Thursday, June 29, 2006

Saint Jimmie Earl...NOT!

Teens of today don't have anything on us elder blokes in the "being ornery" department. There are some things that you don't want your children to know about their parents as they grow up for fear they wil do some equally stupid and then say, "well, you did it," But now that Prof and Lil Bro are all grown up, I must confess that I am not the saint that I always wanted them to believe. I actually excelled in ornery. So much so, that twice in my highschool career, I was threatened with "reform school" or " military school." Of course, I didn't know how much either would cost, and it was impossible for my parents to afford either, so they had me by the short hair. I just became a little sneakier.
Early on, I took the boat out (I grew up rurally on a nice lake) and the neighbor girl and I exchanged boats and each rowed the other back to shore. I could swim, she couldn't. She got a spanking, I got sent to my room. This was about age 8. Probably the same summer, my brother, the neighbor boy and I discovered that if we climbed on a bench in the mens dressing room at the public beach, we could see over the wall into the ladies dressing room. We never saw anything interesting, but it was "cool" to know that we could.
As I got older, the mischief got more mischevious. After the summer kids went home, and fall arrived, a bunch of us would cut dried cat tail stems and smoke them. Yes, we got high, but we didn't know it. We just thought the other one was acting dumb. Jr. High was mostly finding out all we could about the opposite sex. Copping a feel on the "tilt-a-whirl" or the "scrambler" at the county fair was permissible and possible cause we were being thrust together anyhow. Never got my face slapped, but got several dirty looks, then a coy grin. Many hour were spent trying to guess a girl's bra size and admiring female anatomy.
In high school, I was slightly more ornery. Yes, I wore pegged levis. A friend of my brothers pegged them for us We would go to her house, put the appointed pair of jeans on wrong side out and she would pin them from the cuff to about 3 inches above the knee. This was exciting in itself. In a few days she would deliver our jeans. I had to wear a sock and point my toes to get them on. I also rolled my pack of Marlboro's into my sleeve as soon as I got away from the house. Boy, was I cool. These were also the years that I got asked to leave a school dance because I was doing the "twist" and the "stroll" with too many pelvic thrusts. One summer evening several of us were driving by Krogers, which at that time was right across the street from the police station right down town. Krogers was closed, but there was a huge display of watermelons stacked right out front. You guessed it, my buddy and I got out of the back seat of the car, strolled by Krogers, casually picked up a watermelon, and when our driver appeared after driving around the block, again casually slipped back into the car's backseat watermelon and all. Warm watermelon never tasted so good!
Halloween was a fav time for us country folk. We threw shelled corn at people's windows, stuffed smashed pumpkins into their mailboxes, and filled kerosene soaked gunny sacks with fresh cow manure and set them on fire on a guy's porch. Of course, we all ran and hid just out of the light enough to see what each of these antics would cause. Only once did we get shot at, over our heads of course. I am sure that the people knew who was doing most of the mischief since there were only about six of us teens within a 2 mile radius of home. I once fell into a sunken grave in an old grave yard while running away after a dastardly prank. I also crashed my bike into a friend, fell off and she ran over my head with her bike in a frantic effort to get away from some of the pranks we played.
How about the time a group of guys stole an old ladies outhouse and took it up town. The very next day, that group of guys got called into the principal's office, were made to take the outhouse back, and reinstall it, and apologize enmasse. ( Note, I just remembered, that was my brother, not me!)
Mom taught in the same school that we attended, so we either had to behave or be careful. I usually chose the latter, and it always backfired. She usually found out what I had done before I even had the chance to tell her.
My dad was a neat guy, don't get me wrong, but he was strict. He thought everyone who rode a motorcycle was a "hood." Two of my friends had them, so I would walk a mile down the road, then get on back and ride for a while around the country roads, and then they would let me off, and I would walk the mile back home.
You already know what he thought when I pierced my ear. Imagine if either my brother or I would have showed up with a tattoo! HOLY SHITH!
So now, you see I was an A-typical teenager. After I began college, I began calming down. I began to take life more seriously. So really, have things changed that much. I think not. There are just more things out there to do to cause mischief. I don't think youth of today are too bad.

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