Inside looking out: From the mouths of two 7-year-olds
Justin: You got in trouble again? What did you do this time?
Dustin: The principal called my mom and said I was making fun of the way some girl was talkin’.
Justin: Were you?
Dustin: I guess so.
Justin: So what’s the big deal?
Dustin: The girl cried and told the teacher so I got sent to the office. He told me to tell the girl I’m sorry.
Justin: So that’s no big deal.
Dustin: It’s the third time I done it. The next time, I’m gonna get in big trouble.
Justin: You had to say you’re sorry three times to the girl?
Dustin: Nope. I made of fun of three different girls and they all told on me. You know Justin, here’s what I don’t get. My parents got mad at me for what I done, but they sit at the supper table every night and make fun of the way some guy talks all the time.
Justin: What guy?
Dustin: Name is something like Biteman or, I don’t know, well it’s not Batman, that’s for sure!
Justin: I think he’s the president. My folks make fun of that other president guy. I think his name is Stump. They say he has orange hair.
Dustin: So what age do we gotta be before we can make fun of people and not get in trouble?
Justin: The heck if I know, but I’ll tell you somethin’ else. My dad told me that when I play my baseball games, I should always be a good sport and not make fun of the other team, but ya know what? He don’t do what he tells me to do.
Dustin: Whadaya mean?
Justin: I mean my dad’s on some kinda team called the Publicgrins or something like that and he’s always makin’ fun of this other team he calls the Demorats.
Dustin: Oh, my dad’s doin’ the same thing but he plays for the Demorats and he makes fun of the Publicgrins.
Justin: Well, my dad says the Demorats cheated when they beat the Publicgrins. So when I heard him tellin’ my mom ’bout this, I said to my dad, “How you know they cheated?” and he said, “Cuz the TV said so.”
Dustin: My dad said the Demorats didn’t cheat. They won it fair and square. He told me anybody who thinks the Publicgrins won is a sore loser.
Justin: Then there’s this other thing about my mom sayin’ you gotta wear a mask so you won’t get sick, but I don’t get that ‘cuz remember my monster mask last Halloween? I got a real bad belly ache wearin’ that thing.
Dustin: You got sick ‘cuz you ate about 10 candy bars that day.
Justin: Whatever. So, anyway, Mom says I gotta wear this other crummy mask in school so I don’t get sick so I’m in school yesterday and some girl sittin’ behind me I hear her pukin’ so I turn around and she puked her lunch she just ate right into her mask.
Dustin: Oh man! Grossburgers!
Justin: I almost grossburgered into mine too, but the teacher said we could all take our masks off and hang our heads out the window to get some fresh air.
Dustin: Well, my folks say you don’t gotta wear a mask if you don’t want to and my dad says he don’t want nobody to tell him what to do, but my mom tells him what to do all the time and he does it.
Justin: My folks tell me what to do all the time and then I go to school and everybody there is tellin’ me what to do. Even Johnny Rand.
Dustin: What did he tell you to do?
Justin: Make fun of that girl who talked funny so I got sent to the principal and then Johnny Rand laughed at me.
Dustin: So why did you do it?
Justin: I don’t know, but then I got mad at Johnny Rand and I chased him on the playground after school and he ran across the street and I nearly got myself killed ‘cuz a car was comin’ and I didn’t see it till it beeped the horn at me so I ran back the other way.
Dustin: My dad tells me not to get all angry like that ‘cuz you can get yourself killed. But the other day when he was bringin’ me back from my trumpet lesson, a car cut in front of us and Dad screamed out these bad words and chased him down the street till this kid on a bike came ridin’ across and dad slammed the car to a stop just before the kid crossed.
Justin: Yup. My dad does the same thing even when my mom yells at him.
Dustin: Ya know what?
Dustin: My folks tell me I should act like a grown up when I’m around people their age, but I don’t see them doin’ it and they are grown-ups. Besides, I’m just a kid.
Justin: Yup, me too. Hey, are there any other teams that play against the Demorats and Publicgrins?
Dustin: Don’t know, but my dad don’t like my Uncle Harry anymore ‘cuz Uncle Harry is on the Publicgrins.
Justin: My dad always tells me, “Never stop being nice to somebody just ‘cuz you don’t like what he says.
Dustin: When I grow up, I’m not gonna play for those teams.
Justin: Me neither and ya know what?
Justin: Let’s make up our own team and I betcha everyone will wanna play with us.
Dustin: Let’s do it!
Rich Strack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.