Friday, July 18, 2008

Cautionary tale

Kids can be mean. They believe different is weird. Different is stupid. Different is something to be laughed it. While I don't have kids of my own to rely on for empirical evidence, when my brothers were little, I was pretty close to being an adult. Close enough to know that when they or their friends made fun of people sometimes it was mean.

My brother Chris had a friend (had is an important word in that statement) who was chatty and loved to flatter adults or really anyone with a car who could drive him around. He was a real Eddie Haskell.

I have no idea what he said about me behind my back, but I'm certain, at times, it wasn't awesome. Chris's friend could be especially cruel with his humor. Show him someone bald, vertically challenged, unathletic or chubby and he would have a field day.

Chris's friend wanted to be an NFL athlete, and he was pretty certain he had the mad skillz to make it happen. When injuries or general lack of talent sidelined him, he decided he would be a nutritionist. When he decided he didn't care about food, he set his sights on becoming a gym teacher. So I was pretty surprised when Chris sent me a picture of this kid the other day.

To protect the innocent and satisfy the request of some of my loyal readers for more draw-rings,
I've created my own rendering of the picture Chris sent.

Notice how the girl next to him is trying to make it as clear as possible that she is not with him? She might as well hop into the lap of the skinny guy sitting next to her. As my brother noted, his 16-year-old self would have pointed and laughed at his current self.

What is that saying? That which we dislike most in others is what we dislike most about ourselves? Be careful of making fun of overweight people because you might become one some day?

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