No longer being a kid (by age if not maturity level) I have to admit I’m a bit jealous. The little ones today have got it pretty good. I grew up with black and white television, now kids can stream their favorite television shows to their cellphone. I had cheap metal toy guns to play with, revolvers at best that if you were lucky would include a working hammer so you could insert a cap to make a noise when you fired it. Today they have realistic looking fully automatic assault weapons that actually fire projectiles. It must be a bitch to be an Indian these days.
When I was a young ‘un, we didn’t have video games. Or the internet. Or, for the more studious, even calculators. And when puberty was in sight, the momentous event was when someone stole their older brother’s copy of Playboy and you got to see a photo of naked tit. Not that that did much for me back then either. Today, as soon as a kid figures out how to unblock parental guidance filters (that’d be around the age of six) the internet will provide him with more naked bodies than he ever dreamed existed. And for the little gay boys to be, that means dick instead of female mammaries.
On the downside, even though a good bike cost less than twenty-five bucks back then, we were free to ride our little hearts out without looking like special needs children. Helmets and pads were only worn by football players back then. Now if you let your kid ride his bike without full protective gear Social Services will come down on you like a ton of bricks. And forget about disciplining you kid with a good whack to his butt . . . that’s jail time today. In my youth if you misbehaved your school teacher could, and would, slap some smarts into your silly little head.
Technological advances have made being a kid today pure joy. Advances in customs and laws, not so much. I guess helmet laws, for example, are a good thing but there’s an argument for fate and the natural culling of the herd too. Whether on a bicycle or motorcycle, requiring all riders to wear crash helmets undoubtedly saves a lot of lives, but many of those people are those whose only contribution to society would be as organ donors anyway. So when I see the littlest riders sans helmet zipping down the roadway, a fairly common sight in SE Asia, I don’t react in horror like some do but instead think how cute the kid looks and appreciate how much fun he’s having. I think kids need to be allowed to be kids. Even when that means they’ll never make it to being an adult. But then that may be why the gods made sure I’ll never have one of my own.
Nonetheless, a cute kid on a motorcycle always makes for a good photo op. I spotted this little tyke parked along the street in Siem Reap. No telling where his parents were, but he didn’t seem to care. And he’d mastered looking cool on a motocy to boot; he’s got the born to be wild look down pat. Which is pretty hard to pull off, even at that age, when you are on a Honda.
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