The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Big babies

Filling Up the Glass
 Big babies
Big babies

Big babies

I want you to take a trip with me. It’s a mental journey that will require nothing but a little time and imagination. We’re going to take a slow ride back in time to the days of your eternal youth, your pristine childhood*, preserved carefully and lovingly in the memoirs of your personal history.

Let’s go back to a time when the only wars that concerned you involved water balloons, snowballs and/or a high-powered squirt gun full of Kool-Aid. Or maybe the classic frozen water balloon, if you were a particularly devious little bastard. The only meaning the word “party” held for you was the suggestion of cake and ice cream, clowns who performed mind-boggling magic tricks and candy in quantities to melt your brain. To vote on the issues meant to consult with your friends on whether to spend the afternoon flying kites in the park or holding a Super Mario Brothers marathon tournament. Going to work required feeding the fish and, if you were having a particularly unlucky day, maybe cleaning your room. Your most severe and unpleasant responsibilities included brushing your teeth and putting on your pants without falling over. Your most rigorous academic assignments were reading one-page stories about talking raccoons and coloring pictures of bugs with your most prized material possession, the 4,297-color super-box of Crayolas. Simply choosing which yellow to use on the insect eyes was a logic-wrenching ordeal that could occupy hours.

In this idyllic era, you would wake up early Saturday morning quite deliberately to watch cartoons and eat candy-colored cereal until neon pink milk ran out your ears. You’d scream with delight during ferocious tickle fights with older siblings. You’d scrape your knees falling off your bike and get mud in your hair without even noticing. Summer was the greatest gift God ever granted humankind, because it meant no school and lots of swimming. Lots and lots of swimming. So much swimming that the “pint-sized prune” condition would leave a permanent imprint on your genetic code.

Ah, life was good. Soon there would be the descent of adolescence, like the fall of twilight, making everything confusing and hazy. Then there would be hormones and junior high and voluntary personal hygiene. From there it was only a matter of time until inevitable adulthood took hold, like the final throes of a fatal disease, the disease of reality. But your first few years on this planet were sweet and simple.

Were you happy?

My suggestion is this: We slap a couple pairs of rubber ducky swimming trunks on George and Saddam, set them down in a green, sun-dappled yard with a trash can full of extra-firm water balloons and let them have at it. Wettest man concedes defeat, they make up over a dozen strawberry cupcakes and take a nice lazy, drooling nap. They wake up to world peace. Problem solved.

Of course, there would have to be a neighborhood committee assembled to referee. Rules would include no bullying of the committee and no hiding balloons in your trunks. (No filling them with anthrax goes without saying.) Rule-breakers get a big, fat, wet wedgie.

Should the overzealous offspring of either warlord decide at some future juncture that a rematch is in order, it’s handstand contests in the shallow end of the pool at the Y. I think it would be a much more mature and effective solution than those currently being contemplated, and a lot more fun to watch.

* I apologize to all my heretofore relieved readers that I can’t possibly write a perfectly pleasant, light-hearted column without ruining it with a polluting kernel of social commentary. However, I feel morally obligated to note that most of the children in the world, including many in our own country, enjoy no such lifestyle, ever. They play with trash instead of toys, eat dirt instead of Happy Meals and spend most of their short existences battling desperate starvation, gut-curdling abuse and neglect, festering disease and grinding poverty. That said, you may now resume your sanguine nostalgic revelry.

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