Today at the Rotten Library I learned . . .
. . . Eagle Scouts don’t always make good role models.
God bless the Rotten Library on days when I can’t come up with shit to write about. And what an interesting little article this is about the Eagle Scouts. Sure, I’ve always been suspect of the squeaky-clean “All-American boy” image — a suspicion confirmed by the presidential candidacy last year of 1970s game show host/animatronic mannequin Mitt Romney — but even I was a little surprised by how many Eagle Scouts went on to become notorious homicidal maniacs.
Charles Whitman? Really? Is that where he learned to shoot so well, I wonder.
I get some degree of smug satisfaction from seeing professional bigot Fred Phelps on the list, too. What is it about learning how to light a camp fire or put up a tent that turns people into such pricks?
Hell, it runs in my own family. Sort of. No one in my family was ever an Eagle Scout so far as I know, but my Dad was a Boy Scout as a child, and Pap was the scout master of his . . . I don’t know, troop, or whatever the fuck they call the little groups of Boy Scouts. Pap once told me about a time when he took his troop to stay overnight in cabins around a lake in a state park which I have completely forgotten the name of. Before they left for their trip, the mother of one of the scouts hipped Pap to the fact that her son was a sleepwalker. Pap, being a clever man but also a responsible one, didn’t want the little bastard to get up in the middle of the night and wander out into the lake.
So he did what any caring adult in charge of a group of vulnerable children would have done. He waited until everyone was asleep in their bunks, then took a length of rope and tied the sleepwalker’s ankle to the post of his bed. Later on that night, Pap was awoken by a dull thud followed by a good bit of crying. He got up and sure enough there was the sleepwalker on the floor, one foot tethered to his bed, bawling his eyes out, with no idea what the hell had just happened to him.
The kid’s mother wasn’t too happy with Pap after that, but he took it all in stride. “Would she have been happier if I let the little bastard wander out into the lake and drown?” he asked me.
I suppose she would not have been.