The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Survival of the dumbest

As I was reading an article (and the comments on it), a thought wandered into my head. These often get lost or die of loneliness but this one had some tenacity and has stuck around... perhaps it's been magnetized.

The thought? That those of us who grew up in the 50's (what I call my "childhood decade") somehow survived to adulthood...

Think about it... we ran around unattended much of the time. I was what you might call a "latchkey kid." My parents, from the time I was 4 until I was almost 10, owned and operated a bicycle shop. School was half a day then. You either went in the morning or the afternoon. Oddly, I do not recall ever attending the afternoon session but I suppose that it is unlikely I didn't. I would go home or to the shop after getting out of class. Sometimes, I would go to the shop, have some lunch, and then walk home.

When I was 6, I came home a little hungry and decided I would have a cheese sandwich. Not being especially bright (or maybe I just could not find the cheese slicer), I used a large and sharp knife to slice the cheese. I promptly sliced the index finger of my left hand [link]. Then I shook it (in pain, I believe) which caused a blood spatter pattern that suggested a horribly violent murder might have taken place in that kitchen.

There were rides down the hill in front of my house on poorly put together soapbox derby type vehicles (actually, just a long plank and some old toy wagon wheels) that ended in pileups of road rashed kids. We road bicycles without helmets, in cars without seatbelts (as toddlers sometimes on our mothers' laps), climbed trees and played on "monkeybars" (with no adults around at all). We had pretend sword fights with home-made swords of wood. We had rock fights. Eventually got our hands on BB guns and had BB gun fights. We skated on frozen ponds (and the occasional large street puddle that had frozen), went down any snow covered hill we could find without a thought to check it for rocks or other hazards. Same with jumping or diving into "swimmin' holes" (in Florida, these were often called "rockpits")

Amazingly, it would seem, I never knew anyone who actually lost an eye or suffered any great injury during that decade. Certainly, nobody I knew died. It wouldn't be until I was 16 before I knew anyone who got injured in a scooter accident (broken leg). That was about the same time I made a friend of a guy whose right leg was lost due to a accidental shotgun discharge when he was 14 and another who had been run over by a woman in a Caddy... causing permanent damage to his left ankle, while he walked his bike across a street. But no dead kids.

Maybe we were just lucky.


pearlvz said...

You might've been lucky.  While I've not had much death in my life (??!) as an adult, I had a brother, sister, aunt, and grandpa all die -- separately, mind you -- when I was 7. 
Eight wasn't much better...

Douglas4517 said...

If I was a believer, I would say I was blessed. My grandfather (on my father's side) did die when I was 9 but he was far away and I don't recall it impacting me. I had a cousin die (while I was still young) but I had only seen him once in my life. There were stories and rumors of kids dying for various reasons but no one within my own circle.

Yes, I would say I was lucky. But maybe it was those I knew who were lucky.