Thursday, June 25, 2015

the checklist

A blogger(?) going by the moniker "Tyler Durden" has picked up and passed along a list, apparently written by a certain "Daisy Luther," called "The Last Rebels: 25 Things We Did As Kids That Would Get Someone Arrested Today." The post begins with a rant about how pussified we as a nation have become (I mostly agree with the rant), then gives us the list (here slightly edited for style):

1. Riding in the back of an open pick-up truck with a bunch of other kids
2. Leaving the house after breakfast and not returning until the streetlights came on, at which point you raced home ASAP so you didn’t get in trouble
3. Eating peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches in the school cafeteria
4. Riding your bike without a helmet
5. Riding your bike with a buddy on the handlebars, and neither of you wearing helmets
6. Drinking water from the hose in the yard
7. Swimming in creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes (or what they now call *cough* “wild swimming“)
8. Climbing trees (one park cut the lower branches from a tree on the playground in case some stalwart child dared to climb them)
9. Having snowball fights (and accidentally hitting someone you shouldn’t)
10. Sledding without enough protective equipment to play a game in the NFL
11. Carrying a pocket knife to school (or having a fishing tackle box with sharp things on school property)
12. Camping
13. Throwing rocks at snakes in the river
14. Playing politically incorrect games like Cowboys and Indians
15. Playing Cops and Robbers with *gasp* toy guns
16. Pretending to shoot each other with sticks we imagined were guns
17. Shooting an actual gun or a bow (with *gasp* sharp arrows) at a can on a log, accompanied by our parents who gave us pointers to improve our aim. Heck, there was even a marksmanship club at my high school
18. Saying the words “gun” or “bang” or “pow pow” (there['s] actually a freakin’ CODE about “playing with invisible guns”)
19. Working for your pocket money well before your teen years
20. Taking that money to the store and buying as much penny candy as you could afford, then eating it in one sitting
21. Eating pop rocks candy and drinking soda, just to prove we were exempt from that urban legend that said our stomachs would explode
22. Getting so dirty that your mom washed you off with the hose in the yard before letting you come into the house to have a shower
23. Writing lines for being a jerk at school, either on the board or on paper
24. Playing “dangerous” games like dodgeball, kickball, tag, whiffle ball, and red rover (The Health Department of New York issued a warning about the “significant risk of injury” from these games)
25. Walking to school alone

Let's see... I did (1) when I was a high schooler on an exchange program in France in 1986; (2) when I was a kid; (3) because Mom sometimes made me such sandwiches; (4) I still do; (5) never; (6) I did all the time—what's wrong with this?; (7) only rarely; (8) I didn't do this until I was in high school; (9) got into plenty of snowball fights, but accidentally hit a friend's mom with a frisbee; (10) all the time as a kid; (11) quite often, and no one cared; (12) many a time; (13) threw rocks at jellyfish at the beach; (14) nope, never; (15) toy guns? yerp; (16) of course—that, and with Legos and actual toy pistols that shot foam bullets; (17) shot a bow and a BB gun; (18) of course! (19) yup; (20) what's "penny candy"? but I probably did this; (21) yes; (22) maybe, but I don't specifically remember; (23) I wrote lines... along with my whole class; (24) dodgeball and kickball are dangerous? (25) all the damn time.

Should my folks have been arrested for neglect?

Seems that, out of the 25 items listed, I engaged in 22 of them. And I'm still here.

(Hat tip to John Pepple for pointing out this list.)



Surprises Aplenty said...

I did most of these things, probably including #13: throwing rocks at snakes or jellyfish. Still, I'm not sure #13 belongs on the list. Have I gotten 'pussified'? Cruelty to animals doesn't seem a childhood activity that should be approved of. My version of #13 would be a little long and not fit for style but "Playing outside with animals and not being terrified of them." or "Being able to name 90% of the animals I saw while playing outside." Here in Korea, my seven kilo dog is terrifying to many children; as a crotchety old grouch, I want them to quit whining and being such a 'pussy'.

Kevin Kim said...

I can see where you're coming from. If I had kids, I'd teach them a healthy respect for and appreciation of wildlife, including the idea that it's neither wise nor good to be cruel to the earth's creatures.