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by Ron Cruger
Vintage thoughts
 The two senior citizens were sitting on the porch, swaying back and forth on their rocking chairs. They discussed the current state of the nation and the world. They had been friends for decades and could almost finish each other’s sentences.
          Down on the street below a group of teenagers walked by and looked up at the two elderly men. The young man, leading the five teenagers, pointed towards the porch. The teens all looked towards the two on the porch and began laughing. They walked on, with the three male kids turning towards the seniors twice more before they went beyond their view.
          “Did you see that? Those kids have no respect for their elders. That’s how kids are nowadays.”
          “Bunch of spoiled brats, far as I’m concerned,” offered the other.
          “In my day we respected our elders. Now those kids don’t care about anything but their tricky cell phones, parties and sex.”
          “Yes, yes. That and drugs. Where the hell are their parents? That’s what I want to know.”
          “If it was up to me we’d get tough with these brats and make ‘em live like we did. You know, with being polite and having respect and manners.”
          “Respect. That’s what they need, respect.”
          The shorter of the two seniors stopped rocking, removed his cap, scratched his gray haired and balding head and said, “You know, we should start a campaign to get rid of that crazy hip-hop and rap music.”
          “We should also get rid of all that crooked hat, baggy pants, crack showing and hoodie culture. We could get all those ghetto kids to listen to Pat Boone, Elvis and the Limelighters and we would teach them to play stickball and hide and seek. All those hip hop kids would have to turn in their guns, knives, pipes and drugs. These kids would have to attend school regularly. Their parents would have to help them with their algebra, history and social studies homework.”
          “They could wear baseball caps, but only if they wore them with the bills on straight. Those hoodies would be banned. Liquor stores would be off limits to kids. And any penalty the kids got their parents would get too. Gangs would be turned into church groups. The only tattoos allowed would be ‘Jesus Saves” or “Mom.”
          “Ya, know, you have some great ideas there, my friend, but I think a little reverse psychology might also work. I think the parents would have to bring their teens to school and also be required to pick their kids up after two hours. That’s right, only two hours a day. Clothing would include optional things – like no bras, baggy pants, lots of bling and metal chains around their necks. As the class opens there is a tattoo artist giving free tats. Any design the kids want is fine.”
          “In the corner of the classroom is the drug station. A smiling pusher presides over a long table that begins with water pipes followed by hash, coke, crack and whatever is the most popular drug on the street. Needles and all paraphernalia are made available to the kids. In another school room corner is the sex advisor, where abortions are given and breast implants can be done in an hour.”
          “Piercing is done in another room and offers piercing and implanting of devices in any body part or cavity desired.”
          “Classes are offered on gun ownership and small caliber pistols are handed out as samples along with a supply of ammunition. Anyone who needs a hoodie in gang colors has their choice from a long rack of new clothes in the cloak room.”
          “Down the hall from the home room is a utility room which houses a rap class for those who want to use boom boxes and eardrum-shattering speakers.”
          “My bet is that after a week of making these choices the teenagers will tire of everyone having and doing the same thing. Church becomes popular. Boys start wearing coats and ties and girls wear modest dresses. No tattoos are seen below long sleeves and butch haircuts and pony tails are seen on the school campus.”
          “Firearm shootings in the ‘hood’ stop and the public library is overwhelmed.”
          The two elderly men glanced at each other and nodded in agreement. They continued swaying in their rocking chairs.
          The group of kids that passed by a while ago returned. One again they muttered to each other and pointed towards the old men on the porch then snickered.
          The taller of the old men turned to his friend and said, “Who are we kidding?”
          The shorter man quietly said, “I have to take a nap.”
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