Monday, May 7, 2012

Whatever Happened To Working Neighborhood Kids

Today I was out working on my front lawn. I decided to pull up the whole lawn and reseed it. I did it once before, ear ago, and knew before i started it today that it would be somewhat of a task for me. That was not only because the is lawn loaded with grass roots but it also seems to have roots from every tree and bush in our neighborhood running through it.  It was a bit more manual labor than I have done in a long time and even though truly only a bit of work for an average guy since my lawn is 20x20 at best it was too much for me to finish in one day. Man I feel old, I guess the cancer and its treatments do that to a person. Now mind you, I was never a Charles Atlas, Steve Reeves or Arnold Schwarzenegger type but I could work at something like this job for hours if need be. Today, I was lucky go get in 15 to 20 minutes before I had to stop, do something else for an hour or so, then go back out and get at it again. I got about half of the lawn done and stopped because my back is aching under my left shoulder blade. I guess I'll get the rest tomorrow if it does not rain too hard and they are promising rain through and including Thursday. 

All the while, as I was out there on and off, I was wondering when a neighborhood kid would ride up on his bike and say: "Hey mister, need some help? I'll give you a hand for $10" or maybe it would be $20 nowadays. It probably would have taken a 14 or 15 year old boy, in halfway fair shape, less than an hour to do the rest of tearing out the old grass. The thing is, you don't see neighborhood kids offering to help their neighbors with chores anymore. It used to be commonplace. Kids back in my day, myself included, would look for opportunities to make a few bucks. Winter was a great time for it. First it was me and my brother, going house to house, store to store, building to building to see who needed help snow shoveling. Then I did the same with friends. As I got a bit older, I found I could make a buck helping people with other projects, garage clean-outs, painting, or bigger stuff like one guy who was building a laundromat around the corner from my apartment building. He was happy to have neighborhood kids helping because the labor was cheap and he figured he would get a good name with all the moms who would be bringing laundry to his place.

So what happened to that practice? Is it that kids today are just too darned lazy? Are they just mommified way too much and worried about the big bad boogy man neighbor who will eat them all up? I they all high on drugs? Are they too busy playing computer games and going onto social media sites like Facebook? Or is it something else? I have half a notion, maybe even a bigger one than just half sized, that the problem goes deeper than that. When I was a kid there were no wet backs on just about every corner in certain areas just waiting for someone to drive buy to pick them up as cheap laborers. In recent years you can see them, up this way, in way too many places on way too many days (like every day). Before that though, they seeped into society and started to replace kids on news paper routes, then doing snow shoveling jobs, cutting grass, or helping do cleans out in the spring or after some one's grand dad had passed away. Nowadays, every lawn service I have ever seen is loaded with them. I fired two lawn service companies years ago because none of their guys spoke English, were admittedly illegal aliens (I speak more than enough Spanish to have asked) and because they did shitty work. Now, just try to find a neighborhood kid to shovel your driveway and sidewalk or to do some lawn work, it isn't happening because the wetbacks have moved in, taken away their jobs, and no one seems willing to round them up and send them back to from whence they came.

If I was Supreme Ruler, things would be different! Before I blow a gasket, I had best just sign off using the wise post closing words of Jay from MArooned:

"That is all."

All the best,
Glenn B



Ruth said...

Momma wouldn't let them, that neighbor guy might be a rapist or something. From there the rest of it came.

Glenn B said...

Not my mother and not me or my wife with our kids. We taught them to defend themselves and I subtly made sure all the neighbors knew I was their worst nightmare should they do something bad to one of my kids. But you could be right about other folks' kids.

Ruth said...

So did my folks, but I hear it from alot of parents today. Usually while their kid is whining for a new toy....