Tag Archives: Rant

Notes On The Care And Feeding Of Teenaged Boys In The Wild

In his natural habitat, the teenaged boy is normally a sullen, yet somehow docile creature. He seems bent on quietly sleeping away as much free time as possible.

When spotted outside his designated sleeping area, sometimes known as the Pit of Despair or the Garbage Dump, the teenaged boy typically is attempting to sulk through the larger familial environment, speaking only when forced to do so, interacting to the least extent possible by a physical being, and foraging for food. It is this latter activity, consuming almost as much time as the teenaged boys’ attempt to sleep, which takes up the most time during the day.

It is thought by many, this author most definitely included, that teenaged boys have a hollow leg for storage of foraged foodstuffs. While not evident in most contemporary medical imaging technology, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy.

Don’t test me on this. I mean it!

So, yes. The teenaged boy can use his hollow leg (It is there! It is!) for the majority of his time as a teen. Over time, the hollow space gradually withers away, becoming a vestigial, nearly invisible line between several leg muscles.

This, however, is what happens in the teenaged boys’ natural habitat. Despite their best intentions, family members will astonishingly forget previous experiences with forcing a teenaged boy out of this natural environment and into new, strange places which work against his natural tendencies. In other words, teenaged boys do, on occasion, get taken on vacation.

Often it is not a smooth week during the vacation time.

Some parental units will expect the teenaged boy to show excitement at the prospect of traveling to an exotic destination, there to interact with people different than himself, eat unfamiliar foods and attempt to sleep in beds that do not have mattresses conformed to his shape. These parental units are often the most disappointed following the paying of the cost of travel and accommodation for the vacation.

These parents, as many prefer to be called, face further disappointment if they expect the sullen teenaged boy to rise early, be excited and friendly, then go out and enrich themselves with cultural activities not available in its home range.

The typical teenaged boy will face the prospect of cultural enrichment with all the excitement and anticipation a normal person would have for a blunt-edge, sledhammer-assisted leg amputation.

While the idea of strange food normally is met with loud and repeated calls of, “This stinks! I hate this stuff! Why can’t I have a cheeseburger? Everybody hates me. I’m going to my room. Oh, wait. That’s right. I can’t go to my room, can I? Fine. I’ll just sit here and starve to death in front of you.”

Interestingly, at least interestingly to those not intimately involved, these exact words are repeated on an average of every five minutes while teenaged boys and parental units are sitting in a restaurant. Which is much more persistence than showcased by teenaged boys when forced to do, say, homework.

The frustration level of the parental unit will only increase when the teenaged boy decides that he will continue sleeping as late as he wants, no matter the distraction nor the din of people getting ready around him.However, the author of this paper believes he has come up with a method that could be useful to parental units forced to bring a teenaged boy outside of his natural habitat.

For starters, it is recommended that parental units adjust their expectations before leaving for the trip. Understand that teenaged boys have, at least in front of their parents, one facial expression that seems to be used the majority of the time. Teenaged boys spend a lot of time practicing that expression. However, this author has it on good authority, that actual human emotions do percolate beneath that stone-faced exterior.

Which is good, really, because you’d never know it to simply go by the exterior.

So, once parental units understand that smiling is a thing of the past and the future, but not the present, for teenaged boys, it enables them to move forward with their plans without suffering disappointment, frustration or anger. At least about the lack of a smile.

On a recent trip with his own teenaged boy, this author discovered what seemed to be the key to a successful temporary transplantation of a teenaged boy to a new environment. That key being disinterest. In this case, the author’s own.

Many parental units will pack a vacation chock full of wonderful events, fantastic sites and educational exhibits designed for the teenaged boy to enjoy and find elucidation. When these activities are met with surface disinterest by the teenaged boy, parents suffer.

The key, this author has found, is to use that disinterest to the parents’ advantage. While the teenaged boy insists on sleeping very late indeed, it is possible for the parents to go out into the new environment and seek out those stimuli which he or she enjoys and do so without the constant drag of a sullen teenaged boy.

Then, at a time agreed upon earlier, the parents simply return to the temporary sleeping territory of the teenaged boy and wake him up. As is the case with most wild animals, the first thing that should be done upon waking the teenaged boy is to feed him. This should take place as soon as possible.

Having been out enjoying themselves earlier in the morning, the parents will more easily have found a place that serves food they like and that still serves a breakfast-ish food for the teenaged boy. Once the food has been absorbed and the teenaged boy begins to reapproach what might, on a stretch, be called civility, then it’s time for the joint activity.

This author found that having one activity, outside of meals, per day to perform with the teenaged boy worked out just about right. Mostly because this author made sure there was another activity in the neighborhood of the first. That way, when the first activity was finished, it could be said with the appropriate degree of surprise and incredulity, “Oh, look. It turns out that (fill in the blank of another activity, this one less attractive to the teenaged boy) is right near here. Why don’t we just head over there for a couple of minutes? Wow. Isn’t this lucky?”

Admittedly, the author’s teenaged boy began to look at the author semi-suspiciously after the author repeated the above verbatim four days in a row, but it still had its desired effect. However, this could be something to watch out for on other vacations.

Finally, after the exhausting day’s events (exhausting to a teenager because it normally wouldn’t involve more sleeping or television) are finished, it is time for the next important step.

Once more feeding the teenaged boy. As this normally would be the dinner meal time, it is best to eat at a restaurant that is more filling for the parents. That way, when the teenaged boy begins the evening feeding frenzy a few hours later and begins turning every adult-aged stomach in the vicinity, the parents already will have eaten and can simply put in the earplugs purchased for just this purpose and turn away for the duration.

Oddly, this author found that being earplugged and facing away from his teenaged boy made for a remarkably enjoyable reading experience. As long as the author kept his eyes focused away from the carnage happening near the previously purchased snack foods.

It is hoped that this author’s travails with his teenaged boy can help other parents survive any temporary relocation of their own teenaged boy.

First published: On Charlotte Parent website.

April 14, 2015 8:33 am
Written by: Richard E.D. Jones


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Memorial Day 2014

Take a moment to remember.

Here in America, today is set aside to remember and honor those who gave their lives in the service of this country.

As far as I know, Memorial Day is supposed to be reserved for those who died while in the armed forces, but I like to think that it includes all those who were working to make our country a better place.

Yes, it’s a broad definition, but I like it. Mostly because it means that killing people isn’t the only definition of greatness.

While you dudes are out at the cookout, or enjoying the warmth of late spring/early summer or doing whatever it is you’re doing instead of being at work, do take a little time to remember those who went before.

Talk to your little dudes about why they’re out of school.

You might also want to consider how you can honor the lives that have gone toward making our country a better place to live. Carrying on that sort of work sounds like the best way to me.

Make our country a better place for all its citizens*. Restore its justification to act as a moral beacon to the world.

Today isn’t only about getting a day off work or a day out of school.

Remember. Act. Improve.

Footnotes & Errata

* You have no idea how tempted I was to insert a blatantly political paragraph/rant here. I think I might have given myself an aneurysm from stopping my fingers. Ow.

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Down, Down, Down

by Richard

Hey, dudes.

Sorry for the mopes here, but I’m still a bit down in the dumps that my fellow North Carolinians decided it would be a good idea to restrict the civil liberties of a substantial portion of our citizenry with a stupid constitutional amendment.

Let’s face it: the reason people are against letting same-sex marriages go through is they’re squicked out by the thought of two men getting it on (or strangely attracted to the idea), so they want to get rid of it. Now, I’ve seen a lot of the women involved in this sort of thought-experiment-gone-wrong movement and I personally get squicked out by the thought of them getting it on. But you don’t see me spearheading a drive to have it declared illegal to marry them, do you?

No. No, you do not.

Not only that, but this opens up a whole ‘nother can of worms. I mean, how are they going to determine who’s a man and who’s a woman? Yes, I’m serious with that one.

There are genetic men who have had sex-reassignment surgery and are now living as women. There are genetic women who have had  sex-reassignment surgery and are now living as men. There are genetic disorders that give people more sex chromosomes than most people. Heck, Jamie Lee Curtis has an XY sex chromosome and you wouldn’t call her a man, would you?

It’s ridiculous, is what it is.

Two consenting adults should have the ability to marry and be legally supportive of each other if they want to do so.

And we just went ahead and took that right away from people because 60% of North Carolinians don’t like thinking about what those people do in their bedrooms. Grow up, people.

Sorry for the rant. You’re just lucky I accidentally deleted the one that was three times this long and filled with a lot more curse words. We’ll be back to normal tomorrow.

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