We’ve all probably run across at least one or two of them during our lives. Shit, maybe you were one of them yourself. They were “that” kid. For you ladies out there, maybe some of you were considered “tomboys” when you were growing up. You’ll know what I’m getting at.
You know them the minute you see them. They’re the little kids who always seem to have the unkempt look about them. Maybe one of their shoelaces is perpetually untied and the shirt that they’re wearing that is supposed to be neatly tucked in is spilling out the back. For the ladies in the audience, they’re probably the ones that never felt comfortable in a dress or tight shoes. For the most part, these are the kids with either holes or grass stains embedded in their jeans that no amount of sewing or washing will cure. They seem much like Pigpen from Peanuts, to have a cloud of dust about them. It doesn’t matter if they’re in a church, in a restaurant or at a monster truck show.
Yes, they’re the ones who’s moms have that eternal worried look on their face as they lick their fingers to try and either wipe away of smudge of dirt on their face or to try and tame a cowlick gone astray.
Those are the kids that walk around with a big goofy smile on their face as if the word was their oyster and they’ve just discovered a pearl. They have what seems to be an air of mischief about them.
And what becomes of all the little boys
who never say their prayers?
I remember when I was kid of about five or six. It was just after my family converted to Catholicism and my mom tried to give it her best shot. Each night before bedtime we’d go to my room and I’d kneel in front of my bed and clasp my hands together and shut my eyes tight and do the whole “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep routine. I guess it got old pretty quick because it didn’t seem to last too long. Maybe she got tired of hearing me ask God to “God Bless” everything under the sun and it wasn’t long that I was sent off with just a reminder to ‘say your prayers”.
That probably lasted all of about a week. When left to my own devices, it was easier just taking it for granted that God would hear my pleas without me having to go through the ritual of saying them out loud.
What a crock, I was just being lazy and had that little boy feeling one gets when they think they are getting away with something.
Anybody with me?
So what becomes of all the little boys
who run away from home?
When do you know that you’re all “grown up”? I’m guessing that most of us start to hit our stride somewhere in our mid to late teens. That’s usually the first time most of us leave home for an extended period of time and start strutting our independence around like a badge of honor and to think we know the ways of the world.
As the years move by, many of us won’t be shocked to discover that we didn’t know jack shit.
Oh some of us will still carry on with the conviction of an Evangelist preacher out to save the world and go through life with a self righteous way about them and how they never did anything wrong in their entire life.
I bet those are the ones who combed their hairs and said their prayers.
So here's to all the little boys,
the sandman takes you where
You'll be sleepin' with a pillow man
on the nickel over there
So give me the “dirty kid”. Not the bully though. I want the one who is comfortable covered in mud, chews gum in school and is the occasional recipient of a black eye or scraped up knees and elbows. They don’t care about appearances in front of the world. They just want to be themselves.
They usually clean up better anyway.
Yeah, give me the one who chases after balls like a dog fetching a stick. Funny thing about that, a dog is always happy and their tail always seems to be wagging when they’re running down a stick or ball.
I think the same goes for those kinda kids.
Selected lyrics lifted from Tom Waits and his tune called “On The Nickel” and released on the album Heartattack and Vine.