Wake Up Call at Greasy Lake

915 Words4 Pages
Inevitably, many juveniles will follow a path in life that is outside of the civil norm, while the hope of the people around them is that they will grow out of their disrespectful ways sooner than later. In T. Coraghessan Boyle’s short story “Greasy Lake,” the reader is taken on a hard and fast ride, an awakening for three teenage men learning the importance of the “courtesy and winning ways” they had so happily disregarded in their young-adult lives (125). The narrator quickly develops the dangerous attitudes and desires he shares with his two misfit companions, all delusional with their presumed level of badness. The author tells the tale of the destiny such “dangerous characters” can expect when they choose to follow a path forged by others more suited to be champions of wretchedness (126). As the three men travel to Greasy Lake, a moniker describing the lake and their lifestyles, the narrator, Jeff and Digby end a night of hooligan antics with a visit from the spirits of hooliganism present and hooliganism yet-to-come. Boyle introduces the characters’ shallowness in great depth, well to do young men, “experts in social graces” who found more pleasure in carrying on in the disruptive ways of their spoiled youth than in following a civilized course of an adult (126). Driving fast, abusing drugs and alcohol, and torturing the population at large; being bad because it is cool to do so does have its consequences. The narrator and his companions go to Greasy Lake, a thing once beautiful now slathered in the filth of disrespect, and through a series of unfortunate mistakes find themselves going head to head with a “very bad character,” one that matches their own thuggish might quickly and violently (127). Their mischief led them to pestering the wrong person, and the three men learned from their beating that sooner or later if you live a life of a thug you will
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