10-23-2006 Kids today!

Kids today! I was standing in line at the nearby Turkey Hill the other day when I noticed that I was surrounded by what would likely be called a freak show by 1975’s standards. Needless to say, I was surrounded by teenagers.

What I got to wondering was, what won’t they do these days? What restraints and constraints are there? Is anything too much? Is anything going too far? Is there anything that will get their parents to uttering the word “Not!”? Is there?

Sure doesn’t seem like it.

Now, you might say we were all hoodlums and whatnot back when we weren’t so darned aged and decrepit like we are now, so I got to reminiscing about those less than heady days.

Let’s try 1975. Well, most of us had way too much hair. I know I certainly did. Now, not having a father figure around, I walked all over my mother. But if she felt strongly against something I was doing or considering doing…the offending behavior came to an abrupt halt. If pushed far enough, she could swing a Louisville Slugger with the best of ‘em.

But I wasn’t a bad kid and neither were any of my friends. We rarely had access to alcohol. Only one was of us was known to smoke pot, but he rarely had any due to a lack of gainful employment. I always worked and always had spending money, but it all went to Joe Nardone. Addictions are terrible things. Anyway, I cursed too much. I smoked an occasional cigar until the future mother-in-law caught me and all but freaked out. I had this thing about volume knobs always having to be set on maximum volume, which is not a good thing when you live in a housing project. Believe it or not, not everyone likes Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and KISS. Weird, but true. I swear.

I respected other people’s property unless they went out of their way to mess with me. Yeah, I did tape an M-80 to Tex’s bay window, but he thought he could pick on my mom being that she was alone with three kids. Trust me, he didn’t need a laxative that night.

Yeah, we used to rip off bowling balls from Stanton Lanes and then roll them down Coal Street, but that’s kid stuff. Right? Our wardrobe at the time was kind of…well, conservative. You know, ripped jeans, a pair of Converse, thermal T-shirts and a jean jacket with KISS embroidered across the back. Couldn’t see it through all of the hair, though.

Experimenting? Um, we stole a case of Gibbons from some guys back porch. It sucked and went mostly wasted. I took a pill some girl gave me and damn near freaked out trying to get home to the relative safety of my bed. Rain isn’t supposed to stretch, is it? Turns out, dropping acid in sixth period just wasn’t for me. We tapped at barrel at Mark’s house once and I woke up lying face-down in the bushes. But so did practically everyone else. I tried pot at the behest of others, but it always made me cough out what little brain matter I actually had. Dave turned me on to some Lebanese hash at the rest stop out there in Eaton Township one afternoon. It didn’t make me cough and that roaring brook never looked so beautiful before or after that day. Too expensive, though. Sexual experimentation? Um, yeah, but it was extremely rare and limited to the opposite sex. I’m very, very old-fashioned. You see, I like girls.

I’ll admit to being a complete idiot in high school, but without idiots, wouldn’t high school be extremely boring? Didn’t matter, though. I wasn’t learning anything too frightfully important. There was intake, compression, power and exhaust. Um, India and China are severely over-populated. Mozart and Beethoven made me consider suicide. Art class was for sissies. Health class was kind of silly when you consider that most of the kids there to learn about sex had already had sex. The metric system was cool and all, but I have yet to calculate my vacation trips in anything other than miles. Poetry, Folk & Rock class was an elective to die for. It sure beat learning, like, English and stuff. Punctuation? Why, that’s stupid. Who needs that claptrap?

It’s true I was mean to my little sister on many occasions, but how would you like it having to hear the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack played over and over to the point of absolute absurdity? Actions cause reactions. And iffin’ you must persist with the lame disco routine, I’m a gonna react very badly. You have been warned. Not my fault. My little brother saw the movie “Detroit Rock City” and called me screaming “That was you! That was you!” That it was. Again, not my fault. I was the product of three broken homes. And that’s my convenient excuse. And these days, excuses are like tongue piercings: damn near everybody’s got one. So why deny me mine?

So, what was it about us that scared the heck out of the little old ladies? Let’s see, we had long hair, dressed poorly, cursed way too much, tried the occasional illicit drug, played our rock ‘n’ roll too loud, blew up a window now and then and launched 16-pound bowling balls at unsuspecting motorists. And still, grownups looked at the sorry lot of us, sighed sadly and muttered the words “Kids today!”

Now fast-forward to 2006 and I ask again, is there anything that will get their parents to uttering the word “Not!”? Is there? Sure doesn’t seem like it.

I see kids with green hair, purple hair, spiked hair and hair that looks like it was butchered by an epileptic barber short on medication. I see kids dressed as if they are going to a vampire convention. I see kids pierced every which way and every which place. I see a kid not sporting a garish-looking tattoo and find it kind of refreshing. I see kids wearing baggy-assed pants and I instantly know what brand of underwear they prefer. I see girls with lettering across the back of their shorts and with tattoos peeking out at me. When I was a kid, they told us not to stare at their behinds. Now, their behinds are like bouncing billboards. And is there a limit as to how many earrings one little ear can support? I see the web pages of gangly girls not old enough to see an R-rated movie littered with references to heretofore unspeakable sexual acts that would make even Bill Clinton blush.

But what I don’t see is any limits at all. I see no self-restraint. I see no modesty. I rarely see any civility or courtesy. I guess what I see is an apparent lack of parenting.

Now, I realize I’ll be judged very swiftly and very harshly for daring to be so judgmental in this age of political correctness run totally amok. All I can say is, my daughters never looked and acted like prostitutes. And my son never once went to school looking like a veritable circus clown. You see, I didn’t have three pals. I had three kids. And in our house, democracy was not an option. And as evil as it may sound to the touchy-feely, permissive parents of today, this ruthless dictator knew how to say “Not!”

In my day, the freaks were on the stage.

Them’s my thoughts.

Jim McCarthy is still pushing his ordinance whereby convicted child molesters would be prohibited from living too close to schools and other places children are known to frequent.

“There is a rash nationwide of child molesters repeating their crime. They’re out there and we want to make sure the kids know they’re out there and the parents know they’re out there,” McCarthy said. “Our job is to protect and improve the life of children of our city. We have to give them every protection possible when dealing with offenders of this nature.”

W-B councilman pushes for ordinance limiting where sex offenders can live

It’s hard to argue with anything he has to say about this subject. But what about the teachers? Current trends clearly suggest that we’re simply locking our kids in schools with sexual predators all day long. So, they won’t get molested in a private residence, they won’t get boinked at the playground, but they will learn all about reproduction when they should be in diversity class? Or sensitivity class. Or learning about how completely America sucks. I dunno.

That’s a helluva program.

Take that constitution of ours, roll it up and smoke it. It ain’t worth it’s weight in parchment anymore. Oh, but hide when you smoke it.

See a smoker in Omaha? Dial 9-1-1

911: County to 559...We’ve got a caller stating that there is a group of suspicious-looking men smoking in front of Rite Aid. Do you want a second unit?

559: I’ll advise, county. 10-17 to Rite Aid.

Why patrol the city when you could be rounding up smokers?

Effing absurdity!

Here‘s a major hint to the folks incessantly whining that all this city’s administration seems to care about is the downtown.

From The Scranton Times:


“The simplicity of the assumption that the causes of distress can be handled in a couple of years hasn’t been borne out by experience,” said David Miller, Ph.D., a former Pennsylvania Economy League official helped develop Scranton’s recovery plan, among others.

State and local officials insist Scranton has made progress, though not without acknowledged missteps and missed opportunities along the way.

The Department of Community and Economic Development, which administers Act 47, points to the establishment of a professional management team at City Hall, improvements such as a computerized financial system and economic development in the downtown.

A robust downtown producing significant revenues is the engine that drives the entire city forward. First things first, people. Your impatience is understandable, but annoyingly naïve and shortsighted.

Remain calm.

Hard to argue with the following story.

Don't Repeat Mistake of 1974

I’ve mentioned many times that I absolutely loved working for Franklin’s Family Restaurants. Unfortunately, Franklin’s chose to expand aggressively during the early days of the Carter administration. Contacts were signed, feasibility studies were conducted, considerable debt was assumed and by the time those beautiful new stores opened their doors…Franklin’s was in serious financial trouble thanks entirely to the hack-kneed economic policies of Carter’s inept administration. And I’ve never forgiven him for taking away something so near and dear to me.

He should be locked in a cell with this guy until he wises the fu>k up.

By the way, check out the updated Hotel Sterling slideshow. I got me some really good pictures of late.

In case you‘re wondering, this is what I want for Christmas. Cool.

Zach & Jeremy

From the e-mail inbox Mark:

Just caught "The Trees". You are one unique and totally off the radar human being. That last point is still being debated, but not by any incumbent Congressman.

"Blank" your detractors! Ramming speed...

Kayak Dude

What did Jon Fox say? An interesting guy in a homogenous city? I think he was being diplomatic. How about, a very weird person in a very boring city?

Gotta go. The New York football Giants face the dreaded cowpokes from Dallas tonight, and I have to get things ready. I have to load up on smokes, munchies, beer and move any small objects that can be launched at very high velocities away from the area in which I will be seated.