By BEN R. WILLIAMS
I tell ya, these kids today are just too soft.
Just the other day, I saw this kid riding his bicycle down the road. He was wearing a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads! Why not just wrap your kid in bubble wrap at that point?
Back in my day, we didn’t need any sissy pads or helmets. I’d ride my bike to the grocery store all the time. I had to ride the I-20 for five miles, cars and big rigs blazing past me, and by the time I got to the Piggly-Wiggly I was covered in dust and exhaust soot.
I guess my generation was just tougher.
Of course, I didn’t always ride my bike. You remember those three-wheeler ATVs that Honda used to make until the nanny state government made them stop back in ’88? Yeah, I had one of those. I used to ride it all over the woods and jump it off ramps. Sure, it rolled over on me every so often, but shattering your pelvis is like getting chicken pox; it’s better if it happens when you’re still a kid. I bet you’d never see a millennial on one of THOSE bad boys!
Of course, these kids today won’t even ride in a CAR without a bunch of safety precautions! You have to put a baby in a car seat, you have to make little kids ride in the back seat, you have to wear a seat belt, you can’t drink and drive, blah blah blah. It never ends with these people!
Back when I was a little kid, my folks plopped me right in the passenger seat without a seatbelt, and I was fine. Sometimes I would hold a big box of loose knives while I was riding, just for the thrill of it. Back when kids were tough, we didn’t need to have a bunch of seat belts and airbags cushioning us if we got into an accident. You’d just pop through the windshield of your old man’s ’71 Buick Estate Wagon like a champagne cork and try to aim for a soft bush. Happened all the time, we were fine with it.
And don’t even get me started on trucks! These millennials get upset if you even put a DOG in the back of a truck, much less a kid! You’ll get the cops called on you for something like that. But in my day, all the neighborhood kids would ride around in the back of Mr. Adler’s old Ford Bonus-Built pickup. We didn’t even know who Mr. Adler was, he was just some guy who showed up to our neighborhood and liked driving kids around. Can’t get away with that now, of course. You show up in a suburb dressed like Santa Claus in the middle of July and ask a bunch of kids to ride around in the back of your truck, you’ll get labeled a “creep” or a “weirdo.” But Mr. Adler was just a nice old fellow, and he even joined the search party when my best friend went missing.
And the toys these kids have today! All the video games and computers and stuff. We didn’t have any of that. When I was a boy, you had one toy: a .22 rifle. You’d go outside (a place these kids today have never even seen!) and you’d shoot at stuff, like bottles or cats or your friends. They don’t make kids like they used to, I’ll tell you that.
People always ask me why I get so upset about these soft kids today. The fact is, they’re cutting into my profits. If something doesn’t change soon, I’m going to have to close down the business that’s been in my family for nearly 80 years.
I tell you, it’s a hard dollar selling child coffins in this day and age.