Justplainwill will now take your questions. Need answers about life? Love? Happiness? Homework? Or even “Damn… you mean there’s even more of ’em!? Just how many more Kardashians have the scientists found now?” Write Justplainwill.
I’m looking for an after school activity for my 12-year old son. The hours between 3:00 and 5:00 are when kids typically get into trouble. I’ve got to find him something to do after school until I get home from work. February is the 101st Anniversary of the Boy Scouts, Justplainwill. Can you tell me about Scouting and if you think that it is the activity he needs?
The first Boy Scout was discovered in February, 1910 in London, England. At the time, the Scout was helping a little old lady cross the street. History is unclear as to whether she actually wanted to cross or not since eyewitness accounts have her kicking, screaming and beating the young boy ‘half to death’ with her handbag. It seems the young Scout was insistent, however and voila!… The Boy Scouts were born. That also may have answered the mystery of “Why did the chicken old lady cross the road? But I digress…
Scouting exploded in the 1950’s, its membership increasing tenfold. The growth was firmly rooted in the Baby Boom (1946 -1963). During this period, 79,000,000 million new Americans were born – literally one every 7 seconds and the place was literally overrun with little crumb crushers. A common parental refrain of the era was, “Emily, we gotta find something for all of these little bastards to do, otherwise they’re gonna drive us efing insane!”
When I was just a little “JusplainWilly”, I was in Boy Scout in Troop 9999. We learned how to do many things in the great outdoors: making camp, digging latrines, foraging for food, and starting fires with two sticks of wood. It was a great after school activity, kept us “-off the streets-” but out of the house, much to my mother’s delight. The experience also reinforced the idea that you could build just about anything — as well as start fires — with a bunch of sticks. It was certainly great career preparation if you were interested in growing up to be a cowboy, homeless, or a pyromaniac.
At one scout meeting, we even learned to drill for oil and refine gasoline. At another, we built a Space Shuttle made entirely from the bark of a pine tree. Sadly, my troop was disbanded by court order after it became evident to local authorities that gasoline, fire, pine cones, and 12-year boys could be a volatile mix.
Betty, all in all I think that Scouting is an excellent activity for a growing boy. I’d tell the kid to be careful about trying to help little old ladies cross the street though. People have gotten really touchy. These days that kind of thing might get you arrested for attempted kidnapping or sexual harassment.
February is Black History Month and I have been assigned to write an essay about the great black inventors. I bet that you know some black people, Justplainwill. In your opinion, which one of ’em was the greatest inventor?
Kid in California
It’s you again.
No problemo. I’m glad to help… and yes, kid, it is true… I frequently have black people over for Sunday dinner.
Any discussion of the great inventors would be woefully and dreadfully incomplete without Dr. Charles Drew (the blood bank), Garrett Augustus Morgan (traffic signal) and George Washington Carver. Dr. Carver invented all kinds of stuff around the turn of the 20th Century — and in Alabama too. I mean, who’d a thunk it?
However, in the opinion of Justplainwill, the greatest inventors of anything — ever — were Mr. and Mrs. Berry, the inventors of Chuck and Halle. Assuming that your parents have raised you right, you already know that Chuck Berry was one of the architects of Rock n Roll and invented the Duckwalk. His little sister, Halle Berry is the architect of… well… er… “Hot” (or whatever she says she’s the architect of).
It’s not often that you catch lighting in a bottle. And just think kid, Mr. and Mrs. Berry did it TWICE. Yep, they were the greatest inventors ever, black or otherwise.
I have a real problem. The authorities are trying to deport me to Guadalajara. I have been in the country for a few years and like it here. I am particularly fond of your relatively mild summers, Georgia peaches and the Chicago deep dish pizza pie. In addition to those things, I am also fond of my job cooking at Manny’s Chinese Food Emporium. Justplainwill, do you have any advice as to how I can solve my problem?
I think that your problem is easily solved. If you haven’t noticed, the real pastime of Americans is not baseball or even football, but rather packaging and re-packaging. I would suggest that you concentrate on changing your whole approach and developing what some people refer to as… “a certain cache.” Like French wine, German cars, and Italian shoes your problems will be over once you start describing yourself as a “Mexican import.”
Wishing you well,
P.S. I am sure that there is a new “app” for this on the latest Ipaid.
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