I was an ugly baby. My daddy once told me that they’d planned to bed me down in an open dresser drawer, but after they saw how ugly I was, they laid me in with the drawer closed so as not to frighten the other children.
They was tough on kids back in those days. Now, many parents insist that their children make their beds. My folks was no exception. If I wanted a real bed, well, I could just gather some wood and make it myself.
Nowadays, folks buy their kids those juice boxes with straws all built in. They even have little crackers with plastic knives to put the peanut butter on and such. Not so, for me. At two, I got a sharp knife, a block of cheese and was told, “Good luck. It better last a week, boy!”
Now, kids can’t have knives, scissors, tacks or pins. What’s this world comin’ to? Back then in my neck of the woods, parents gave the kids all kinds of sharp stuff…..they was called, “Christmas presents.” You might say that was their “family planning” in them old days.
Nowadays, folks would never leave their child unattended in a car for fear of ‘em bein’ stole. I guess nowadays the kids is cuter. Back then, if a kid didn’t behave in a store, he’d hear: Cecil, back in the truck! If the child was took, which, by the way, the chances was zilch, zero, none, you could be sure he’d be gettin’ the blame for it. The nightly news would say, “Carl’s and Zena’s kid, Cecil, the ugly one, was dumb enough to get snatched today. He was found one block away, scratchin’ his head, wonderin’ what happened.”
Speakin’ of kids and cars, folks today hafta buy new car seats every time the kid gains five pounds. Lord, it takes so long to get ‘em buckled up into that car seat that, by the time they do, it’s time to install the next one. Back then life was good for me. I could sit on the floor, hang over the back seat, stand in the back of the truck, or hang on the hood like a ornament. You didn’t buckle or strap. You just went.
Now, everybody’s gotta have self esteem. If they’re ugly you can’t call ‘em what they are. You call ‘em “gifted,” or “unique.” Guess you gotta remove your mirrors and such. Back then, they called a spade a spade and got on with it. No harm, no foul. I made it. No holes shot thru me.
Parents today are sayin’, “Don’t feed peanut butter, raisins or celery to little Junior. They’re chokin’ hazards.” Well, I got served “ants on a log,” pieces of celery that got peanut butter all over ‘em and raisins on top. I don’t know why folks today got their fuss on: I’m still here, try as my folks might.
These days, kids is sportin’ tongue studs that cause ‘em to lisp. Back in my day, the school had me go to a special class for two years to learn how to say, “Sammy Snake” right. If I’d come home with an earring in my ear, I’d not only had a hole in my ear, there’d be a hole dug out back with my name on it.
Now, kids say all sorts of stuff to their folks, like “cool yer jets” and “bite me.” I’d only say somethin’ like that if I lettered in track…and was movin’ to a different country…right now. If they’d caught up with me, I’d have saved on the airfare.
Church, back then, was a place to sit in the pew and listen…or get boxed in the ears. You didn’t go to the bathroom. You just held it and prayed for the last ‘amen.’ Now, pastors at mega churches talk about “doin’ life together,” which makes me wanna ask, “How long ya in for?” In the old days, babies was screamin’ all around you, like Armageddon came right to your pew. Now, they got numbers that flash on a screen that tells parents when Junior’s got a problem. First time I saw that screen flash a number, I thought somebody’s pizza was ready.
Maybe God gives us these changes so we don’t fit in here anymore. Maybe it’s to make us okay with movin’ on…..in which case, could I offer one suggestion, Lord? If it wouldn’t be too much trouble, beam me up before Eminem gets on Muzak.
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