Thoughts from the ammo line

Our friend Ammo Grrrll returns with a modest proposal: “’Let’s Move!’ from one chair to another.” She writes:

Though regular readers of this column will not be surprised to hear that Ammo Grrrll is not a general fan of either Obama, I do have some sympathy for the First Lady’s campaign to reduce the size of America’s Weeble Children. The “Let’s Move 60!” campaign to get the inert little lard-butts to play hard for an hour a day would be as incomprehensible to someone in the 50s as a pitch to get men to just TRY sex. “C’mmmmon, just once, it’s FUN!”

In the ’50s whenever we weren’t in school, our mothers threw us out of the house at first light and unlocked the doors when our daddies came home for supper. Oh, if we were lucky, we might have a peanut butter sandwich on Wonder Bread handed to us through the doggie door, but, in general, we were on our own for vast hours a day. If we had a little pocket change, we might split a Popsicle or purchase several penny packages of dyed sugar called “Lik-M-Aid” that you licked out of your grubby little unsanitized hand.

And all we did was run around like lunatics and play death-defying games that are now illegal. Like Mumblety-peg which involved a working jack-knife, or Dodge Ball, Red Rover, Keep Away or an uplifting game called Kill The Man With the Ball, which was everything the name implies. Now the little Special Snowflakes need a helmet to play Candyland.

We played whatever game was in season – baseball, basketball, football – either until it was too dark to see the ball, or until our mothers called us for the third time, using our MIDDLE NAMES, or until the first time our fathers whistled. Oops, crap, that’s DADDY – gotta run! Daddies were in charge and everybody had one. Everybody. Some were nice, most were scary, veterans home from the War, and all adult males were Misters (or Sirs below the Mason-Dixon Line.)

Even the girly-girls who were less tomboyish than Ammo Grrrll, jumped rope for hours, roller-skated, ice-skated, (sometimes on the same early June day in Minnesota), and rode bicycles. And that was the town kids, of course. The country kids had chores up the wazoo. Homegrown crews of little farm laborers only with fewer rights than migrants. Where was Cesar Chavez when my friend Loretta had to pick rocks out of fields or weed the strawberries all weekend?

And not ONE kid was fat, not one! Tubby, in the Little Lulu comics was more or less mythological. Now our kids sit and play electronic games or watch television or fiddle with their phones and computers. Eating giant plates of fast food instead of nourishing Lik-M-Aid. No wonder they are fat. They don’t burn 50 calories in a day.

To me there are few sights more pathetic than an entire family ignoring each other in a restaurant, each person tapping away on his or her own phone. Brothers should be punching each other and informing the father who started it; and the mother should be carping about how much cheaper she could have made the chicken at home and the younger sister should be repeating everything her big sister says until the big sister bawls in frustration. You know, RELATING! Good clean family fun!


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