Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

This reminds me of a story involving my son, which I shall not recount here. Anyway, enjoy . . .

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PIX11 — An online worksheet that was never meant for children has parents at one Virginia middle school furious after a teacher mistakenly passed it out to the class, according to WTVR. A teacher at Carter G. Woodson Middle School assigned the “Family Quiz” worksheet Friday in a Family & Consumer Sciences class, according to parents.

Oh boy. First, let’s take a gander at the worksheet? How bad could it be? I mean really?

Well hell. How bad could it be? I guess the answer is pretty bad. It really took a left turn there on 17 through 20, amirite? And “boy toy” and “trophy wife” really takes it to another level, man. But honestly, who downloads a test and passes it out without, you know, looking it over first? Good God.

PS- Kudos to the kid that took this test. Nailed it.

PPS- Love the family dog at the top of the test. Cool.

Singing for his daughter. Cute. Also amazing.

Well, hell. Now I’m all emotional and whatnot.

Perhaps they knew something the bride and groom didn’t.

[Click to scroll through the pics]

Back when I was Athletic Director at our school I pulled a pretty good prank, although admittedly it was a prank that was a little on the edge. OK, it may have been over the edge. Here’s how it all went down . . .

For reasons I don’t remember I was over in the elementary building of our school, which is separate from the high school but only about 30-feet away. I probably walked over to shoot the breeze with some little kids, because nothing can cheer me up quicker. Well, except Sparky. Anyway, I turned a corner and saw nearly 20-students standing there in a nice, organized line outside the teacher’s lounge, albeit with no teacher in sight. I soon ascertained that their teacher was in the lounge, presumably using the restroom or possibly hitting up the snack machine, I can’t be certain.

Anyway, I knew the teacher pretty and I knew all her kids, and when I was going down the line knuckle-bumping the shawties it hit me – this is the perfect time to pull a fast one.

I was going to steal her class.

Quickly and with the precision of a master sleuth I explained my diabolical plan to the kidlets – follow me and we’ll pull a great trick on your teacher.

They were in.

Oh, there were a couple new kids looking at me with trepidation, possibly even fear, but even they were overwhelmed by the wave of peer pressure brought on by the majority of little prankster imps.

With a silence that surprised even me, the little dudes followed me like lambs to slaughter. Wait. That’s probably not appropriate. The little dudes followed me like the imminent threat of death. Nah, way too dark. The little dudes followed me like little 3-foot shadows.

Bingo.

I took the class all the way to my office in the high school. We took the back way too, so no other elementary teacher could spot us and narc us out.

Once there we camped out in my office, which really wasn’t built for 18-people plus me but most of them were pint-sized so we made it work. At one point I recall our high school principal walk by, look in the room, shake his head, and continue on his way.

He didn’t want to know.

In the meantime, here’s what went down over in the elementary hallway, as told by the irresponsible teacher who’d lost an entire class of innocent children that day . . .

Upon her exit from the lounge, at first there was confusion. Then, she assumed they’d walked on down to their classroom so she went there. Nothing. It was at this point where confusion slowly began to turn to panic. She jogged to the gym. Nobody. Looked outside on the playground. Empty. Asked a couple teachers if they’d seen anything. Nada. Now she was coming to the grim realization that she had to tell the principal the unthinkable, that she’d lost an entire class of 9-year olds. Then, because I have impeccable timing, her cell phone buzzed . . .

“Hello?”

“Hey, what’s up?”

Oddly and inexplicably, she knew immediately upon the sound of my voice I was somehow responsible for this. How dare her?

“Shoemaker, damn it! Where are my kids! You scared the hell out of me! Bring them back!”

“Why, I have no idea what you’re talking ab . . .”

Nah, I couldn’t do it. I was laughing too hard to continue, not to mention there were 18-munchkins giggling maniacally in the background. Eventually I was convinced to return her class to her, and after taking a couple really hard shots to the sternum all was forgiven. Hey, so the kids missed a few minutes of Science class. The knowledge they gained regarding the Art of the Prank will last them a lifetime.

 

 

 

So a 17-year old photographer named Eagan Tilghman released pictures of a creative photoshoot he did with his 3-year-old brother Louie, and the results look nightmarishly chilling. Click at your own risk.

I remember these days.

[click to view]

Listen, there is NO WAY this kid wasn’t messing around up there on that ride. How fast was that Gondola going, like a mile per hour? She had to be goofing off, amirite? Unsnapped her seatbelt and was showing off or something? Maybe breakdancing, doing a handstand or something of that nature? The press is covering this as a feel-good story, and it was cool that the crowd caught her, but nobody is pointing out the obvious, that the kid was either incredibly stupid, reckless, or both. I want the truth, people!

Dolls, death and little kids. Chilling, man.

My kinda kid.

Boom. Roasted.

Florida: Officials on Monday released a 911 call from the alligator attack over the weekend that left a 10-year-old girl with an injury to her leg.

The girl was sitting down in 2-foot-deep water in a designated swimming area at Moss Park about 2:30 p.m. Saturday when the 9-foot gator attacked her, according to a report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The gator bit the girl’s calf and knee, but she was able to pry open its jaws to get her leg free, the report states.

Her injuries were not life threatening. The girl’s father told deputies that she was doing fine at the hospital.

Of course she’s doing fine. She’s badass, what would you expect? No big deal, it’s just a 9-foot gator. Hold on a sec while I unpry its massive jaws from my leg. Seriously, a lot of people would have just checked out and called it a day once the gator grabbed their leg. Not this chick. She took the offensive. Girl’s probably enjoying fried gator as we speak.

Honestly though, this gator has to be getting scorched by his buddies right now, huh?

“Hey Hank, tell us again how that 10-year old girl pried your jaws open and sent you swimming home to mommy. That’s weaksauce, man.”

Great look for little girls, bad look for gators, man.

I have no idea what’s going on here, but there’s no way this is a good idea. No way. After all, that’s a, you know, bear. It could eat that kid in a nanosecond. Kids and bears? Bad combination, man.

Yes, they call them that. Seriously. Promposals. I have no idea when they started but they’re a fairly recent phenomenon, kids asking each other to the prom in various outlandish ways. It just has to be an elaborate spectacle, because doesn’t everything these days? They do it for homecoming too, or as they call it, “HoCo.” Anywho, here are a few examples, along with my grades:

Grade: F. Yes, that’s a tattoo. And yes honey, your moron boyfriend in fact DID take it too far. Good God.

Grade: D+. The only one saving this one is the donuts. Donuts is good.

Grade: D-. Is that a cheese pizza? Just a poor effort all-around.

Grade: D-. Seriously? Votive candles in the driveway? Too easy.

Grade: D-. What is this obsession with food?

Grade: C-. Wait. Are the shoes a gift? I’m confused.

Grade: F–. I’m sure the girl’s parents were thrilled with this stunt. Dude has creepy perv written all over him.

Honestly, I suppose it’s a relatively harmless thing really, provides some fun for the kids and whatnot. Still, why does everything have to be such a production these days? Is it because there’s pressure to top your friends on social media? All flash and glitz, but where’s the substance, man? Sure, you can set off fireworks or have a write your prom invitation in the sky with one of those skywriters, but what happens after all the excitement? At some point you’re going to have to, you know, hold a conversation or something.

Let’s go back to my high school days. My girlfriend Tonya and I are sitting at the Fiesta Drive-In, watching Shriek of the Mutilated (actual movie- look it up) or something. We’re enjoying a tasty pizza and a couple Stroh’s Yoo-hoos when the following conversation ensues:

“Hey, the prom is next Saturday. Wanna go?”

“Sure. Hey, can you run to the concession stand and get me some Hot Tamales?”

Sorta like that.

What can I say? ‘Twas a simpler time.

Just an outstanding effort here by the Collin Walker. Little bro didn’t try to get out of school for a day, he went for the entire WEEK. And not only can he stay home, Mrs.Teague has given her permission for him to play video games. Pure freakin’ genius. And the “I am the teacher!” at the end just topped off the masterpiece. Damn it, if he’d only been better at the grammar and spelling thing I think he might’ve pulled it off. Good effort, Collin Walker. Good effort indeed. You gotta dream big, brother.

The Dukha people of Mongolia have been living the same tribal lifestyle in the same region for centuries. Perhaps the most beautiful aspect of these ancient people of the present is their connection with animals, especially reindeer. That’s cool, man.

Maggi, Kara, Me, Noah, and Austin.

As a lot of you know, I have managers on my basketball team. They’re usually anywhere from 3rd grade to 6th grade. I carefully choose these managers, and they’re almost always the sons or daughters of players I’ve coached or kids I’ve taught in school. This is because being a manager of a high school basketball team can be a tough job, and my managers can sometimes get caught in the crossfire between my players and I. Trust me, it helps if my manager’s parents understand what goes on at practices and games, and more importantly it helps that they understand me.

That said, being a manager can be a rewarding, enriching experience. The kids learn to be responsible, perform many assigned tasks, be resourceful, and to deal with the various personalities of the team, including my players, my coaches, and myself.

By the end of the season, my managers have grown close with the team and coaching staff. And sometimes, it seems like they understand me better than anybody . . .

This past season was a good one, and we ended up playing in the district tournament at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio. We played a team with a 24-1 record, and we lost by 1-point in a loss as tough as any I’ve ever experienced. As you can imagine, after the game my team, my coaching staff and I were in the locker room, trying to deal with the disappointment. After I addressed my team and they all went to their lockers, I sat on a couch there in the locker room, sort of stunned, and thought about the game. Everything was quiet as could be, other than the muffled crying from some of our players.

Those of you who have been a part of a team and suffered disappointment know just how difficult it can be.

As I sat there, head down and my hands covering my eyes, I felt a little arm reach around my neck and a small head lay upon my shoulder. It was one of my managers. She never said a word, never had to, just stayed for a few minutes, letting me know she was there and that she cared. It was a simple gesture, and it was exactly what I needed.

And in that moment, it meant the world to me.

Thanks Maggi.

Well, honesty is a good quality, right? And hey, it is fried chicken.

So some bratty kid climbed into one of those machines where you try and grab

Future serial killer.

a stuffed animal with a claw, and the internet has exploded with cuteness overload.

Really? Let’s reward the kid for misbehaving? At the risk of offending new age parents everywhere, I shall now peruse the entire article, with my comments interjected:

Washington Post: Damien Murphy’s 3-year-old son, Jamie, is one of those curious, mischievous kids who gets into everything. 

Translation: Little Jamie is a spoiled brat who hasn’t been taught to behave properly. He’s on the road to being a wife-beater, or perhaps a serial killer.

“Whenever I walk into a room and see something that could be trouble,” said Murphy, of Nenagh, Ireland, “I instantly see Jamie in it. He’s a real boundary pusher.” 

Newsflash: Jamie is 3-years old. He’d “push boundaries” by walking off a cliff if you let him. It’s your job, Damien Murphy, to set his boundaries.

Once, for example, he and his dad were looking after an aunt’s dog. Jamie “woke up early in the morning and cut a bunch of hair off it,” Murphy, 35, told the Washington Post.

Adorable. I wish the dog would have eaten him, or at the very least tore off a limb.

Still, Murphy said, he didn’t see it coming — it being Jamie’s Great Toy Machine Caper — when he, Jamie and Jamie’s brother, Shane, 5, walked into Jump ‘n’ Gyms, a commercial play center that boasts a “multilevel play area” filled with kidly delights. 

Yes, the author of this article used the word “kidly.” That alone should be grounds for dismissal.

Among them was one of those big claw machines filled with cuddly stuffed teddy bears, doggies, giraffes and dragons, a contraption tantalizing to young and old alike but especially to 3-year-olds. Even though it says “Prize Every Time” in big yellow letters, 3-year-olds can’t read and are smart enough anyway not to be taken in. 

Yep. They’re smart enough not to be “taken in” yet stupid enough to do what comes next.

Indeed, getting a prize can be tough unless you’re small enough to climb inside and it happens that Jamie was small enough, said his father. 

“I was sitting down having a coffee,” Murphy said, when Jamie wandered off for just a second. “He went out of my sight, walked off just to my left. I heard what I thought was a muffled complaint,” looked over and there he was. “He was just there, inside the machine, looking out of the glass.” 

Sure, dude was just sitting there ignoring his kid as the brat had the time to climb inside a freaking toy machine.

It seems that Jamie had climbed in through the flap where the toys come tumbling out, his father said. “He seemed a bit panicked,” said Murphy, “and then I told him, ‘listen, you’re fine,’ and gave him a big smile. Then he started laughing. Jamie was then rescued from the machine by a visiting fireman.

And this, my friends, is where the opportunity for a teaching moment was missed. A true, caring parent would not have smiled. They’d have walked up, told little Jamie he was stuck forever, and left him alone in there for 20 or 30-minutes. The point would have then been imprinted into the little punk’s skull forever.

The owner of the gym, James O’Sullivan, said he had the machine removed and asked the company that operates it to review it. “At this stage,” he said, “we are thankful that Jamie didn’t manage to hurt himself during his little adventure.”

Of course, because it’s the machine’s fault. Sigh.

Dad, and son were reunited, joined by two cuddly green dragons, courtesy of Jump ‘n’ Gyms.

S-u-r-e, let’s reward the kid and his asshattery by giving him toys. Lesson learned! Sweet Jesus.

But honestly, what’s next?

“Omigod! You should’ve seen that little rascal Sebastian today! I turned my head for a few seconds and he ran into 8-lanes of freeway traffic! That little rapscallion was nearly squashed by a Kenworth W900! Totes adorbs!

Good Lord. I would’ve made Damien try and rescue Jamie by using the claw, and if he couldn’t do it little Jamie would have to stay in there. Maybe shove some Twizzlers up there to sustain the little delinquent for a couple days.

PS- Feel free to bitch in the comments section, and I will ignore you as always.

These little twin dudes know how to have a good time, man.

The basketball season before this one we went out to play in a big tournament in Morgantown, West Virginia. Our game was against Morgantown High School, whose enrollment of 1,700 was over 6-times larger than ours at Paint Valley. However, since the Bearcats aren’t the backing down types, we’d accepted the challenge and headed out there for the game. It was a great all-around experience for our kids, spending a couple days out of town, staying in a hotel and eating at nice restaurants, all paid for by the tourney organizers.

The game itself was a pretty good one, but in the end the eventual 2016 West Virginia State Champions wore us down and won by 20-points or so. The score, however, isn’t the point of this story. It’s something that happened in the last few minutes of the game . . .

We had a freshman on the bench that day who didn’t play much varsity, and it happened to be his birthday. As the clock wound down, I walked to the end of the bench where he sat. The following conversation then ensued:

“PJ, I’m putting you into the game now. You’re going to make a 3-pointer on your birthday.”

“OK, coach.”

Except he just sat there.

“PJ, go into the game.”

At that point it hit him that he was in fact entering the game to compete against the best D1 high school basketball team in West Virginia, so he stood up and ran to the scorer’s table.

He then checks into the game and we run a couple plays for him, trying to get him that big birthday 3-pointer. Of course, our bench knows what’s up so they’re standing up on each shot, disappointed when each one bounces off the rim.

Of course, our fans have caught onto what we’re trying to do so they’re into it as well, rising up with each of PJ’s high arching rainbows, only to let out a loud, “Awww . . .” when the shots wouldn’t connect.

And then an interesting and somewhat confusing thing happened – the other team and its fans started cheering for PJ too.

What the heck?

Now, PJ is a cool, likeable kid and all, but the other team and their fans didn’t know that. They had no idea it was his birthday. Why the hell were they cheering so loudly for him?

Anyway, on his last chance PJ launches one of his patented high-arching threes, and of course he drains it. Our crowd goes wild, their crowd goes wild, our bench goes crazy, their bench is waving towels, and PJ gets hugs from both teams. I also recall a kid in the Morgantown student section stepping out to give him a high-five.

Still, it seemed odd and didn’t really add up, and after both teams shook hands (PJ got a lot of hugs and head rubs), I brought it up in the locker room. That’s when PJ cleared it all up for me:

“Uh, coach, I’m pretty sure the other team thought I was a special needs kid or something.”

Ahhhhh. That explained a lot. PJ, being a skinny little freshman who everyone was clearly rooting for, was mistaken for one of those kids you see on YouTube videos or the news that get put into a game for their one big chance at glory. They thought he was, you know, mentally disabled or something. To them it was a heartwarming story of a young man who got his big chance and came through in the clutch, and not the simple story of a coach trying to get a freshman player a 3-pointer on his birthday.

In retrospect, hilarious. Those fans in Morgantown are probably still talking about it.

Bottom line, that shot is etched in the memories of all who attended, that high-arching rainbow that drained through the net as an entire gymnasium erupted, the shot that will be known forevermore as . . . The Morgantown Drainbow.

‘Twas special night indeed.

Note: Please save the messages ripping me for making fun of special needs students. I am not. Nor am I making fun of PJ. It was his birthday and the whole thing was completely misread. Hence, it’s funny. In addition, if you know PJ it’s twice as funny. 

296d13f578b281b9e6b8a272e6163655

Tasty?

This is a rarity, but I’m going to use real names and places in this story. Why? Because I’m pretty sure all involved will just laugh about it. Read on . . .

It was early in my coaching career and I was coaching junior high basketball at Greenfield Middle School. We had a really good team, and we had a big game coming up against Circleville, who was also really good.

When I got to the school for the game that evening, though, I got some bad news – our best player was sick.

Yep, Marcus was our best player and MVP of our team, and he was sick as a dog. When I walked into our locker room he was doubled over, pale, and clearly not well. I mean, the kid could barely walk.

Uh-oh. This was bad. Really bad. I mean, we were good, but no way could we win without Marcus. I walked up to him and asked him if he could make it, and at that point he reached behind him and grabbed a jar of Vicks VapoRub from his locker. Then he said, “This will fix me up, coach. Don’t worry about it.

Ah, OK. A little Vicks VapoRub on the chest was always good for what ailed ya, right? Hey, if Marcus thought it would work we’d be good to go!

Oh, it was probably 10-minutes later when another player, Jeremy, came running up to me with a look of horror in his eyes.

Coach, he ate it! HE ATE IT!

Wait. What?

He ate it? Ate what? Certainly not the Vicks VapoRub. I mean, it said, “NOT TO BE TAKEN INTERNALLY” right on the lid there.

I had to find out though, so I went to the man himself.

“Uh, Marcus, you didn’t eat that did you?” 

“Sure, Coach. My family eats it all the time. It’ll clean me out. I’ll be fine. Give it a few minutes.”

At that point I saw it, on the bench beside him, the empty jar of Vicks VapoRub, just sitting there empty and clean as a whistle.

Oh, for the love of God. He ate it.

Bottom line? As I coached from the sideline waiting for him to die, Marcus played a great game and led us to victory. Guess he was cleaned out.

Who knew that Vicks VapoRub was such a miracle cure?

Note: I actually researched this and found that it was not uncommon for people to eat Vicks VapoRub back in the day. Still not recommended though.

Yep. This guy.

duke

Not Duke but awfully close.

Looking back, growing up in the small southern Ohio town of Bourneville wasn’t a bad way to go. Everybody knew everybody else, everyone looked after each other, and we were sort of unaffected by what was going on in the turbulent 1960’s. Oh, I knew about the Vietnam War and all the protests, but that was mainly because of my oldest sister Karen. Sis, always the rebel, made sure her little bro knew about the injustices of the world. As far as the Civil Rights movement down south, my father had made all that clear to me years earlier during our vacations to Florida. I distinctly remember him pointing to the “Whites Only” signs over bathroom doors in Georgia and explaining how it was wrong. All-in-all though, my daily life was pretty idyllic, to be honest.

I say all that because it’s pertinent to the story that follows.

For a few years in the mid-60’s I had a dog named Duke. Unlike all the dogs I’ve owned as an adult, Duke was an outside dog. We didn’t really know what kind of a dog he was, he sort of looked like a Greyhound with longer, collie-like hair. He was light brown with some white on his face and tail, and he could run like the wind.

How do I know this, you ask? Because he chased every car that drove by our house. Pull in our driveway? Fine. Drive on past? Get chased.

Anyway, Duke was a great dog.  He went with me everywhere, followed me whether I was on my bike or walking. He’d wait patiently outside the local store or gas station while I was inside, hang with my friends and I, or just generally be a great companion for a kid growing up in Southern Ohio.

And everyone in town knew my dog Duke.

Then one day, for some reason I was all by myself at home. This wasn’t unusual, parents left their kids home all the time back then. Hey, we could fend for ourselves. Compared to now it was a totally different world.

Anyway, the phone rang and it was the guy who owned the gas station in the middle of Bourneville. He basically said to get down there, that Duke had been in an accident. Obviously, I was distraught. I raced down there on my bike, and as I rounded the corner I saw a group gathered, maybe 8-10 people. When I got near they sort of separated so I could see, and there, on the ground, was Duke.

He looked normal, no visible injuries at all, and no blood. He was breathing normally and just looked very at ease and peaceful. Still, something was clearly wrong.

What happened next could only happen in a small midwestern town. Somebody backed up a pickup truck, and some of the men helped me place Duke gently in the bed. Somebody put my bike in as well, and we were driven back to my house where we carefully lay Duke on a blanket on my garage floor.

At that point everybody sort of backed away and left, leaving me there with my buddy.

And so here I was, a 10 or 11-year old kid, sitting on my family’s garage floor, with my dying dog’s head on my lap.

After maybe 10 or 15-minutes Duke sort of gave a sigh, and I knew he was gone.

I then held Duke, waited for my father to get home, told him what had happened, and he and I proceeded to bury Duke in our backyard.

Was it a tough moment for a kid my age? Hell, yes. But it was a different time, a different era. What happened wasn’t unusual for a small midwestern town in the 1960s. While people looked out for each other, ultimately you had to be independent and deal with life on your own.

And I did.

And in the end, I was better off for it.