Hey folks, it’s time we had a little chat…
Now I realize that, it today’s modern, hi-tech society, it’s never been easier to distract your kids with harmful, mind-numbing television. But, I’m sorry… back in my day, kids would never be allowed to spend all day in front of some TV screen.
No. Back in my day, our kids only did one thing for fun: they explored the woods for hours on end because they heard an unverified rumor that an old drifter’s corpse was lying somewhere down by the quarry.
And things were better that way!
You see, nowadays, parents are more than happy to just let their kids brainlessly sit in front of some animated, second-rate “edutainment” like PAW Patrol or Dora the Explorer. But, people, is this really the best way for a child to spend the most-formative years of his/her life?
No, back in my day, we didn’t have any of this fancy-schmancy “for-kids programming”; back then, if our kids wanted to have some fun, they actually had to work for it.
And it was a LOT of work, folks!
You see, first, our kids had to visit old Bob Lincoln (the town drunk) just to hear one of his many, many stories about a corpse that he thought he saw out by the quarry. Then, before the sun set, the kids would have to find a good, long prodding-stick (just in case old Bob was telling the truth and they needed something strong to poke the body with). And then, the next morning, they’d have to organize a sort of Stand By Me hunting party to comb through the woods and the adjoining quarry for hours on end in search of a dead body that may or may not even exist.
And, you know what, folks… sometimes those kids would find that old drifter’s corpse.
And sometimes, they wouldn’t.
But either way, they always had a heckuva lot of fun just searching for it!
And, even more importantly, they always learned a lot too…
See, back in my day, letting children search for a dead quarry-body was (in many ways) the best education our small town had to offer. Not only did dead-body-searching teach kids crucial, all-important skills like hard work, perseverance, and how to poke a drifter with a stick.
But, more than that, these day-long searches really prepared children for any number of the fascinating careers that were available to them at the time–careers like: working in the town cannery. Or working in the town’s oil refinery, Or becoming a failed novelist. Or dying in the war.
Seriously parents, does your precious TV do even half as much as the quarry did for our children?
Yeah. I didn’t think so.
Look. I recognize that parenting is a difficult job, even on a good day. And who am I to criticize the parenting-strategies of this nation’s current generation of mothers and fathers? But, honestly people, if we could all just put our TV remotes down for a few hours, and let our children play in the great outdoors, I’m sure we’d all be a whole lot happier.
And speaking of the great outdoors, have any of y’all been down to the quarry lately?
We got another one!
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Dan Caprera is a freelancer living in Chicago. His work has been featured by The Daily Mail, Lonely Planet, McSweeney’s, Vulture, The A.V. Club, Uproxx, The Chive, Golf Digest, National Lampoon, The Big Jewel, and BroBible. His work has also been rejected by many of these same exact sites!