April 01, 2007

A Lame Rant

From The Linear One:

… his tricycle was one of those that had the pedals welded to the front wheel…. remember those?..... every time the wheel turns the pedals move too….. yeah….
Funny how reading something like this can get you to smile and piss you off within seconds of each other. Not that Eric is the one who pissed me off, but still... his words started the ball rolling. Words can be powerful...

I don't do "stream of consciousness" blogging. I enjoy reading others who do, but if I did it, other than when I've been drinking, readers would be hunting for dramamine.

We had two of those trikes. One was a bright candy apple red, and the other, older and smaller, a dull royal blue. Heheheh... once we outgrew that blue trike, we still rode the thing. 'Twas better for ripping down through the barnyard than the other, taller, tricycle. That tall one would have you high-siding in a heartbeat, and it was the cause of many skinned appendages. The blue one? Mostly bashed in shins. But battered shins are more tolerable than having the metallic beast you're riding fling you head over tail down the 'yard.

I got my ass beat for riding that blue one on cement that I thought was dry. I'd been told to stay off, but it was a perfect ramp, at the top of the sloping barnyard, and I couldn't wait to test it out. I rode up a couple of feet, and determined that my father didn't know what he was talking about. So I got my little legs pumping the pedals, and started up the ramp... and promptly got stuck. I did manage to back out, but my father saw the tracks and got me anyway. Those tracks are still there today. As are some names...

Those names are carefully carved in the cement, by the first post, facing east, on the southern side of our old steer barn. They were put there by us kids, and the crew that worked on the barn. Four kids' names, carved in the concrete, just out of the reach of hooves.

Our steer barn was in dire need of repair. It had a limestone foundation, and wooden top half. Pa hired a crew to come in, tear down the limestone and put up concrete, put in a concrete floor, and put up metal siding and roofing. It was impressive seeing the upper part of the barn floating over space while the limestone was being hauled away. While I can't remember all of their names, it's a crew that I won't forget. We spent a lot of time out there, bugging them, and they spent much time talking to us, teasing us, and showing us what they did (though we weren't allowed to be in their way when they were in the middle of work... we went out there at lunchtime and cleanup). The Perfect One picked up the nickname "Ernie," a moniker that is with him to this day. We were told to call one guy, named Dean, "Squatter Dean," and we did. Didn't find out for a couple of years (I was seven or eight at the time) what that was all about.

These guys called us by our names, and then some that weren't. We loved it. Thought it was funny. It's something that we do as adults, now. Unfortunately, it pisses some people off. I don't know what the hell their problem is.

It's not like we're being mean when we do it... yeah, we used to call the mumbling, stuttering neighbor kid "Boomhauer," but if it was so terrible, why'd she keep showing up? We call friends' kids variations of their names, sometimes pissing off their mothers, but why are they so damn happy to see us?

Yesterday, I managed to piss off another woman at the beach. This time, it had nothing to do with referring to dogs as bitches, but calling a little kid by a name not his own. The little man kept running through our area on the beach, playing with my cousin's kid. I didn't know his name, and he would only smile when I asked him. So, since he always was grinning, and he looked a lot like the infamous Sanjaya Malakar (the death knell of American Idol), I started calling him "Sanjaya." Everytime I did it, I got a toothy grin and a giggle.... and he kept coming back so that I'd call him that again. Finally this woman snarls at me, "Is that the only name you know?" Then she implied it was somehow racist. Implying it was racist seemed to be racist in itself, to me. Fuck it... I'm racist. Calling folks names that aren't their own is a racist thing. It's true.

I may call the little ones names that I think are funny, that they think are funny, but it ain't a mean thing. It's an interaction thing. It doesn't bother them, because they know that I'm not being a mean asshole. I'm playing with them, they are having fun. If they don't like it, I won't do it. That, my friends, is why they don't mind...

Which leads me to the whole point of my ramblings... if you don't like the fact that I jack with kids' names, you talk to them. You play with them. You make them feel like they matter to an adult. Get them to smile. Don't leave it to cruel, "racist" bastards like myself.

Or fuck off.

Posted by That 1 Guy at April 1, 2007 08:16 PM | TrackBack

Amen. I was Grace for many years. Some people in the church (my dad was the minister) thought my name was Grace for a long time. Mom started calling me that when I was about three because I was such a klutz. Of course, she also called me Pookinella from Pocatella for many years. I'll never live that one down.

Posted by: drc at April 1, 2007 10:00 PM

I always figure, f*ck 'em if they can't take a joke.

Must be very dark to live without a sense of humor......

And I won't even BEGIN to talk about the names that have been "bestowed" on me. ;-)

Posted by: Tammi at April 2, 2007 05:53 AM

I do the same thing with kids and names. Hell I have 100 different names for my boys.

As for it being racist... no, cruel yes, but not racist. It's not like you called him Hodgie.

Posted by: Contagion at April 2, 2007 08:38 AM

well, i'm confused

can i take the fuck off AND agree with you? cause you sure are cute when you get all riled up and parental like.

sounds like that beach needed a lightsaber to the doches, i'm just sayin.

Posted by: shoe at April 2, 2007 05:12 PM

Apparently, you're a big, old softie when it comes to kids. You did good... mamma, howsomever, was an ass!

Posted by: Jean at April 2, 2007 06:49 PM

... how did you take a post about a tricycle and come up with this?.... you, sir, are a magician.....

Posted by: Eric at April 3, 2007 04:15 PM