I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Oh, Kids These Days; or Maybe One of Them has a Cold – But Which One?

I thought it was just a rumor, but it’s true.

The rich are different than you and I.

Some of the differences are obvious. The shoes, for example, seem to be of a better quality. The haircuts, too, have a casually coifed, perfectly tousled aspect.

Devil-may-care hair, if you will.

And the food. The food’s definitely better.

It's my experience that the bulk of the wealthy, like us, the working class, walk upright, sometimes two-fist their drinks, and allow their children to play games after dark.

It is Friday night. I am helping the chef clean up/tear down following a graduation party. We tke apart the large portable gas grill, take turns walking the chafing dishes, hot box, tables and other cater-ly accoutrement up the hill.

My love of the heaving, hauling, and hoisting aspect of my job is well-documented.

And all of this gives me time to observe a gaggle of children.

Ten o’clock at night, the adults drunk and frenetically “networking”, this particular pack of children ranges in age from, say, six to eleven.

“I’m gonna karate kick Mark in the chest,” says the biggest one.

Ahh. The karate kick. My brother, King of the Nunchuks, was good at this.

Our favorite childhood after-dark game was Ghosts at Midnight, comprised primarily of us running between the trailers making appropriately ghostly noises and trying to scare each other until an adult threatened to put us in the house.

I wonder if kids still play “Ghosts at Midnight”.

In the failing light, just beyond the lighted tents of laughing, shouting adults, a child shoots by, narrowly missing the cooler-shaped pile of melting ice cubes I have just dumped into the grass.

“Hobos! Hobos!”

Hobos? Is that kid yelling “hobos”? Visions of men in baggy pants, their belongings tied up in a bandanna on the end of a stick balanced on a shoulder, possibly in need of a shave, springs before my eyes.

Hmm. Well that’s certainly different, shouting about hobos. Why, in my day we didn’t concern ourselves with –

“Aaaaaaaaaaah!” screams another kid, shooting off into the bushes and out the other side, scaring up flocks of still smaller children. “Homos! Look out! Homos!”

They say that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

That might be true, but still…

I don’t recall playing “Homos at Midnight”.

42 comments:

Nessa Roo said...

Ours was "Ghosts in the Graveyard". But that's hilarious, whether it's Homos or Hobos, it's still gives quite a bit of incite into the group's upbringing, doesn't it?

Pearl said...

Nessa Roo, I just stood there for a moment. And yes, either way, Homos or Hobos, how strange... I'm going to give myself wrinkles with that one...

Miss Scarlet said...

We used to play knock down Ginger.
Anyhow, it is one consolation to me, that yes, the wealthy are generally bulky.
Sx

lisleman said...

I guess "PC at midnight" is not as fun. Now that I read your story, I'm wondering what those all men hobo camps did at midnight. Oh one more thing - being a hobo was our regular Halloween costume.

Simply Suthern said...

We played "kill the man with the ball" which ended with grass stains, blood, bruises and temporary flared tempers. It was a blast!!

haphazardlife said...

Whether it's hobos or homos it's very bizarre. Makes one wonder...

And no I have no idea what it makes one wonder about. I drew a blank there but I'm too lazy to restart my comment.

Pathetic, I know.

- Jazz

Audubon Ron said...

I was too poor to play Hobos at Midnight.

Eva Gallant said...

Too funny! by the way...I'm still waiting for an address to send a check to so that I can buy your book. evag@maine.rr.com

Daisy said...

This left me feeling a bit sad. Obviously, money can't buy a brain, or a heart. I don't remember ever playing games that encouraged being fearful of someone.

Julia said...

Oh I do...but it was more of an in closet experience and I was much older and there was no screaming or running!!! ROFLMAO! Fuck cowboys and indians, the wealthy play HOMO-geddin.

mybabyjohn said...

Kind of a sad choice for a game and speaks volumes of what they hear at home.

GYPSYWOMAN said...

we weren't allowed to play outdoors after dark!

Moobeat said...

Cool blog you got here.

Check out my new blog.

Drake Sigar said...

Simon Says was my favourite game, because I had power. And you better believe I abused it, mwhahaha!

Oilfield Trash said...

Somehow I don't think rich kids play around rail cars. Or much less life within 20 miles of a rail line.

Mandy_Fish said...

We called it Ghosts in the Graveyard. Maybe "Graveyard" was too disrespectful or scary for you Minnesotan kids?

;-p

Bossy Betty said...

I would have thrown something at those children.

jenny_o said...

I feel especially sad for the children of that group who will soon realize their own sexual preference puts them in the "scary" role. If they haven't already realized it, that is.

jenny_o said...

And, has your pinkie gone back to being pink yet?

Douglas said...

In my day we didn't play games after dark... or in daylight. No, we worked. Hard, hour after hour, day after day. No, wait... that was my father. We played constantly. It was called "Pick on Douglas."

white rabbit said...

Eeeeek!!! You wrote 'different than' :0

Then I got googling...

'Although British English eschews the use of “different than” and Chicago prefers to avoid it, it’s not incorrect, and in fact is sometimes the more elegant choice when followed by a clause. Various dictionaries and grammars support this view, including Fowler’s Modern English Usage and Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary'

Not incorrect. Hmmmm.

*exit scratching head*

Tom G. said...

We were so rich, we had our butlers go out and play Ghosts at Midnight while we sat on the veranda sipping mint juleps.

OK, maybe not.

savannah said...

damn, i feel old today! i don't even remember being a kid, much less a kid playing outside...

IN THE DARK! :) xoxoxoxo

Pearl said...

We did a lot of running around in the dark, but generally during the grown-up parties.

Otherwise -- and this is true -- my mother was of the opinion that children went to bed at 8:00. No matter that the sun went down at 9:30! Eight o'clock for cryin' out loud!

Scarred me, it did...

The pinkie is still strapped to its nearest neighbor, considerably smaller, slightly less purple and slightly more green...

Makes typing an adventure.

Mamma has spoken said...

There isn't much to say that others have already stated. I think Daisy said it best. Money or not, they needed to eat a bar of soap or two then sit in a diversity class with their parents.

jenny_o said...

Pearl, green is good! Remember bruises when we were young uns, first it's purple/black, then it's purple/green, then green/yellow, then finally back to white as a ghost (if you're one of those who do not tan). Of course, it still hurts even as it turns all those colours.

Yes, I can imagine the typing is a challenge.

Glen said...

I can't remember ever playing either version - but I tell you this much, I think I want to.

I might go out and play it right now.

Does fun have to be PC?

Pearl said...

Glen, you know, when I wrote this I wasn't concerned much with the PC aspect. I mean, they're kids, and they heard it somewhere... What really got me was how I'd been standing there, all summer twilight-ish, watching kids playing and first I think I hear "hobo" and then it turns out to be "homo" and they're screaming... :-) I dunno. It was pretty damn dumb.

Susan in the Boonies said...

And they say there's nothing new under the sun...

mrwriteon said...

And then there was the old dog poop in the paper bag that was set on fire and deposited on somebody's porch. The door bell would be rung and then we'd run away.

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl! No "Homos at Midnight"?! You've never lived! "Doctors and Doctors" is another winner. Indigo x

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Yes! Much fun to be outside in the evening, with Marshall the Neighbor Boy, playing Ghosts in the Graveyard and t.v. tag. "Happy Days!" *squat* "Laverne and Shirley!" *squat*
We knew nothing of these Homos of which you speak.

Jocelyn said...

Mostly, I just need to see if you've checked out Moobeat's blog yet.

But in other news: the kids were playing a new-fangled after-dark game that grows out of the conservative right: the main characters, let's call them Elected Officials, publicly berate same sex couples, all the while rustling around the bushes at night, trying to squeeze Man Bits. You see, today's kids are firmly in touch not only with bushy Man Bits but also with the hypocritical disconnect between rhetoric and action.

Happy Frog and I said...

I think it is a universal truth that there will always be one little kid at a party who wants to karate kick someone. Really enjoyed this post.

Belle said...

I wasn't allowed outside after dark either. And bedtime was bedtime for me too. Ah well. That's why Halloween was so exciting. As for the Homo bit; I don't get it myself.

hocam said...

We used to hide in the dark, usually standing up on window sills and whopped each other will rolled up newspaper. Scary. I wouldn't have had an idea what a homo was

Miss Scarlet said...

We used to have a washing powder is the UK called Omo - this caused me a great deal of confusion for several of my young years.
Sx

River said...

I remember hot summer nights spent playing hide and seek with torches. We were covered in vinegar to repel mozzies and sent outside while the grownups "visited".

Crystal Pistol said...

I laughed out loud.

I never played Homos at midnight or any other version on the game. But when we ran races my cousin would shout,

"GET READY! GET SEX! GO!"

He didn't speak English well.

In addition, I always thought the word was "NUMB chucks" because they make you numb where 'ere they land.

Pat said...

'Playing out' was what we did in the thirties. No bikes or expensive toys but we had a gang - both sexes. Our leader was Jack King who had no legs but jointed false ones. His upper body was extra strong and he wielded a fearsome stick. When Jack was around no-one messed with us girls.

Ameena said...

I am mystified...hobos and homos? I had no idea what either of those words meant at that age. If my kid does this kind of stuff I think I'll shoot myself in the head. Seriously.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh no! That's SO funny. Brings to mind the old "Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, look at these" sorts of rhymes.