I was never bored as a kid. I grew up in the 60s and 70s in upstate NY. I was a free spirit. Times were different. Kids were allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. We could wander the countryside without danger from strangers. As kids, we (my siblings and I) did a lot of crazy things. It didn’t hurt us any and I think I’m better for it. At the very least, I have some crazy stories to tell the kids and grand-kids. It’s natural for kids to test and retest their limits, boundaries and such. It’s natural for kids to do gross, disgusting things. Incidentally, we were never bored. Our imaginations had no limits.
My cousins ate dog biscuits. No lie. They did it on a regular basis. One day they talked me into it. Now I can tell people what dog biscuits taste like. They’re sort of gritty and chalky, like ground up bones. Which I suppose is exactly what they are. I did some crazy things as a kid. Eating dog biscuits didn’t hurt me any. I’m a vegetarian now, but it isn’t because I ate dog biscuits. At least, I don’t think so. They were pretty gross but that’s not the grossest thing we did.
We played with cow plops. We used to step on the dried ones to watch the manure squish out the sides. Even worse? We did it in bare feet. Parents today would likely be horrified. They’d run to test their kids for E-coli or some such, I’m sure. Still, it didn’t hurt us any. It was harmless fun. We also played a game called cow pie bingo. You drew squares, bet on a square and wherever the cow plop landed, well, that was the winner. Hey, at least we weren’t into cow tipping.
There were lots of other things we squished with our bare-feet. Caterpillars have green insides, by the way. We also popped tar bubbles on the back roads. We fried eggs on the pavement. We had (walking on) hot rock contests. We ate the most horrendous things we could think of, purposely. It was all about who could be the most disgusting. I did a lot of crazy things as a kid and I survived them all.
We roamed the countryside without supervision. I’m guessing Mom was enjoying the peace and quiet. There were six kids in our family then. My little sis came along later. She never got to do any of this cool stuff with us. We climbed fences and swam in farmers’ ponds (full of leeches, by the way). We taunted bulls (and subsequently ran for our lives). We played hide and seek in cornfields and so much more.
As we grew older we got more daring. We had a lot of fun with go-karts, bikes and such. We crashed into each other on purpose on a regular basis. We skinned our knees, stepped on nails, got stung by bees and even broke a few bones. We jumped off the roof into snowbanks, tried to fly and did all sorts of crazy stunts. It didn’t hurt me. I took my knocks as a child and I was never bored. I learned a lot by falling down. That’s what being a kid is for. That way when you grow up, you’re not still making mistakes. Or at the very least, you’re not still eating dog biscuits.
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