All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


How to be a Boy

This last week I did a job for a company that involved me making a 400 plus mile drive around the state. Do you know what I saw? I saw a kid, probably 12 years old, riding a $800 mountain bike, wearing a pink and purple helmet, with little sparkly things on it, carrying a bottle of Evian in his bottle holder. The kid was male, but not a boy.

From Fred Reed:

"Anyway, I’m going to explain to you how to be a kid. This is going to be a technical manual. A few of you already know it. You can hum along.

To begin with, we all had BB guns. It was a rule. You couldn’t be a kid without one.

Today BB guns would be illegal and send mothers screeching and hiding under sofas and calling for federal help. Alabama knew about federal help, and didn’t want any.

You could do sensible things, like line shotgun shells up on a board and shoot at the primers from fifty feet away with the BB guns.

You couldn’t do it today. You’d need a Caring Adult to be in charge, meaning some tiresome school marm who didn’t think you should make black powder and blow things up. What’s black powder for, then? Tell me that.”

A-Freaking-Men! Making black powder fire crackers rocks! Bottle rockets are for shooting at each other out of PVC or copper pipe that you “found” at a construction site.

If you had the cash and knew someone who’d been to a state with legal fireworks, you’d take some store bought fire crackers and a coffee can (Coffee used to come in big cans, with names like Folgers, not in little bags with names like Starbucks. Starbuck was a guy on Battle Star Galatica.). Anyway, coffee can, fire cracker, little sisters wading pool, fill pool with 6in of water, put a small hole in the center of the coffee can with a nail and dad’s hammer, leave hammer in pool, set the can in the water, jam the firecracker into the nail hole and light the fuse. It’ll shoot the can maybe 40 ft in the air.

Bonus all boy points if your little sister thinks you’re blowing up her stuff and rats you out to mom and you get a whoopin. Extra all boy points if you exact revenge by strapping one of her dolls on a big rocket with rubber bands and try launching it into orbit. EXTRA EXTRA ALL BOY POINTS if you went over to your buddies house and did it to his sister too.

You know you had a good childhood if your buddy’s mom got his daddy’s belt and whooped your butt for it right beside him. Call the cops for child abuse? Heck NO! We prayed to God that adults forgot all about what/why/when they whooped us before they saw our parents someplace and remembered to tell them what we did.

No all boy points for rusting dad’s Craftsman hammer in the pool. There are some things that boys just do, nobody knows why. Your sons gonna do it to you. Just remember what you said about “if I had boy who…” I wouldn’t whip him. Yeah right.

Sure, I saw sissy boy and the pink helmet this last trip (likely from California). In a small town made up of near all oil field trash, I saw a real boy. He had a garage sale Huffy dirt bike. Kid was wearing ripped jeans, dusty shirt. He had messed up hair and dirt on his face. I bet he never wore a bike helmet, never bought bottled water. I’d wager my baseball cards that he knows the firecracker trick and he drinks his water the way the good lord intended boys to, right from the hose.

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