Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ask Tha Bul Bubak...

Due to the length and seriousness of this query, Tha Bul Bubak will only be addressing one question this week.

Dear Bul Bubak,
I have a dilemma that I’m hoping you can solve. It’s somewhat of a moot point by now, but still, it is an ethical issue that I believe calls for a ruling. Here is the situation:

While looking for my car keys I was rummaging through the backpack of my 18 year old daughter. I didn’t find the keys, but I did find a fat little packet of weed. I happened to know that this blue backpack is one that travels everywhere with my daughter, hanging in a careless and casual manner off of her right shoulder. She drops it here, leaves it there, and is constantly asking me if I have seen it. I confiscated the fat pouch of weed. My daughter was sitting on the couch and I waved it in her face. I told her it was neither acceptable nor smart to be out in the world with a fat bag of weed in the backpack you were continually losing. She said something about had I heard of zippers and didn’t I think I was overreacting. I said yes I have heard of zippers and no I am not overreacting. Consider it confiscated. She said whatever.

I was on my way out the door so I stuck it in my pocket.

I forgot all about it until I got home and was looking for my credit card, which I thought I might have stuck in my pocket. My credit card was not there, but the weed was. I took it upstairs. On the shelf of the bookcase in my room I have two boxes where I keep things of value to me. One box sits on top of the other and holds most things. The other is in the shape of a red and blue star and I rarely use it. I put the pouch of weed in the star box, put the other one on top, and considered it safe until I decided what to do with it. Several days went by. My son came over. I wanted him to do something for me that he didn’t want to do. I told him:
"If you do this for me I have something for you. No, not vicodan, but still good."
I went upstairs to get my bribe. I moved the full box and took the top off the box in the shape of a star... It was empty!

"Hey!" I shouted to my daughter, who happened to be in her room. "Did you take that weed?"
"I did," she said, perfectly calm. "You didn’t hide it very well."
"But that’s stealing!"
"It’s not stealing, it was mine."
"But I confiscated it from you—"
"And I took it back from you. You should have hidden it better."

I did not feel that it was in my interest as a parent to tell her that I needed it in order to bribe her brother to do something distasteful to him, but in truth, I felt cheated and wronged. Therefore I decided to write to you Bubak. My question is the following: Wasn’t what I did, CONFISCATE, right? And wasn’t what she did, STEAL, wrong? I will await your advice and wisdom, and if I agree with you, will follow the one and abide by the other.

Having Enormous Lineage Problems!

Dear HELP,
This is indeed a very precarious position you find yourself in. I must preface my ruling by stating that, while I feel for you and the situation you are in, I have been on the teenager side of this and some part of me applauds the audacity she has shown.

One school of thought on this matter says you shouldn’t be going through your daughters belongings. In this case though, you were not spying, but looking for YOUR car keys. I feel like I know you HELP, and as such I have a sneaking suspicion that if you had your druthers you would have rather not found that "fat packet of weed." That does us no good now as you have obviously found said fat packet.

What do we do/where do we go from here?

The fact that your daughter seemed not care when you waived the contraband in her face shows me that there has been a pattern of little to no discipline in the past which has led her to believe there will be little to no discipline in the future. I am not in the business of telling people how to parent, just giving my opinion. (Please take it as such and no more) I say this remembering that after the first time I was caught, every time one of my parents called me I was worried as I was sure they had "caught" me again. Assuming this daughter of yours has older brothers who are/were at the house all the time with their friends who accepted her as one of them, I could see where she would regard weed and/or your finding her weed as no big deal. It is like kids being desensitized to violence after watching RAMBO 4 times.

One thing we can all agree on is that if she really wants to smoke, she will find a way.

That being a fact, please little one, heed your mothers advice: Not smart to walk around with weed in your backpack... ever! Brother Bubak left his house carrying weed one time... he spent the next two years in the Pen. I am not saying you will be arrested if you go out with weed on your person, but at the very least please be careful.

Bribing your offspring with illicit drugs takes me back... all the way back to birthday number 25. We played pin the tale on the donkey, winner receiving... Vicodin.

On to the heart of the matter – Was it stealing when she liberated her weed from you? The answer is yes... possession is nine tenths of the law. Again, I must state that I commend the bravado of your daughter for having the cojones to liberate the weed in the first place. Bravado aside, your daughter is in the wrong methinks. She also probably knows that there will be no consequences for her guerrilla liberation mission. How well you hid the herbage in question has nothing to do with anything here. Your daughter should (sorry Scrillz but it be da truf!) have respected the fact that you confiscated it and chalked that one up to experience. That is what I did, and what my predecessors have done before me. You live, you learn, and you hide better.

Now, to really really get to the heart of the matter: What you did was confiscate. Right or wrong is not my call, if you think you made the right call, you did. What your daughter did do was stealing. Stealing from your parents is always wrong, even if it is mind altering drugs. They pay for everything; food, drinks, beds, couches, bills, TV, video games, vacations etc so you have no right to steal from them.

HELP, I hope that this helps and does not cloud things further.