Experts say that today’s youth do not get enough exercise, but I disagree… vehemently! I have three boys and all they do is run. They just sprint. They never walk anywhere. They never learned how. We’ve tried to work with them for years, just teaching them to walk in a way that isn’t destructive.
“Walk firmly, in a straight line. Allow time for braking. Assume five feet of braking time for each mile-per-hour that you are striding. Double that on a slippery surface.
Instead, they go from standing to sprinting to shattering something.
Now, I’m not only terrified for their safety, but for my own as well, because there is a constant flow of bodies everywhere around me crashing into stuff.
Why are they running? What’s the hurry?
It’s not like their crayons are going to expire.
And I can’t take them out in public, or else they’ll destroy all sorts of private property with their clumsy running. We tried using “kid leashes” on the little ones, but they kept pulling our arms out of the sockets.
When we send them to their rooms, it sounds like microwave popcorn bouncing off the walls upstairs.
I regularly hear tire squeals from the children. It hurts my ears! Their shoes only last about a week before they wear down the tread on them. It’s not uncommon for one of the boys to blow a left shoe, spin off uncontrollably into the oncoming lane and hit another one of my sons head on.
What’s going on in their minds?
They don’t seem to comprehend cause and effect. Even when they get hurt from running and crashing, the first thing they do is run to their mom and crash again.
And the sadistic designers of our house placed slippery tile flooring in the kitchen and the bathroom – the two places the kids are most likely to run to.
At some point, all but one of the boys will be brushing their teeth and the last one will run in to join them and – BOOM – it sounds like bowling pins rattling at the end of a lane.
One of their worst accidents was when their grandma showed up. They all ran to her to give her a kiss. She needed dental work after that to repair all the damage.
The worst of them all is my youngest. If you were to pick him up in the air midstride, his feet will continue to pedal on – flailing uncontrollably. This is really problematic when he runs to the door to greet me after I’ve been on the road for a while… I scoop him into my arms for a loving embrace… but his feet don’t stop, which results in me receiving an ultimate “cup-check”!
This is the same generation who look at us confused when we won’t give them the keys to the car!
Next, my good friend Bob Smiley calls into the show from his brand new iPhone 6. He got it from a guy in a van who quickly took his money, gave Bob the phone and sped away without any activation hassles or anything. Bob is impressed by the new design that his phone has – different from all the other iPhones before it: it flips open, has a real long, retractable antennae and texting is strictly done on its numerical keypad – no giant alphabet to deal with!
But that’s not why he called.
He and I both have an uncanny gift of putting our foot in our mouth from time to time. (a gift.. at least that’s what we tell our parole officers).
He called to talk about his dad. Unlike Bob, his dad is a big guy. He’s always been big. His grandma once told Bob that his father was born on a Thursday… and a Friday! His dad is so big that Bob once asked if he was adopted. His dad replied, “Yes, you were adopted… but they brought you back.”
Bob didn’t quite get all of his dad’s humor until he was an adult. For instance, if the ice cream truck is playing music, it doesn’t mean that it is all out of ice cream.
But he wasn’t a bad father at all. Like many kids, Bob wanted a treehouse as a boy. So, his dad built him one at the back of his family’s property. His dad even moved Bob’s bed… and his dresser… and all his clothes… and toys into the treehouse. Basically, his dad moved him out at the age of nine.
But, that’s the kind of laughs that helped Bob become the man he is today!
Next, comedian Bob Stromberg joins the show. His latest project, “That Wonder Boy”, is a one-man, mostly auto-biographical show about a man who overcame his happy childhood and became a comedic artist. They say that all great art comes from great suffering. This is proven in the works of Van Gogh, Mozart, Richard Pryor… all the greats! And the number one rule of comedy is that you can’t fake your suffering – it’s got to be real! Whether through neglect, abuse, addiction or just plain bad genes, it’s got to be painful and authentic.
But Bob had a problem. He didn’t qualify. He came from a solid, well-adjusted household and was himself well mannered and well rounded. So, his joyful, thankful heart became the birthplace of a bucking of the system.
As Bob puts it, “Who would exchange a heart full of joy for a life of suffering to produce a great work of art, when the purpose of art in the first place – at least in part – is to bring joy into the world?”
And that’s the backbone of That Wonder Boy!