Lileks: Gallon Smashing could be an international sport

  • Article by: JAMES LILEKS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 16, 2013 - 4:31 PM

Metro police have issued warnings about “Gallon Smashing.” What? This: Sensation-crazed hopped-up youth go in a store, grab a gallon of milk, pretend to trip, splash moo juice everywhere. Ha ha! Someone else takes a video, usually holding the cellphone the wrong way, and it’s put on the Global Idiot Self-Identification System, commonly known as YouTube.

Before we get into a panic over the state of our society, a few notes.

First of all, it’s not Gallon Smashing. *rolling my eyes like a 14-year-old who has seen it all* It’s galloning. Like planking or owling or tebowing or the short-lived guillotining, it’s a verb.

Two: It’s from Europe, where it was known as Litreing. (It’s called Imperial Galloning in Canada.)

Three: If we don’t stop this now, then it will escalate until someone takes a bazooka to a dairy cow and puts it up on YouTube as Extreme Ultimate Galloning.

Four: Some sympathy might be in order. It’s apparent that these kids are acting out some desperate cry for attention, perhaps brought on by absent fathers.

I understand; my father was gone, most days, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. “Where’s Dad?” I’d ask Mom. “Work,” she’d say. Oh, right. But the pain was still there, so me and my friends — whose dads also abandoned the family every morning — we invented Testoring.

This involved buying a small bottle of paint and throwing it at a wall, then running away, terrified with what we’d done, sure we’d be caught. We averted our eyes every time we passed the wall after that. We prayed for rain to erase our shame. It never did.

Thirty-five years later, I returned to the wall to see if there was still paint. There was a police car across the street. I just kept on driving.

So I understand the pain that leads to galloning. So should the merchants. If we could compromise, perhaps: half-galloning? Perhaps the merchants could fund a center where the kids could half-gallon in a safe environment, with computers provided to assist with immediate uploading.

Or, Tase ’em. Either works.

jlileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858

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