Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I refuse to wear the socks

Shirtlessboy is a cub scout.

To a 7 year old this means he goes to a place where there are a bunch of other kids who wear the same thing and they run around until someone holds up the dreaded "sign" and they have to settle down for at least 30 seconds.

Like most guys my age I recall my time in the scouts as a positive period (eroded by time, but it's still a positive memory). I didn't make it to the holy grail of scouting - Eagle. I'm not sure I even made it to groundhog or horn toad, but I showed up and rubbed sticks till my hands hurt with the best of them. They didn't ask us to rub sticks, I just liked rubbing sticks. Don't judge.

I lived in South Africa as a kid. My dad says he was an electrical engineer and worked on TV in the apartheid ruled South Africa in the mid 70's. But my brother, sister and I know the truth - he was actually in the CIA and the electrical engineer story was a clever cover. We know this because when we got there (early '73) everything was cool, when we left (late '76) everything there went to crap. TV is bad, but it doesn’t make people burn down their homes.

We've asked him many times to come clean but apparently he took some kind of super secret pinkie ring oath and still hasn't admitted to being a member of The Company. Sorry dad, I hope me saying this doesn't mean you and mom have to move out in the middle of the night guarded by a guy named "Chuck" who wears dark sunglasses.

Anyway, my scout experience is limited to the scouts in South Africa. Those were some real scouting adventures. Lion wrestling badges, ribbons for the Cheetah race, rhino dodge. Good times.

Zip like a hundred years forward and here I am volunteering as a scout leader for my sons pack. I think it's important for him to see me involved. The thing is... much as it was for me as a kid; I don't think I really fit in.

The other night I went to a district meeting. Let me set the stage, this is a meeting of all the other adult leaders in the district. There are NO kids there, only 30 adults all wearing oversized boy scout uniforms and attempting to keep their shirt tucked in over well developed peach cobbler induced bellies.

I walk into the "meeting" and right into an episode of the outer limits. We start by singing songs, followed by some more songs and a quick discussion on "advanced" training we can attend which I didn't get the memo on because I'm apparently the only one in the room who has NO idea what the hell I need to go to the training for. The smartass in me was DYING! I could feel the smartass part of me starting to sit upright in the seat and wanting to ask where we sign up for tent assembly training and how many pushups can we make the kids do in a single set before we have to submit a form.

Did I mention that I was the ONLY adult there who wasn't wearing the overgrown boy scout uniform? Nope, I was there in civilian clothes, further indication that I didn't belong. Judging by the way some were dressed I thought maybe we were going to go on a hike and build a fire in the parking lot instead of sitting in a church lunchroom on plastic chairs at 7 p.m. on a weeknight without a beer in sight.

I know I'm going to have to break down and get the uniform, but I'll be damned if I'm going to wear the green socks.


Thoughts from the Deep End said...


I feel your pain... (and coincidentally, I also have a smart ass living inside of me!!)

Only mine needs to be kept at bay at PTA functions and such... You know, the kind that are filled to the brim with over zealous moms who are seriously in need of reality checks!

When my adult kids were young, my husband bravely took on a pack of wolves... of the cub scout variety... they would descend upon our house one evening a week and cause total mayhem while making silly, rude jokes about Webaloes...
"We-baloe-a-fart", and other ridiculous things that I secretly found hysterical!!

Good times....

PS - I loved your butt-paste story!

Texan Mama@WhoPutMeInCharge said...

hee hee hee this is so funny. My son, now a wolf, or is it bear, I dunno, was in tiger cubs last year. His leader gave them "behavior beads" which basically led to NOTHING but got my son all a-tither if he didn't get them at a meeting because he was talking or using too much elmers glue or whatever. That woman with her oversized boy scout shirt had some very real authority issues.

Anonymous said...

Long story that I'm NOT going into.

The grownups who wear the uniform either cannot speak aloud for the weight of their neuroses or are expecting to be deputized at any moment.