Paige was sixteen years old with a mouth full of braces and hair that was best described as “frizz bomb aftermath.” She’d tried shampoo, conditioner, various sprays but nothing could tame her locks. Even though she had her hair pulled back in a pony tail, strand after strand had managed to escape and reach for the sky.
But that, much to her mother’s dismay, didn’t stop her from pursuing a social life.
“O…M…G…” Paige said into her blue tooth headset as she completely ignored the road. “Oh to the M to the friggin’ G, Becky, you’ve got to be kidding me.”
“Paige,” Abby said from the passenger’s seat as she monitored her daughter/student driver, “You’ve got to watch what you’re doing.”
“And then Bobby said what?” Paige asked. “No! Shut up! He did not. He did? Hashtag classic Bobby.”
Paige’s brother, fourteen-year old Dylan, sat in the back seat. The black hair undernath his backwards ball cap was long and it covered the buds in his ears. The boy loved his music and he lost himself as he repeated the lyrics to a rap song from his favorite artist, the controversial gangster rapper Stank Daddy.
“Bitch,” Dylan rapped. “What makes you think I won’t cut a bitch? Chop yo’ head off, leave yo’ ass lyin’ in a ditch…”
“You know I thought Justin and Laura were acting way too buddy buddy lately,” Paige said to her friend through her blue tooth. “But they’re totes official now? Wow…are we calling them ‘Jaura’ or ‘Lustin?’ Right. Jaura because Lustin would be way too dirty. OMG Jaura is so going to be trending on Lifebox…”
Abby’s stomach did backflips as she noticed a stop sign coming up that her daughter was completely oblivious to.
“And who is Judy to be even complaining about this?” Paige asked her friend. “She was all like, ‘Justin is so twenty sixteen’ but now that she sees him with another girl she’s all like totes sad hashtag whining like Adele.”
Dylan was of no help. “Set yo’ ass on fire, bitch, run yo’ ass over with my tires, bitch…”
The stop sign had officially become way too close. “PAIGE!”
“Oh my God!” Paige squawked to her mother, “What?!”
Paige followed her mother’s pointing finger until she too finally saw the stop sign. She jammed on the breaks, knocking Dylan ass over teakettle until he landed on the floor. The car was stopped just in time to narrowly avoid being creamed by a pick-up truck whose driver honked angrily at Paige.
“OMG,” Paige said to her friend. “I almost got run over by the worst driver ever.”
“Dylan,” Abby said. “Are you ok?”
There was an unusual amount of quiet in the back seat until Dylan finally popped his head up, flashed a gang sign and proudly declared, “thug life baby!”
“Paige,” Abby said. “Hang up the phone.”
“Oh God,” Paige said as she rolled her eyes. “Becky I have to call you back. Yeah. I know. Hashtag drama.”
“Look both ways,” Abby said. Paige did so.
“Move,” Abby said.
Paige took the car through the intersection and was on her best behavior when Abby ordered her to pull over.
“Oh come on.”
“Now,” Abby said.
Paige did as instructed. Abby got out and walked around the front of the car as Paige scooched over to the driver’s seat.
Dylan took a break from his rapping to make an observation. “Women drivers. No survivors.”
“Shut up douche face,” was Paige’s response.
“Make me, brace face,” was Dylan’s one-up.
Abby got in and took the wheel.
“I don’t know why you’re doing this to me,” Paige said.
“Because,” Abby said as she checked her blind spot and rolled out onto the street. “You almost got us killed.”
“Come on,” Paige said. “That could have happened to anyone.”
“Anyone who’s talking nonsense to her friends on the phone instead of paying attention, yes,” Abby lectured.
Dylan returned to his rapping. “Bitch don’t you know that I’ll blow yo’ ass sky high? Blak ka ka kat goes my nine when I do a drive by…”
“Dylan,” Abby said. “What are you listening to?”
The boy ignored his mother and kept rapping.
“How am I supposed to get my driver’s license if I don’t get any time behind the wheel?” Paige asked.
“When you’re ready to listen to me, you get all the time you want,” Abby said.
“Whatever,” Paige said as she folded her arms and stared out the passenger’s side window. Hashtag Hitler mom.”
“Did you just verbally hashtag me?” Abby asked.
“Hashtag maybe,” Paige replied.
“Bitch you know I’m strapped,” Dylan rapped. “Got an AK-47 and a big ass bat…”
“Dylan!” Abby shouted.
“What?” Dylan whined as he popped out his ear buds.
“What are you listening to?” Abby asked.
“Stank Daddy,” Dylan said.
“I don’t like it,” Abby said.
“Then you’re racist,” Dylan replied.
Abby felt her blood pressure boil. “Excuse me, young man?”
“You don’t like Stank Daddy because he’s black,” Dylan said.
“I beg your pardon?” Abby said. “I’ll have you know I voted for Obama twice.”
“So?” Dylan asked.
“So I don’t like Stank Daddy because he talks about chopping up bitches and blowing them up and so on,” Abby said. “Those are very violent lyrics and ‘bitch’ is not a nice word to use to refer to women.”
“He’s not using ‘bitch’ in the female sense but rather as a term to emasculate the various societal forces that want to keep him down due to his blackness,” Dylan explained. “And you wouldn’t be complaining if some white bread country ass turkey like John Denver Michael Mellencamp Bolton or whoever was talking about blowing up bitches.”
“I certainly would,” Abby said.
Dylan shook his head and popped his buds back into his ears. “A phony ass cracka like you just wouldn’t understand.”
Abby felt all the energy drain out of her body as she took a right and headed for home. “Hashtag worst kids ever.”