If you are reading this then you know that subject headings go here.
As of this writing it is December 22, 2001. So if you're reading this December 25, 2001 or before MERRY CHRISTMAS! If you are reading this after this date, then HAPPY NEW YEAR! If it is after January 1, 2001 then I want to wish you a very happy birthday. If you were born on Leap Year Day then you're really trying my patience. (editor's note column was actually finished on January 10, 2002)
The results are in for this months column - 1 vote for "Being a kid is more fun than being an adult" sent in by Cheryl Dayton and 0 votes for a normal humorous look at the news type column. Thanks to everyone that voted.
And now as a result of a unanimous vote the new column!
Title headings normally go here but since the title is announced in big letters up top I felt it would be redundant to announce the new article by title twice. Silly me huh?
It's a known fact that people long for things that happen in the past. This is known as nostalgia, and If I'd taken for granted the fact that most of you reading this knew what nostalgia meant then I wouldn't have had to type out that first sentence. So in the past you were a kid. At some point you had a runny nose, a skinned up knee, a dirty diaper, a crush on a fellow 5-year old, a fall out of a tree, etc. etc. etc. Why did you have all these things? Because you were enjoying the heck out of everything you did (other than school, and let's admit it elementary school with all of your friends there every day really wasn't that bad either)
So what I'd like to do right now is to point out a few things that kids do and why you can't do them as an adult anymore.
1) Abuse small animals.
I have no idea why but as a young lad of seven or eight I had very little care for the life or habitat of frogs. I distinctly remember that one of the most fun things I ever did was to stuff a frog into a Cracker Jack box and slide him down my slide endlessly. I hoped my new friend was having just as much fun sliding as I was having climbing up to the top of the slide and dropping him down. It wasn't till about the twelfth or thirteenth shuttle launch that I looked at my green buddy and discovered that he was probably dead. I was never the same after that and spent much of my time at summer camp that summer flushing frogs down a toilet and watching them struggle to not be sucked down the drain. By then I had watched a lot of monster movies and was smart enough to realize that any semi-aquatic animal that is thrown into the sewers against their will benefits from it in the long run and will eventually grow to gigantic size and terrorize New York City.
You don't stop to catch frogs anymore do you? Years ago you probably forgot how much fun it was to run over cats. How many of you in the fan club still own a bug catching jar jammed with lightning bugs all of whom will die by the next morning? It's just too bad that clubbing baby seals to death or squishing gerbils in your hand as an adult comes with a heavy dose of guilt. I ran over a dog one time and cried like a baby. It's just not the same being grown-up. Sniff.
2) Climbing things.
One of my earliest memories is climbing an apple tree in my grandfather's yard when I was five years old. Usually I would just climb the tree, climb back down the tree, skin my knee, and be done with it. But that day I decided to go the extra mile and actually climb on top of the roof of the shed that was underneath the tree. After accomplishing this world-beating task I ran to the front of the roof to yell to everyone watching me about what I had done. For whatever reason they all looked worried and yelled in unison "DON'T JUMP!". I had no idea why they would say such a thing and displaying my courage for all seasons promptly jumped off the roof and landed somewhere in-between the wall and the pile of wood right next to the wall. (This leads into the next topic rather nicely)
If a kid sees a tree, somewhere in the squishiness of his brain he thinks "must climb tree", "must look for lowest branch to grab onto". As an adult, when you look at a tree you think "what is this thing doing in my yard and how soon can I get it cleared out of here?" The only time people past the age of eight even think about climbing things is when a generous amount of alcohol is involved or at a guy birthday party, or some combination of both. Yes, sadly, hospitals save thousands of feet of bed space every year because grownups refuse to climb trees.
3) Brushes with death on a regular basis
Anytime you're driving down the highway and a Mack truck gets so close you can feel your car shaking you think "Man, I could have just been killed!". But fortunately for you that doesn't happen very often, or else you'd be riding the city bus to work every day with a blindfold over your eyes and shivering in fear.
But what you had forgotten is that almost getting run over, being bitten by a snake, or having a fever of 105.2 is a relatively normal part of a child's day. In the course of an average day, if a kid doesn't get close enough to the evil next door neighbor's pit bull cage to almost getting his fingers bitten off then he feels the whole day has been wasted. Kids live with danger, they freek out, run home crying to their mothers, then go out and do the same thing the next day. Ever notice how many youngsters enjoy sticking their fingers through the candle to see how close they can come without getting burned? There's just something about being a kid and testing your limits - in this case the limit being death, and anything short of that is just exploration. Going to elementary school with a bandage on your forehead gives you big time bragging rights. I remember the coolest kid I ever knew was Stephen Turner who one day came to school with his arm in a cast because he fell off the monkey bars and broke his elbow. After the cast was off he had a weird red scar along the length of his arm that looked like it could annex Rhode Island. It was the neatest thing of all time.
So be thankful that you're all still alive to read about the weird things you did when you were a kid and didn't know any better. See ya next time!