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Counting cracks

If you step on a crack, you’ll break your mother’s back. Do you remember this old rhyme?

Nowadays, the rhyme is: Show your crack and you’ll give your mother a heart attack.

I’ve already warned my kids about this. If I see one crack or one pair of underwear peeping from their jeans, I will hoist away. Wedgies ahoy!

So far they have taken me seriously. But it’s all I can do to not worry that I’m talking into the wind. Every time we go to Church for the youth service there’s a sea of cracks in every pew.

When did we get so casual? When did I get so old? And how comfortable can it be if you have to constantly tug your t-shirt down and your pants up?

I’m becoming the older generation.

My friend and I were musing about this the other day when we were shopping at an outdoor mall. We passed one little store dedicated to youth. We guessed that the amplified noise was music, but we couldn’t decipher the words. Even the sale signs confused us. Were they selling music, clothes, tattoos, images? Or was it just a place to hang out with rings in your nose and hair dyed darker than coal?

We shuffled off, a bit leery of the clientele that was mutually and cautiously checking us out.

God, help me if my children ever look like that. I remember a time when it was considered a sign that you lacked intelligence if your pants hung that low.

But, thanks to modern fashion, there is more than a just few cracks out there to make you shudder. Some fashions should have been laid to rest and never brought back to life. I’m talking about bell-bottom pants and poet shirts. What’s next? Side-burns? Gold chains tangled in chest hair? Shag carpets? On the ceiling?

Maybe Elvis IS alive and well. Maybe they resurrected him, too. No surprise. If he is now the same weight as when he died, I’m sure the King sports a royal crevice of his own and fits right in.

Now, some say: if you’ve got it, flaunt it. But we don’t see kids walking around with t-shirts that read:

Never been there, never done that…and don’t want to.
26 and still a virgin.
Of course, I don’t smoke!
I drive sober!
I worked hard and have the grades to prove it.

Is that because failure has become the American dream? Or has the ‘everything goes’ thinking crowded out real achievement and virtue?

No worries, though. We are due for this younger generation to rebel. I do believe we have a new bunch of people who will stand for more than how much derriere they show, even if it’s giving this mom a heart attack in the process.

It’s the cracking dawn of a new generation.

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