Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Kids, Beer and Proof Most Men are Idiots

So there we were, in Canada.

Mrs. Blackwell, the boy and I had all traveled about 600 miles to partake in a family reunion and visit with old friends. While on the Northern side of the border, a childhood buddy of mine opened up his home to us.

Mrs. Blackwell in the middle of the circle of wives discussing
 the many ways their husbands regularly underwhelm them.
This friend, let's call him Mike (because that's his name and he'd prefer I never mention him here), has three kids of his own, two of whom are near Master Blackwell's age.

So for the better part of three days Mike and I watched our kids palling around together. There's nothing more disarming than watching kids play.

But, it's particularly jarring when those kids are yours and they're playing with the kids of a guy you broke bread with.

If you ever want a vivid representation of just how old you are and how much time flies this, ladies and gentlemen, is it.

But, I'm not here to get wistful while reflecting upon the bittersweet tinges that attach themselves to precious childhood moments.

No, at this point recent circumstances dictate that I point out — once again — what an idiot I am and what a bunch of idiots I've surrounded myself with since I was 11 years old.

And here is the story that proves it conclusively.

One of the kids put ice in my pocket so, I
returned the favor by shoving some
down his back. 
Mike hosted a barbecue at his home for some friends and their kids.

The day was clear, warm and sunny and the kids took full advantage.

They ran around Mike's backyard, swung on the swing set, climbed up the play structure, slid down the slide, chased each other around and in general did what kids do.

For our part the guys did what we do, which is to say very little of consequence.

We stood in a circle, drinking beer, looking much like the opening credits of "King of the Hill."

We made fun of each other and basked in the sheer and utter awesomeness of "us" while largely ignoring our responsibilities as the kids scooted in and around our group.

For their part, the wives sat in a circle watching the men who were not watching the kids.

Mrs. Blackwell told me that one of the wives casually remarked upon the scene noting that none of us (the men) had a clue about any of them (the kids).

Figuring that the kids were likely OK given they were fenced in, the wives continued to enjoy the more refined conversation that women tend to engage in.

The next time they paid attention was to notice that the kids had gotten a hold of a couple of beers and, because they're smarter than grown ups, they didn't drink it.

Instead, they poured it down the slide and used it to glide down it faster than ever.

One adult watching one kid. Note the lack of beer trickling
down the slide. 
A few of them might have smelled of malt and hops but, beer-soaked clothes be damned, they were moving quick down that slide.

Meanwhile just a few feet away, the men — five of us, to be specific —  stood, completely blind to the alcohol-fueled makeshift splash park behind us.

Because, even in liberal Canada, it's not cool for one's kid to smell like Mill Street Organic Lager a couple moms had to strip their kids down, leaving them to momentarily run around naked.

A thorough re-enactment of the 'Lord of the Flies' never came to pass but, had the moms not been there, who knows?

Thankfully the women on hand were kind enough to save the reprimanding of their husbands until they were behind closed doors.

After all, the women already know what fools we are, but it's nothing we want to openly acknowledge to one another.

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