I’m not one to think that things were better in my childhood days. The 70s, for all those who choose not to–or are too young to–remember, sucked. Really. The 80s sucked, too. Sure, we’re all nostalgic for big hair and men in shorty-shorts, but except for an underground music scene that would pay off dividends in the 90s and beyond, my generation was the first to find their world more difficult to prosper than the previous generations in America. But, wait, I come here not to whine.

Instead, I find myself chuckling at this article from Newsday about a group of kids arrested after one of them was found with an “apparent ‘caustic liquid'” on his clothing. Because one of the group may have said something about “blowing it up,” this vague threat lead to four arrests and bails in the $60k range.

So here’s a case where I can say, “Boy, times sure have changed,” and think wistfully back to childhood, where one of my friends, in junior high school, could bring a glass beaker, filled with a clear liquid, covered with tinfoil, and sporting a taped label saying “Dangerous: ACID.” He was not stopped the entire day, even though he displayed it at various times, including leaving it on the lunch table, during which a couple of other friends and I would mercilessly tease him about carrying “acid” in his bookbag covered with a flimsy piece of foil.

This is a true story, so I will not name my friend on this blog. Suffice to say, he knows who he his, and so do most of my friends, and so does the Mock Trial club from that year; because the beaker was not filled with “Dangerous: ACID”–it was filled with a pint of Vodka. Oh, it still cracks me up that the “acid” got no attention from anyone, but when a dozen kids were later caught in the girls’ room with their dixie cups, it became the crime of the century.

Times have changed, though. These kids, today, in the mean-streets of Levittown, may have actually had an acid, since the ‘caustic liquid’ kid’s shirt was burned, but I do believe that the authorities are over-reacting, as these four were going to be as successful in their “blowing it up” as the Mock Trial kids were in getting their booze on, all those years ago.

Update: Setting the record straight. There was a Mock Trial scandal, but this wasn’t it. Mock Trial was high school. Some of the kids involved with this one were involved in the later one, and I just blended the times together. I apologize for the mix up. (Thanks, Laura!)