Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

Although children had been servants and apprentices throughout most of history, child labor reached new extremes during the Industrial Revolution. Children often worked long hours in dangerous factory conditions for very little money. Children were useful as laborers because their size allowed them to move in small spaces in factories or mines where adults couldn’t fit, children were easier to manage and control and perhaps most importantly, children could be paid less than adults. Appalling but true.

Not-So-Fun-Fact: In 1900, 18% of all American workers were under the age of 16.

In 1908 a true American hero named Lewis Hine picked up his camera and became the photographer for the National Child Labor Committee. For 10-years Lewis traveled across the country documenting child labor despite constant threats from factory owners. At the time the owners wanted to keep the immorality of child labor away from the public’s eye. However, Hine kept it up and never wavered. Sometimes he wore disguises (such as a fire inspector or a bible salesman) to snap pictures and interview the children working at factories or in the streets.  Lewis Hine used his camera as a tool for social commentary and reform, and it worked. Risking his own safety Hine snapped thousands of photographs with one goal – to end child labor. It took years, but in 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Act set national minimum wage and maximum hour standards for workers in interstate commerce and also placed limitations on child labor. Bottom line, next time one of your kids complain about taking out the garbage or mowing the lawn show them these photos. Wild to look at today, but an important to know and remember.

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This has made the internet rounds the last couple years and is a legitimate photograph of a turn-of-the-century Texas playground. It can be viewed on the web page of the Dallas Public Library with a description noting that it captures “Children playing on iron pole playground equipment at Trinity Play Park.” 

Listen, I have nothing but respect for this kid. Just battling that damn trash can like you read about. Kid took shot after shot, was knocked down, and still came up fighting. Seriously, that evil trash can was showing no mercy. No mercy whatsoever. In this case the trash can was taking out the kid, kids. But I dare say this kid gives me hope for our future. America salutes you, Trash Can Kid. Keep fighting the good fight.

So damn true. Here are 20 teacher memes for your perusal.

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So Rain Price was a 16-year old sophomore in Utah, and on his first day of school his dad Dale casually walked out the front door and gave him a wave as he got on the bus. Greatly embarrassed, that evening Rain begged his father to never do it again. This was a really, really big mistake. I’ve only posted a few photos here, but for the next 179-days of the school year dad stepped out the front door to wave at his son. Take a look. That’s gold, Jerry. Gold.

Check it out, man. That toy gun would put your eye out in a millisecond. Think anybody complained? Hells to the nah. If I would’ve gotten blasted in the eyehole by that thing Dad would’ve yelled at me for not ducking sooner, then punched me in the shoulder so hard my ankles would’ve gone numb. Back in my day men were men and toys could literally kill you.

PS- How did I miss this thing as a kid? I would have struck terror in the hearts of my sisters, man.

The worldwide interweb can take you to some weird places, amirite? Ever be searching for something and happen onto a site where you just can’t hit that back button quickly enough? Yeah, me too. Scary stuff man, believe me. I started researching something called The Dark Web one day awhile back because I was going to write about it, but what I found freaked me out so much I decided to back slowly away for a bit. Here’s a video if you want the basics. Chills, man. Anyhoo, I stumbled upon a site today that was describing how sometimes kids can come up with way better ideas than adults, specifically when naming stuff. Here are my Top 10 favorites, with the actual name followed by the made-up kid’s way better name.

Rhinoceros

What could possibly be better than a Rhino, you ask? Why, the Battle Unicorn of course. Yep. If unicorns went to battle, that’s who they’d send. 

Mosquitoes

Mosquito is a pretty cool name, no? Not nearly as cool as Vampire House Flies though.

Dreams

This one is actually sort of poetic. One child called her dreams The Stories in My Eyes. Beautiful.

Buzzard

Oh this one is good. What better description of a buzzard than the Halloween Eagle? Cool.

Vultures

From a completely different kid we get a new name for vultures – the Flamingo Witches. Hell yes they are.

Gloves

Now we have a little guy who couldn’t remember what gloves were supposed to be called. What he came up with was Hand Socks because, well, they are.

Wolves

I really like this one. One kid saw some wolves in a national park and promptly christened them Party Dogs. Love. It.

Cemeteries

Not to get a little morbid, but kids can be pretty literal, ya know? Hence the new name for cemeteries – Die Yards.

 

Harmonica

Once again, this is a way cooler name than harmonica – the Cowboy Trumpet. Kids, man.

Cooking Pot

And our last entry once again makes perfect sense. Why confuse things by calling it a pot when it’s actually a Stove Bucket? Because that’s exactly what it is.

So I know you all have kids that have come up with new names for stuff, some maybe even better than these. Whaddaya got?

 

CBS Boston – Julia Hartwell loves her dolls, arts and crafts, and like most four-year-olds, she has a best friend. However, that’s not a term Julia can use at Pentucket Workshop Preschool in Georgetown. Her mother, Christine Hartwell, says, “The teacher told her she couldn’t say that in school.”

The Georgetown preschool offered an explanation to Julia’s parents, saying the term best friend “can lead other children to feel excluded” and it “can ultimately lead to the formation of “cliques” and “outsiders.” The preschool wrote, they “encourage children to have a broader group of friends, and foster inclusion at this particular age.”

Oh, for the love of God. Now the schools are telling our kids they can’t have “best friends.” Hey, I met my best friend Dave Allen in second grade and we remain best friends today. Sure, he’s a highfalutin (that’s how you spell it, I looked it up so shut it) doctor in the big city who only sees me at his convenience, but still.*

My point is, who in the hell can tell us who our friends are? Answer: Nobody. If you have no friends you need to take a look in the mirror, amirite? Newsflash: Everyone is not popular in preschool. Some are better at coloring, others are really good at somersaults or counting or drawing circles and stuff. Figure it out, man. Carve out your niche. Learn how to make friends without your damn school’s help. Sad really. Get it together, America!

*Just kidding, J.R.

So Yodel Boy is tearing up the internet right now and is the latest viral video sensation. People are going nuts over this yodeler, little girls are sending him their digits, it’s insane. Yet a large majority of the internet is just attacking this kid like you read about, saying he’s a little nerd yodeling cowboy, that he should’ve been thrown out of Walmart, even taken away in handcuffs for excessive public yodeling. Me? I say let Yodel Boy yodel. Who among us hasn’t strolled through a Walmart and hasn’t felt a sudden urge to yodel? I know I have, yet I didn’t have the guts to let it fly. Not Yodel Boy. Dude felt a yodel coming on and yodeled his little Yodel Boy heart out. Yodel on, Yodel Boy. Yodel on.

PS- That’s 14 yodels in one paragraph. I believe that’s a record.

PPS- I want Yodel Boy to yodel at my funeral.

PPPS- That’s 16.

Awesome.

Here’s a short but pretty cool story about my father. Dad is 91 now and not in the best of health, but he’s a pretty amazing guy who’s lived a pretty amazing life all things considered. I plan to write a story about all that one day, but for now I thought I’d share a short story about something that happened when I was perhaps 5-years old.

Dad was a smoker back then, but most men were in those days. Just look at an old photo from back then and you’ll see a cigarette in almost everyone’s hand. Hell, doctors smoked in their office as they examined you. I’m dead serious.

There’s probably a bottle of booze in his drawer too.

The cigarette folks even advertised using doctors. Crazy but true, man.

You cannot make this stuff up. What can I say? People didn’t know. And it was a different time, in many ways better, in some ways most certainly not.

Bottom line, the link about cigarettes and lung cancer had been known for a decade or so, but was for the most part ignored. Hence, Dad the smoker.

Let me take you back to the winter of ’60 or ’61, maybe even ’59. I don’t really remember. I just recall it was winter because there was a fire in our fireplace. It was in the evening, and I climbed up on Dad’s lap as he sat by the fire burnin’ a Lucky Strike.

At one point I reached up and tried to grab his cigarette, because hey, I was a kid. I got my hand slapped, and it was then the following conversation took place:

Dad: “Hey, what are you doing? Stop it.”

Me: “I want to try it!”

Dad: “You can’t. You’re too young and besides, cigarettes are bad for you.”

Me: “Then why are you smoking one?” 

Really, that was all it took. Because at that point Dad paused, looked at the cigarette in his hand, and flipped it into the fireplace.

And he never smoked another cigarette in his life.

I asked him about this recently, and he too remembered that evening. He told me he just didn’t feel he could justify smoking while at the same time telling me how bad it was for you. So he quit to prove a point, on the spot, for himself but mainly for me.

And I’m glad he did.

 

Nope.

Rueters: No one loves the Home of Unlimited Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks as much as one Arkansas couple who has decided to name their daughter after Olive Garden. When Justin and Jordan Garton found out that they would be having their first child in December 2017, they knew they wanted to give her a name with “Italian origins,” ABC News reports. After considering and then rejecting the name Olive Garton, they landed on the much more subtle Olivia Garton. Soon after marrying in 2015, the Gartons bought Olive Garden’s famous “never-ending pasta pass” for $100, allowing them to eat unlimited amounts of pasta and guzzle countless soft drinks at their local restaurant for a set period of time. For six to seven weeks, the couple ate there every single day. Because of Justin’s Italian roots and their love of the eatery, when the couple found out they were expecting, they knew they wanted to give their first child an Italian name. For a while, they considered naming her Olive but ultimately decided it would be too much — they feared kids would bully their daughter named after the Italian eatery. When they landed on Olivia, though, they both knew “immediately” that it was the one. In their minds, that’s a less mockable pun. The couple also landed on a middle name, Michelle. Her initials will be OMG.

Hey Justin and Jordan Garton, let me give you some advice. If you don’t want your kid bullied, don’t name her after an Italian restaurant chain. And what will you name your next kid? Redd Lawbster? Crakker Barrell? Buffelow Wildwing? PF Chang? Wait. That last one might actually work.

And OMG for her initials? Nah, that will never get here picked on.

On a related note, I shall now give my Top 5 restaurants you could name your kid after and it would be cool:

  1. Bonefish
  2. Carrabba
  3. Longhorn (boys only)
  4. O’ Charley
  5. Benihana

Thank you and goodnight.

Back on the late 60s and early 70s there was a baseball camp near the town I grew up in. It was Ted Kluszewski’s Baseball Camp, run by the former Cincinnati Reds’ slugger from back in the day. During the days of the Big Red Machine, “Big Klu” was the team’s hitting instructor. Anyway, it was a cool camp with kids attending from all over the world. Players ranging in age from 6- 17 attended the camp, and local baseball teams would go there to play against the campers. Bottom line, I spent a ton of time there, either playing in or watching games.

As I’ve mentioned before I used to spend a copious amount of time at my Uncle Myrl’s house and I basically went wherever they went, which leads to my story.

My Aunt Dorothy had taken my cousin Mick and I to the camp to watch some games, and it being the late 60s and all she just dropped us off and left, telling us she’d be back in a couple hours. Alas, it was a simpler time. Anyway, she returned later to pick us up, and we hopped in the backseat for the ride home.

However, as we were pulling out of the lot a guy waved us to a stop, and as I recall he didn’t look happy. Aunt Dorothy rolled her window down to see what was up, and the following conversation (as I remember it) then took place.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry to stop you but your boys have something that belongs to us.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Your kids stole some of our baseballs. I have people who saw them getting foul balls and sticking them down their pants.”

[Those of you who want to insert a “balls in your pants” joke may do so now.]

What I witnessed next was the most epic ass-ripping my young ears had ever heard, and believe me, I’d heard a lot. But alas, my aunt’s gush of fury and vitriol wasn’t directed at us. Instead, Aunt Dorothy tore into this poor dude in every way imaginable, letting him know in no uncertain terms that she had not raised thieves and there was no way on God’s green earth we would ever stoop to the level of a common criminal.

During all of this Mick and I sat quietly in the backseat, not saying a word.

Turns out there was a reason for this.

I recall the guy backing away with his hands up as he said he was sorry for the mistake and left, presumably to look for the real ball burglars or perhaps a corner in which to weep.

You know, we might have gotten away with it had Aunt Dorothy not had to make a sudden stop on the way home in the little town of Bainbridge when some jackass pulled in front of her. But he did, and that was when all the baseballs we’d pilfered rolled out from under the backseat from where we’d hidden them, onto the front floorboard, and around the feet of the woman who’d just defended us to the ends of the earth to a man who’d had the audacity to call us crooks.

Which, incidentally, we now very clearly were.

Well, I thought the tongue-lashing given to our accuser was bad, but it paled in comparison to what was laid on Mick and I now.  We were yelled at, belittled, shamed, mocked and at one point may or may not have been called assholes.

Which, again, would not have been a false statement.

Note: Understand that the fact I was a nephew wasn’t figured into the equation. When I was with my cousins I was considered one of the immediate family in every sense of the word. This was often a good thing but sometimes not. This time? Decidedly not.

We then had to suffer the indignity of returning to the baseball camp, giving back our stash, and apologizing to the man who had accurately accused us of our larceny in the first place. I believe we had to perform this indignity in front of an entire Pop Warner Little League team who happened to be nearby. The fact that a couple of them were laughing at us only added weight to our collective embarrassment.

And I still remember our accuser’s smirk as he accepted the returned baseballs. Dude was absolutely smug I tell ya.

And Aunt Dorothy must have figured we’d learned our lesson because as far as we ever knew she never told my Uncle Myrl or my father Ralph, and for that we were thankful. If she had a more physical punishment would have undoubtedly been administered, and that would’ve hurt a lot more than an ass-ripping by an aunt, the smug-smirk of a baseball camp employee, or the laughs of a couple 5-year old little league punks.

Alas, we survived, although we may have been blackballed from Ted Kluszewski’s Baseball Camp for a week or two, I cannot recall for certain.

Just another day in the life of a Bourneville kid.

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

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.

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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.

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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.