Tuesday, June 23, 2015

If I had been born when my oldest son was, I'd still be in jail

A website I normally go to for economic analysis, especially of economic figures released by the federal government, has posted a list of things that kids used to do that will now land the kid or his parents in jail. I did all of them, and then some:
  1. Raise your hand if you survived a childhood in the 60s, 70s, and 80s that included one or more of the following, frowned-upon activities (raise both hands if you bear a scar proving your daredevil participation in these dare-devilish events):
  2. Riding in the back of an open pick-up truck with a bunch of other kids
  3. 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
  4. Eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the school cafeteria
  5. Riding your bike without a helmet
  6. Riding your bike with a buddy on the handlebars, and neither of you wearing helmets
  7. Drinking water from the hose in the yard
  8. Swimming in creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes (or what they now call *cough* “wild swimming“)
  9. Climbing trees (One park cut the lower branches from a tree on the playground in case some stalwart child dared to climb them)
  10. Having snowball fights (and accidentally hitting someone you shouldn’t)
  11. Sledding without enough protective equipment to play a game in the NFL
  12. Carrying a pocket knife to school (or having a fishing tackle box with sharp things on school property)
  13. Camping
  14. Throwing rocks at snakes in the river
  15. Playing politically incorrect games like Cowboys and Indians
  16. Playing Cops and Robbers with *gasp* toy guns
  17. Pretending to shoot each other with sticks we imagined were guns
  18. 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
  19. Saying the words “gun” or “bang” or “pow pow” (there actually a freakin’ CODE about “playing with invisible guns”)
  20. Working for your pocket money well before your teen years
  21. Taking that money to the store and buying as much penny candy as you could afford, then eating it in one sitting
  22. Eating pop rocks candy and drinking soda, just to prove we were exempt from that urban legend that said our stomachs would explode
  23. 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
  24. Writing lines for being a jerk at school, either on the board or on paper
  25. 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)
  26. Walking to school alone
Actually, Pop Rocks were after my time, I think, so I didn't do that one. On the rest, though, I am batting 1.000. Also, the site left out things like riding your bike several miles to baseball practice, or riding your bike several miles to buy that penny candy, or going out unescorted on Halloween at age 12 and staying out until people were refusing to answer their doors. All these and more. I can't believe my childhood has been criminalized. Actually, I wish I couldn't believe it. I actually am too acquainted with the nanny state losers who are determined to run all aspects of our lives to find any of it unbelievable any more. Unbelievable?

Yeah, it doesn't anymore.

No comments: