26 August 2006

Neighborhood Differences - Part One

One of the most BLATANT differences between where I grew up (in mostly lower-middle-class areas) in PHILLY, and here in FORT WAYNE (just PLAIN middle class, at least it WAS before the RENTALS took over), is the lack of items (we call them...TOYS) for the kids to play with. Back in Philly, we had white metal cheap-ass capguns, armymen (only the GREEN ones will do), pimple balls (and a stick if you were old enough to play in the STREET), tricycles (NO...we didn't just give a HUGE bike to a 4 year old and tell him/her to "work with it"), and that as about it for toys. Sure we played TAG, RED ROVER, DODGE BALL, and such (all most likely BANNED in TODAY'S world), but by and large we still had SOMETHING. No matter HOW "financially-challenged" your folks might have been, you had something to amuse you. Here in Fort Wayne (in MY neighborhood anyway), all I see are about THREE "items", four if you count that HUGE(probably stolen) bike for the 4 year old:

1) STICKS (branches will do in a pinch)
2) STONES (rocks...ditto)
3) BASKETBALLS ((note: less than ONE PERCENT of ALL college bound B'ball players will EVER make it to the "bigtime", so parents, guardians, and whoever the hell is minding these kids today...don't waste your money on a damn BASKETBALL when there is not ONE DAMN PLACE TO EVEN PLAY THE FRIGGING GAME ON OUR STREET, OK?))
I suppose the video game thing MUST be a passing fad. Funny, but when we were broken into at WILLOW CREEK CROSSING, the thieves STOLE my PLAYSTATION....so I would have "thought" that SOME little schmuck would have been satying INDOORS, playing MY games...silly me....what the HELL was I thinking???
Still... *IF* you have the voracious desire to FORCE your kids to play WITH a basketball (notice I didn't say PLAY basketball), tell them to NOT bounce it off of cars going by or use a LAWN for a court, you dipshit excuse for a mother (or father). Just load them into your damn 1978 ghetto-sled and DRIVE their asses (yours as well) to a REAL court...with REAL hoops and REAL painted lines, so they can get a REAL understanding of what the game is (since they're probably NOT going to have to scholastic scores to even GET to college in the first place, thanks to YOUR comprehensive tutelage and exceedingly POOR parenting skills)!

Speaking of "parents"...(and I use the term referencing OUR neighborhood ever so loosely)...um...where the f$ck ARE they anyway? I mean who's watching to see if that 4 year old is constantly riding their mini-big wheel into the nearest intersection WITHOUT KNOWING HOW TO LOOK FIRST? Back in Philly, you never had to worry about anyone NOT looking out for you. Hell, EVERY parent of every child "had your six", and made sure you (and any other kid) wasn't doing ANYTHING you weren't "supposed" to be doing. And God help you if YOU did... It used to be called "getting your ass whupped" (yes, outside..in FRONT of everyone). And crying WAS mandatory back then, because parents did what they did best...namely...PARENTING! No one ever got SUED for placing the "Board of education" upon the "Seat of Knowledge" with intent to TEACH! By the way...belts, razor strops, and a good calloused palm of a father's hand worked wonders too! It was called DISCIPLINE. But that's a whole OTHER post.

Here in Fort Wayne....my neighborhood...mostly "single" (as in a member of the "Boyfriend of the Month Club") moms trying to do 'de best de can", as THEY would say. Well, if THAT is your "best"...thank GOD I don't have to see your WORST. NO ONE in their right mind turns kids loose on a street with drug deals happening several times a month (we're not THAT bad...yet), speeders zooming up, down, and over the street, drunks wandering about, and sex offenders heaven knows where (this city seems to be a MAGNET where that's concerned)...or DO they? I guess being a RESPONSIBLE single parent doesn't figure into today's equation like it USED to.

In Philly, you RESPECTED other people (MISTER Smith, or MISSUS Jones...please, thank you...you know...all the words you NEVER hear today), You respected THEIR property, and woe to you if you didn't. Yep...another ass-whupp. But you LEARNED from that, didn't you? In Fort Wayne...the premise goes soemthing like this for kids (and their disrespectful older quasi-parenting units)..."What's YOURS is MINE...and what's MINE is MY OWN". Your property is JUST as much a playground for their kids as a FORMAL park, or their lawn, or Science Central. So if you're trying to grow flowers out front...FAGGEDABOUDIT! If you're thinking of doing ANY type of "curb appeal" to the frontage of your property (on the SOUTH side)...just string some BARBED WIRE between the trees, plant some PUNJI sticks, and cover them with a nice ground-hugging IVY. I can truthfully say it worked QUITE well for me..BWAHAHAhahaha.

So next time you're watching your children play outside in your comfortable suburban setting, complete with the idyllic landscaping, remember us in the OUTLAND....And try NOT to piss yourself laughing...

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