Lists, Rankings and Guesstimations

The Top 10 Things I Don't Get About These Kids Today

Went to my son's 7th grade football scrimmage yesterday afternoon and - it's official - I'm effin' old. Uncool. Dweeby. Dorky. And totally outta touch.

These two boys - I dunno, maybe 13 or 14ish - were talking underneath the bleachers. At least I think it was talking. To my ancient ears it might as well have been that click-cluck-clicking-chirping from those alien prawns in District 9.

Boy 1: "'Sup mayne."

Boy 2: "Kickin' the bobo. You straight?"

Boy 1: "California."

Boy 1: "Bruh, you think she's dime?"

Boy 2: "Hells yeah!"

Um, my best-guess translation:

Boy 1: "Hi."

Boy 2: "Hello, how are you?"

Boy 1: "Fine."

Boy 1: "Look at that girl, you think she's pretty?"

Boy 2: "Yes!"

This got me to thinking. About my own demise and the accelerated plunge off the cliff of what was supposed to be the next generation. My conclusion? Damn, I don't understand kids today. Not just their communication. Their culture. Their, ya know, existence.

Cue the banjo, pour some rock salt on the homemade ice-cream maker and put a quarter in the Coke machine, I'm about to act as old as I am confused.

10. Video Games - I get it, I really do. Xbox graphics are krunk(?). But all day? All weekend? Without - literally - ever leaving the house? I mean, after adults watch porn for hours at some point don't they we want to get up off the bean bag and actually have real sex?

9. Bye-Bye Baseball - Not sure when or how it happened, but our national pasttime is no longer cool. It's about as popular as lice. And baseball cards? Forget it.

8. Death of Newspapers - They're portable. They're versatile. They're recyclable. They're dying. Maybe if we told them kids, "Hey look, a computer made out of paper!"

7. The Hat - I know, my dad slowly shook his head in shame when I wore my Rangers cap backward. But the trend now is waaaay back on the top of the head, and all cock-eyed where the first thing you see is the underside of the bill. It's like a permanent rally cap. One question: Why?

6. MTV - There's a popular show called Silent Library, where teens try to perform Fear Factor-ish dares - eating a bowl of scrambled swine flu with no hands, etc. - without making a sound. A stern, snooty, Footloose-looking "librarian" keeps score. I am not making this up.

5. "Hells yeah" - Plural, huh? Gotta admit, never saw that one coming.

4. Texting - Whatever happened to the romantic love note, all hand-written and custom-folded nine times and punctuated with the clever tuck-in flap?

3. Twilight - I say throw this pansy-ass romance into the ring with HBO's TrueBlood and let it be devoured forever.

2. Muzak - When I appease the son and venture onto 106.1 Kiss FM it seems like every voice in every song is being wacko-warbled by one of those Speak 'n Spell synthesizers. Even the slow jams are "sung" by Stephen Hawking and his mechanical voice box apparatus.

1. Girls - I have a feeling every generation of dads comes to this conclusion, so I'll say it: "When I was in high school the girls didn't look like that." I'm not being creepy, just observant. Shockingly healthy curves. Denim shorts smaller than Michael Phelps' Speedo. And layers. Three different skin-tight tank tops, each as gauzy-thin as the next. An embarrassing story that's too funny to not tell: I was at the gym recently when a very attractive girl walked by. "College cheerleader," I hypothesized. "Wonder if she yearns for a summer stint as a writer's assistant?" I daydreamed. So, like ya do, I let her clear past a safe distance before whipping my head around for a closer look. And what did I see? The back of a T-shirt that read "Seniors '11." Oh, the shame. Oh, the confusion.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt