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29 June 2006

Romeo and Ethel, Abdullah the grocery delivery boy and Katherine the Honor Student

My least favorite Shakespeare play. In Tom Stoppard's "Shakespeare in Love," the Bard is having writer's block with his first draft: "Romeo and Ethel." It couldn't have been worse than "R & J."

I don't know what Love is. But I know what it's Not. And it's Not anything you experience so wildly and violently at any age younger than 20.

Which isn't to say that the stuff you experience at 14, 15 or 16 isn't Fun. Teen Romance is the Theme Park Summer Thrill Ride of the emotions.

Too bad so many of the riders get thrown out of the cars and land on the concrete. But most of them manage to limp away from that.

Hmmmm a bit of Journalistic Subtext here. The family appeared on ABC TV's morning show and blabbed about their Family Problems to the televised world, but refused to talk to the Associated Press.

Is this because the AP doesn't bribe subjects with $$$$$ payoffs for interviews?

Next we turn to the Michigan prosecutor. Doesn't this asshole have anything better to do than torment this little girl? I mean, she just ran away from home to try to experience something she perceived as Love. She's not a Teen Thrill Killer. No Human or Animal Was Harmed in the Making of This Adventure. Doesn't this asshole prosecutor have any Real Crime in his county?

And Abdullah ain't no al-Qaida terrorist fiend, he's just your basic 20-year-old boy meatball, too, with a grocery delivery job and the confused and volcanic emotions of Youth. Romeo fell in love just like Juliet did. Leave him alone, too.

Poor little girl got caught at the Amman Airport and sent home, embarrassed, humiliated all over TV and the front page.

Now leave her alone, let her rents handle it. She gets good grades in school.

And stop blaming it all on MySpace. Jeez. Teenagers are just being teenagers. But the adults in this Adventure really need to Get Smart.

And the little girl needs a few lessons in How Not To Get Caught. I was pretty good at that when I was her age. Contact Vleeptron for free Teenage Sneakiness Lessons.

Although the scam she pulled on her rents to get herself a passport -- pretty slick! Only an Honor Student can get from Detroit, Michigan USA to Amman, Jordan on a teenager's allowance!

A cheerleader probably couldn't have made it to Indianapolis on a Greyhound bus.


Associated Press
Thursday 29 June 2006

'MySpace' Teen's Trip
Leads to Family Court

by DAVID RUNK (Associated Press Writer)

GILFORD, Michigan USA -- Weeks after trying to get to the West Bank to pursue an online romance, a now-17-year-old girl was set to appear Thursday in Family Court, where authorities have filed a runaway juvenile petition against her.

A judge could ultimately place Katherine Lester under court supervision until she turns 18 next June 21.

Her secret was uncovered earlier this month, when she slipped out of her mother's home in rural Michigan and made it as far as Amman, Jordan, before being sent home by U.S. authorities.

Lester is now living with her father, Terry, near Flint. A judge ordered her to surrender her passport and undergo counseling. In an interview last week on ABC's "Good Morning America," she declared her love for Abdullah Jimzawi, a 20-year-old Palestinian who works in his father's business delivering goods to minimarkets.

They still talk online, her father and Jimzawi have said, and she says she wants to marry him.

"Now that this is all over with, I know that if I would have told them about him, they would have understood my feelings for him," she said in the appearance with her father and stepmother. "I wish I would have told them about him."

"Now that our relationship is out in the open, I feel like I don't have to go there to talk to him or to be with him," she said. "I plan on him coming here and us being together over here."

Her father has declined requests from The Associated Press to interview his daughter but says her story should serve as a warning to families -- not about the dangers of the Internet, but about the importance of good family communication.

"She's her same old self," said Terry Lester. "She knows what she did was wrong, and she's willing to accept the responsibility."

Authorities don't think any local or state laws were broken in Katherine Lester's disappearance, but the FBI continues to investigate.

[Thank God! America's Security is at stake! Add 20 more FBI agents to the case immediately!]

MySpace, a social networking Web site popular with teenagers, has raised concerns among U.S. authorities, with scattered accounts of sexual predators targeting minors on the site.

But Jimzawi has said his love for Lester is pure. In a recent interview with the AP, Jimzawi said he met Lester online about eight months ago and was devastated when he learned they would not meet face-to-face. Jimzawi's mother, Sana, said Lester intended to sign a marriage contract in Jericho.

"When I realized she wasn't coming, I felt my whole world collapse," he said. "My tears didn't stop and I couldn't sleep for three days."

Back home, those who know Katherine continue to be stunned. For months, Katherine Lester had kept her relationship a secret: the then-16-year-old girl appeared to have a typical teenage life. Family members say she kept up good grades and went on two dates. But all along, she was crafting a plan to visit him, authorities said, securing a passport by telling her parents she wanted to go to Canada with friends.

The principal of her 200-student school in Michigan's agricultural eastern region said he expects there will be a lot of questions from students when they return from summer vacation.

The teen is a member of the National Honor Society at Akron-Fairgrove Junior/Senior High School and was an intern at the radio station where her older sister worked.

"It was a little shocking," said Joseph Candela, the school principal and district superintendent. "Katherine is a very good student, an excellent student. ... You would have never known it."

Her 19-year-old sister, Mary Lester, said that before Katherine's trip, she thought of her as honest.

"This story has taken a toll on not only our family, but on our entire lives as well," she said. "The sister that I have been around since this all happened is not the sister I have known for the past 16 years."

"She is not an adult," said Prosecutor Mark E. Reene at the Family Court proceedings. "That is something that should not be lost -- even though she is making a decision that could affect her whole adult life."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Blogger Abbas Halai said...

i love how everybody else including the fbi should know what's better for you, rather than your own self gut instinct. and yeah, blame it on the web, the part of this whole pointing fingers debate which people know the least about. forget myspace, i'm sure they don't even know how to check their own email if i delete their POP/SMTP/IMAP settings and have them start afresh.

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

Look Hulleye I am down here in YankLand trying to have a nasty day, and you leave this Comment which is making me LOL my ass off. Can't you respect my Human Right to feel nasty and bummed out?

Actually my Day is a Mixed Bag. The Netherland's brief experiment with Right Wing Intolerance just collapsed -- the right-wing cabinet of anti-immigration hard-asses just resigned. Color me actually Delighted And Thrilled!

Well, anyway, thank you so very much for responding to my Romeo and Ethel post. This gives me an excuse to post an e-mail I spat to The Michigan county Prosecutor last night. Another guy who's very stingy and secretive about posting his e-mail addie, but I send my e-mail to the Clerk of his little dinky cow-poop Courthouse and asked her please to forward it to the gentleman. Hope you like it:


Dear Prosecutor Reene --

Leave the Little Girl alone, let her parents handle it. Stop humiliating her in public to suck in Muslim-bashing votes.

Don't you have any Real Crime in that county that needs your attention, time and resources? The little girl fell in love. So did the boy. Get a real job. Get a life. Prosecute real things that have real victims.

Bob Merkin

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