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Friday, August 27, 2010

Holy Cow! The Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys Is Three Years Old Today, And Still Writing On The Intertunnel Wall With A Crayon

My son received The Dangerous Book For Boys as a gift. It's a right smart looking tome, with its old-fashioned cloth cover, Warren G. Harding typeface, and heavyweight off-white paper inside. I got to looking around in there.

Hmmm. How to play soccer. Make a paper airplane. Marbling paper.

Marbling paper? This is beginning to sound like the Dangerous Book For Emily Dickinson. It appears to my untrained eye that perhaps the only dangerous thing in this book is nine letters between "The" and "Book." Well, we are not our hearty and hardy forebears, are we? But perhaps we can punch this up a bit. Kick it up a notch. There are plenty of things a boy can do to get himself in real trouble these days. Here's my outline for new version:

The Borderline Sociopathic Book For Boys
(Since the Dangerous Book has upped the ante by claiming that learning to play chess makes you a ninja, we'll have to stoke the furnace of hyperbole further to get noticed at this point.)

1. Ride a bicycle without a helmet. You heard me. And no spandex spangled with lavender and chrome yellow blotches and French words. You'll wear canvas shoes, too. You will not have anything with you that people with helmets refer to as "hydration." Eventually, you can get a snort of rubber-tasting hot water from a garden hose.

2. Tell your 5th grade teacher, when she starts in with the Vegan lecture again during a spelling lesson, that you're going to kill and eat your supper as soon as you can get your hands on some weapons. Then inform her that if she gives you anything less than a 'B" on any report card because you told her that, your father will have a phalanx of lawyers turn her life into a deposition purgatory. Then don't pass in any homework for the remainder of the term. Let's see who has the stones.

3. We're playing FOOTBALL, without any equipment but the ball. There are no rules, so this chapter is short. Soccer is Irish stepdancing with a ball introduced. We don't want any of that.

4. We're going out with dad on Earth Day, and we're cutting down a tree with a chainsaw. Dad is hung over and is in a hurry and there is only one set of ear and eye protection, so one of you risks blinding, the other deafness. Solidarity is the hallmark of any male bonding ritual. The chainsaw's guard is cheap and flimsy, but that doesn't matter because it came out of the box broken anyway. Which leads us to...

5. Duct Tape. We're going to use a lot of duct tape. We are going to dress our wounds, splint our shins, fix our tools, and tape our little brother's door shut with glorious, magnificent Duct Tape. When the womenfolk complain about the gummy residue it leaves on your siblings, we will remove it with rags soaked in acetone. These will be disposed of improperly. I guess. Who reads the MSDS sheet? Girls.

6.We are not cave men, son. Electronics are a part of our world now. You will find pictures of girls on the internet who are not clothed. You will educate yourself on the proper procedure for removing cookies and browsing history. You will leave one picture of a girl wearing only very steeply inclined clear shoes and a fetching pill-box hat on the hard-drive, and when it is discovered --by mom-- you can deny, deny, deny. Then watch your dad squirm and sleep on the couch for a week.

7.Firecrackers.

8. You will have a sip of Dad's beer while you watch the football game together. You will remark on the grooming, stature, or level of pneumatic charms displayed by a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader while doing so. Dad's beer tastes awful, and dad knows it, so this isn't all that dangerous for you. He, however, is risking a decade in the pokey over this. We're in this dangerous thing together, son.

9. You will fight with your fists with the biggest jerk in your school. If you're the biggest jerk in your school, you will fight with at least two classmates at a time, or any adult that rides a recumbent bicycle. You will all be in trouble, bigtime, with every adult involved. You will sit on the bench outside some boneless wonder's school administration office, rubbing your shiners, and share the respect reserved only for the men in the arena. It's the only real way to make friends with people you don't like.

10. You will give the Dangerous Book For Boys to your little sister.

13 comments:

benjaminthomas said...

Amen.

And in lieu of football, we just played Smear the Queer, which nowadays will you get you in trouble with the Anti Defamation league, or some such.

You could maybe avoid that by calling the game by its alternative name, Pig Slaughter, but then you've got the SPCA to contend with, even though there are no animals involved, 'cept 10-year old boys.

Ah, for the days we walked to school barefoot in the snow, uphill, both ways.

Casey Klahn said...

3 years? An eternity in web ware land, my friend.

I added:

You will join the Army at 17 years of age, with your dad's signature.

You will eat vegetarians. That's what deer are.

You will build your own radio. After that, solder a circuit board.

This is fun...

misterarthur said...

I want a copy. Stat.

Andy said...

Son on the way. Due in January. That's one each, or as I call it: Winning.

Whatever you and the BSBFB are up to by then, the internet is at least mostly forever, so the boy will know who you are.

Cameron Wood said...

Never did [5] as a bandage, though it worked for everything else, and [8] was our neighbor's beer when I was eight or nine. Hated it. Didn't try alcohol again until ten years later, and I hated it then, too.

In regards to [2], my 5th grade teacher was the infamous owner of an aluminum yardstick which displayed the kinds of bends one easily associated with the beating of 5th-grade-sized kids, and which rumors he not only didn't deny but which he actively fed. One did not mess with the 5th grade teacher at old Arroyo Elementary, a man of legend among we short-pants'd thugs.

That was back before everything went all touchy-feely, of course.

Everything else?

Oh, yes, and then some. A childhood without fistfights is a childhood lived small.

Today we call that Grade School.

brierrabbit said...

You forgot, boys also need a B.B gun. To shoot small birds, annoy the dog, shoot holes in the watering can, and harass stray cats. You will NOT mess with those silly little paper targets. Real boys shoot at things that squawk when hit, like your annoying little brother.....

Anonymous said...

What brierrabbit said. I instructed my wee brother to don his winter coat in summer before I slaughtered him with my Daisy. Knew at that tender age that no marks on the skin = no evidence, which brings me to the next topic: What happened to the modern equivalent of the Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, Dick Tracy, The Phantom, etc?

The little bro squealed anyway, and the BB rifle was sequestered for several weeks.

Jewel -The Testy Infidel said...

You will jump off the rafters in your garage and land on a pile of mattresses, and then you will graduate to jumping off the garage roof with a bed sheet as a parachute, and break your arm.

You will sit in the branches of your crab apple tree on Saturday after Bugs Bunny is over, and eat crab apples until you get sick.

You will throw dirt clods at the kindergardeners until the principal grabs you and your friends and smacks you upside the head, and makes you stand against the wall on the playground while he gathers all the other students there to humiliate you.

You will start smoking at the age of 7, and on Saturdays you will only light one up when the people start to come out from the Sabbath Service at the 7th Day Adventist church. Til your mom finds out, and then you will give up smoking entirely.

Damn, I miss being a boy. Stupid jugs ruined everything.

sf said...

Damn, I miss being a boy. Stupid jugs ruined everything.--Jewel

Au contraire, darlin': Jugs are beautiful and everything goes better when they're around. It's just a matter of learning how to admire your own equipment.

Ironically, that's one of the things that needs to be in the BSBFB.

BTW, if you're not sure how to go about it I'd be happy to show you how to become a great fan of your, uh, gear. [ducks]

Jewel -The Testy Infidel said...

Darling SF...assuming that SF stands for Sado-Fabulous!, I got over the loss of my boyhood when I was 14, one Sunday morning after church, when the deacon's wife came by to check on us heathens. Clad in my older brother's nearly threadbare white V-neck T-shirt, and a pair of cut-offs, I was at my usual spot in the tree when she came out the back door to talk to us about our sporadic church attendance. It was then that I realized the glory of busomage when I decided to greet her by hanging upside down. Glorious! Simply glorious.

jwm said...

I request a variance on the recumbent bike rule

JWM

sofa said...

Happy 3rd BlogBirthday.

Pat Patterson said...

jwm-Not so fast. Its got a chain guard to protect your corduroy pants.