Joe Shmoe Dirtbag Causes Nostalgia
Joe Schmoe Dirtbag
Joe Schmoe Dirtbag is a character I created for a previous Hub I had written on the issue of the 2nd Amendment V. Gun Control. My son loves this character. I'd probably love him more myself if he wasn't based in part on many of the sleezy people who live in my city. However, today Joe Schmoe Dirtbag did me a favor. He reminded me of all the great memories I have of a childhood when I didn't know Joe.
I grew up on a pretty nice one-way street in a pretty decent neighborhood. There were kids everywhere. Our ages ranged from about 7-15. We were brothers and sisters. We were cousins. We were friends and friends of friends. We were always enough to get a good game of Relerio or Red Rover, Red Rover going. And these were just the kids on my street. If we invited kids from surrounding streets, a game of hide and go seek could literally last all day!
But because Joe Schmoe Dirtbag also has siblings, friends, and friends of friends, things just aren't like they used to be. Kids have "Play Dates" now. They can't just "hang out" at the tender age of 7 anymore. One of Joe's relatives or friends are always lingering about just waiting to inflict some sort of mahem.
It makes me constantly wonder why things can't be as simple as they used to be. I was a latch key kid. I wore my house key around my neck and let myself in every day after school. I dropped off my school bag and then went back out to play until my mother got home from work. If she didn't see me outside upon her arrival home all she had to do was ask any number of neighbors if I was around. Yes, neighbors back then knew one another. She didn't automatically assume I'd been snatched by one of Joe Schmoe's Dirtbag crew. Today if your 7 year old is out of sight for more than 3 minutes, pure panic sets in.
I'm not going to say that my parents didn't know any of Joe Dirtbag's friends. Heck, they may have even known Joe himself (I was a latch key kid, which implies doors still needed to be locked even then), but I think Joe's circle has grown over the years. I think it's because of this observation that I've been so nostalgic lately. I miss the safey of my childhood. And I find myself extremely resentful that Joe Schmoe Dirtbag and his buddies have taken that feeling of safety away from the children of today.
Children today don't have the same freedom I had as a child. I moaned and groaned when dad said to be in when that first streetlight came on, but today you don't even see children out waiting for that same streetlight. They are on play dates or in playing video games or on the computer. I hear so many adults complain that kids today are lazy and don't know how to socialize, but I rarely hear parents of young children complain about this too often because it's the option they chose for their child. They obviously know Joe Schmoe Dirtbag too and decided they would rather have a computer addicted child than the possibility of no child at all.
Well because Joe and his gang have obviously come to stay, I will keep my doors locked and hang out on my pc writing about times when life was simple, safe and good. I will also be grateful that my son loved his video games and pc as a child. I don't believe he's ever met Joe Schmoe Dirtbag personally, but he's well aware of his existence. I hope when the day comes that he has his own children, he has stocked up on video games, pc games and God willing those old fashion, tried and true board games!