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Friday, June 23, 2006

devils and shiny lights

Kickin' back in the easy-sleazy chair, waitin' the long hours before my NevCity start, a group of parents were holding court while their kids prepped for the races. One of the boys listened while spinning lightly on a trainer, while the other hovered about the 'grown-ups,' circling the pow-wow in search of an entry point for inclusion, as many a youngin will do ... trying to belong.

So, the parents are complaining about this race and that promoter and 'oh, is that official just the stupidest?'

The vitriol was neck deep ~ with smug, myopic, insulting "we know best and why don't they serve us right" shit-eating talk being thrown around like frickin' monopoly money at a slumber party. This parent charged that promoter as a $25 prize idiot. That parent charged this official as having his head up an orifice far enough for a dental exam.

And all the while, the boys were listening, learning, repeating.

The boy on the trainer (huh ... using the term loosely 'cuz this middlin' teenager had more muscle mass than me and probably shaved more often ta'boot), takes a RedThrottle or FullBull or whatever they call those sugarbombs in a can from his silent-bob mother.

He grabs the drink without a word of thanks or acknowledgment and proceeds to pour it into his bottle of water - exagerrating his movements for the perfect ratio. As he's pouring water out and beginning to pour the sugarbomb in, he loses a bit of grace on the trainer and spills some of his FullofBull onto his shorts.

The look he gave his mother? Half blame, half contempt ... all her fault.

"Are you gonna get me a towel?"

I shit you not. Are you gonna get me a towel ... Said to this grown woman as the fathers off to the side grumble on about lapped riders needing to be pulled in one race, and why the hell did they pull riders in another.

And all the while, the kids listen, learn, repeat.


- - -


Sport is an expression of the human spirit.

And we humans certainly can be lovely creatures, at times.

At others ... we can be total douchebags.

18 comments:

shawndoggy said...

In defense of the parents... well, there's not really a great defense except that it's easy to say how you'd react to that situation with your own kids when it's hypothetical... but when it's presented to you, well, you may be surprised at how you react. Not that love and devotion of a parent to their child is a defense, merely an explanation of sorts.

For the kid... well... if you weren't a jackass at age 15, well, I'd be surprised. I sure was, I'll tell you that. And so were most of my friends. People that are now upstanding parents, teachers, community members. I think being 15 just makes you a jackass. It's a biological thing -- not only will the kid want to leave the parents pretty soon, but the parents will what to get his jackassness the hell out of the house too.

Velo Bella said...

I was a snot to my mom once at a skating tournament.

We were in the car and headed home within 10 minutes.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

parents acting like selfish, bloated jackasses = kids becoming selfish bloated jackasses

circle 'o life.

there are many a junior out there behaving with decorum, respect, honor, and working hard in a sport they love.

funny, that's sorta how their parents act, as well.

ginmtb said...

I saw an interesting commercial yesterday. It went something like this (note I was on my rollers so this might not be exactly the way it went):

New kid in school ridiculed by other students, they intentionally bump into him making him drop his books. Then they walk off and laugh.

The varsity jacket wearing jock walks up to him, helps him pickup his books and talks to him and tells him everything will be fine. They both smile and all is good.

Then someone says or it is splashed on the screen:

"Character - pass it on."

The circle of life baby, the circle...

X Bunny said...

do we see ourselves in the mirror?

..

few people who were a snot to my mom lived to tell the tale

bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

After working with the parents of hundreds of kids each year for five years...well, I have a lot to say about the state of parenting today. Since I don't actually have kids, though, I'll leave most of it alone.

However, I will say that the fact that my parents were parents when I was young meant that I knew when I was doing something that a good person wouldn't do. And that I didn't do it again. I think that is a big reason that we are all able to be friends now.

shawndoggy said...

Man, you guys must have all been angels. My parents didn't (knowingly) let me get away with anything, and I definitely knew the difference between right and wrong.

None of that stopped me from being an ass when I was 15.

If doint the right thing were always that simple, nobody would ever do otherwise...

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

don't think you're gettin' it.

it's about the parents, not the kids.

bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Exactly. These days a lot of parents seem to be more worried about being "cool" and being their child's friend at the expense of teaching children how to be a good person. There are notable exceptions, but in my experience the pushover parent is becoming the norm.

Sad.

shawndoggy said...

Well, you said that the kids are a reflection of the parents. I'm telling you that at least in my experience, jackass kids can still (and frequently do) come from great parents.

and bbelf, your comment made me laugh... just because it made me recall a recent conversation with my seven-year-old:

Kid: "Daddy?"
Me: "Yes?"
Kid: "Oh nevermind..."
Me: "Huh?"
Kid: "NEVERMIND! I know you are just going to say no, so nevermind."

marscat said...

sometimes kids rebel against their selfish, bloated jackasses parents and turn out quite
nice...

le petit lutin said...

It is rare to run into a good kid these days. Most of my kids' friends are incredibly insolent when they come to our house because their parents don't take the time to teach them how to behave.
I almost passed out when I asked one of my son's friend to go take a shower. Apparently, his parents are fine if he showers every five to six days. Damm, the kid stunk so much...and his socks could walk on their own!!!

Anonymous said...

As a junior coach I've seen "this" kind of kid and his high maintenence parents fairly often. If the baby boom generation can be labelled the "me" generation...these are the echos. Discourteous, Ungrateful, uncoachable, unsociable, unhelpful, unfriendly.

If it's any solace, this class of rider usually occupies the slow end of any race, and blames that circustance on the bike, other racers, the course...any excuse will do to avoid coming to terms with the
unflattering truth that they've not been willing to do the hard work.

By and by they quit and are gone.

Their parents can be completely blind to it. I remember vividly the hue and cry at the first race last season when a group of motivated 15 year olds absolutely killed everyone in a field of 60 riders. Predictably the parents were outraged...that the winners were "too good" and should be forced to race the 18 year olds instead of their Jonny....

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

.

damn these kids today!

.

Anonymous said...

I should qualify my last post...

MOST of the kids and parents are marvelous. They love to ride, love their bikes, love the races, love the company of kindred wheel-borne spirits, and love being part of a somewhat edgy counter-culture which contrasts with their "normal" daily lives.

A lot like you and me...so you see..there's hope!

The boys are fascinated and drawn to tinkering with the "machine"...and the suffering and the peer-standing it delivers. The girls....usually more the social side. Each compliments the other, completing the whole.

Anonymous said...

And then at the other end of the spectrum, there is this ray of hope for the younger generation:

http://www.vsrt.net/photos/2006
/WentePhotos/img_8308.htm

At 10 years old, she races with an extraordinary level of intensity and class. Her parents must be doing something right!

Though, she isn't 15 yet... :-)

Nome Agusta said...

Maybe a bit too intense. Her legs are ripped. I have seen her at several races and I am sorry, but I have to question if that level of development at 10 years old is going to have an adverse affect physiologically later in life.

BTW: If anyone ever sees my son acting like that, tell me. He'll get a towel alright... wrapped tightly around his neck.

WildDingo said...

I love how us non-parental types can pontificate so well on parenting. (I'm guilty of it too.) It's my own very strong opinions about parenting that keep me from being a parent. That, and I have a dingo. It's politically incorrect to for dingoes and babies to cohabitat. (lucky for me!)