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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Elementary school's for learning

Now and again I eavesdrop on the wee ones when I’m there to pick up my own boy. Two boys were engaged in a battle to the death, and I was able to bear witness:
“I’m in a laser cage so you can’t get me.”
“You can’t leave the laser cage, so you’re trapped.”
“That’s good, because outside the laser cage, the air is filled with poison gas.”
“I have my gas mask on.”
“This gas gets you if it touches your skin.”
“Then I turn on my force-field. And now I can get through your laser cage!”
In triumph, the force-field boy closes in on the laser-lad and grabs him, thereby defeating his vile enemy. I have no doubt if laser-lad had been given just a few more seconds, he could have come up with some brilliant counter-stroke, but he choked, and therefore lost. By the way, as near as I can tell, the only consequence for losing was having to start the game all over again.
Is it any wonder kids love card games like Yu-Gi-Oh? Just like their lives, the whole thing is basically an improv scene. “Yes, that happens, but then this happens, which counters that, and then something else goes down, which ends that second thing.” And so on, and so on.
Child humour hasn’t changed much, either. A pair of third-graders are talking as they take their winter boots off:
“I’m late!”
“Me too. I’m late for my butt-waxing!”
Much hilarity ensued. I remember being reduced to helpless gales of laughter if someone said any of the magic words: booger, boobies, penis, Uranus. We all spelled BOOBIES on our LED calculators. Five million, three hundred eighteen thousand, and eight. Try it. That’s the number. You know you want to. Ah, the glorious innocence of childhood naughtiness.
For all that they say kids are growing up too fast these days, I’m sure not seeing any sign of it on the school-yard.

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