture. Six chickens fell by the wayside before police managed to catch up with Smith, who was arrested and charged with third-degree domestic violence and third-degree criminal mischief.
Wire reports could not confirm if Smith and his girlfriend were back on good terms. :(
Boston teen corrects math error at a museum math exhibit
Some teens spend their summers in the throes of love. Others laze away the days, relaxing in the sweltering sun by day and unwinding with a few underage beers by the campfire come night. And some, like 15-year-old Joseph Rosenfeld, go to science museums and discover errors at the math exhibits.
CBS Boston brings us this inspiring tale of Rosenfeld’s June journey to the Boston Museum of Science. Rosenfeld, alongside his aunt, was exploring the “Mathematica” exhibit when he spotted an error in the Golden Ratio displayed: a minus sign, Rosenfeld said, should have been a plus sign.
And lo! The museum fixed the error, Boston.com reports, and Joseph sure was happy.
“It was cool,” Joseph told Boston.com. “At first, I wasn’t sure, I thought maybe I had it wrong, but I was excited.”
What a rollercoaster.
Two Pittsburgh teens dressed at ninjas failed at robbing a store after the owner came at them with a sword
In theory, the plan is a sound one: dress up like a ninja, get your friend to also dress up like a ninja, grab some knives, and head over to the local convenience store to presumably steal some beer.
Like many before them, two Pittsburgh teens tried the 'ol dress-like-a-ninja-and-rob-a-gas-station routine one August night at Perry Market, but ran into some unexpected trouble when the store owner one-upped them with a sword. Sword fight!
“I use this one when I see him with the sword, to make him afraid,” Jewad Hayitt told CBS Pittsburgh.
Two New Jersey teens (and a non-teen—ew) rob a bunch of empty kegs
Nothing says summer as a teen quite like a keg and so it makes total sense that 18-year-old John Buenoguaba and 19-year-old Brianna Siegel (and 43-year-old Donald Alena—not sure what he’s doing here) of Riverdale, New Jersey stole $1,000 worth of ‘em from a Route 23 restaurant earlier this month. It’s keg party time!
Yeah right. It was not keg party time, my friends.
First, the teens (and the old guy) got busted by the cops. Narcs! But guess what—it wasn’t going to be keg party time even if they managed to pull off the heist. That’s because, as NJ.com reports, the kegs were empty. Damn.
"While at headquarters, one of the suspects said they took the kegs for a party at a lake but when questioned about which lake, they suspects couldn't answer,” Lt. James Macintosh told NJ.com. “They also did not have an answer when told that the kegs were empty and therefore not useful for a party.”
Michigan teen impersonates an FBI officer, test drives a car, drives to Ohio, crashes it
One day in late May, 17-year-old Lane Lesko had an idea: what if I pretended to be an FBI officer, stuck an Airsoft gun in my pants, called up a Dodge dealership, asked to test-drive a Dodge Charger, and then drove it from Michigan to Ohio? It’s only a bad idea if you don’t see it through.
It may forever be a mystery exactly why Lesko needed to impersonate an FBI officer in order to test drive a car. But that doesn’t matter as much as the fact that Lesko did indeed impersonate an FBI officer when he called up the Ypsilanti Township, Mich. Dodge dealership and asked them to bring a Dodge Charger to his house in order to take it out for a test-drive, the Ann Arbor News reports.
Bill Anderson, the sales manager tasked with picking Lasko up, wasn’t really buying it, and got a little freaked out when he saw a “gun” strapped to his hip, so he brought him into the dealership to talk to a sales staff member. While they discussed what to do, Lasko snagged the keys and busted out of the dealership. Uh oh.
Lasco crashed the car in Toledo, about an hour away. :^)
Iowa teen files to run for President as “Deez Nuts”
Brady Olson said it all. Long live the teens.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.