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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
The Boy Scouts of America can kiss my ass 
Wednesday, October 10th, 2007 | 04:25 pm [library, pap, personal, ranting]
I hate Boy Scouts, the obsequious little do-gooders. You want a reason not to vote for Mitt Romney besides what a phony grinning mannequin he is? Forget his Mormonism: he and all 28 of his fucking sons are Eagle Scouts. They’re a plague, they’re a blight, they’re a boil on America’s ass. I hate Boy Scouts.
This being Sharpsburg, the town practically crawls with them all summer. I’ve never seen them help an elderly person cross a street, or pick up a single piece of trash, but they do eat their fill and then some of ice cream from Nutter’s. Then they march up to the battlefield, no doubt to learn how knowledge of tree species and the ability to tie complex knots turned the tide for the Union that bloody September day. Maybe at some point they also get a brief lesson on why gay people are the only category of humanity whom it’s okay to discriminate against.
Ashley deals with Boy Scouts all the time at the library, and her stories about them are never very flattering. Most of them seem to be self-centered, spoiled little mama’s boys who naturally expect to get their way 100% of the time. She told me about this little prick who came in with a Boy Scout group the other day. He walked up to the desk while Ashley was dealing with another patron, put down the books he wanted to check out, and started waving around what must have been his mother’s car keys, saying, “Excuse me, can you check these out? I’m in a hurry!” Ashley, who is awesome, ignored the little prick until she was done with the patron already there, then turned to him and said, “You need to learn to wait your turn.” I said she should’ve told him to go fold a flag into a triangle, you little shithead, but then he would’ve run and told his mom that the librarian cussed at him, putting Ashley into a jackpot, and earning his snitching merit badge, I’m sure.
Chillingly, there is actually a group called Caravan that promotes “Christ-centered scouting” through local churches. That’s enough to send a chill up your back, knowing that there are parents out there thinking, “I’d like my kid to be a Boy Scout, but I’m worried it might be too secular.” In this case, “too secular” describes any activity not devised and executed for the sole purpose of ramming Christianity down a young child’s gullet. The whole thing was probably Ron Luce’s idea.
To be candid, I must disclose that my father was a Boy Scout, and my Pap was his scout leader. There’s a story to go with it: Once, before his troop was to leave for a camping trip, the mother of one of the scouts told Pap that her son was a sleepwalker, and she feared him getting up in the middle of the night and wandering off into the woods or into a lake. Pap promised her he would take care of it, and off they went on their camping trip. There was a cabin where they stayed, with bunk beds. The sleepwalker took a bottom bunk. That night, after everyone was asleep, Pap quietly tied a rope around the ankle of the sleepwalker. The other end he tied to the bedpost. Several hours later, Pap and everyone else in the cabin woke to the sound of someone crying. Pap turned on the light and found the sleepwalker on the floor by his bunk, at the end of the rope. He’d gotten out of bed and tripped himself. His mother wasn’t too pleased when she found out, but, as Pap explained to her, sleepwalking a few feet and feeling down beside your bed was a lot better than sleepwalking into a lake and drowning.
There’s no logical reason for me to believe this, but I like to think Pap’s heart was never really in the scout leader gig. I’d rather believe he infiltrated the organization intending to wreak havoc from within. It’s one of my private, happy thoughts.

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Wednesday, October 10th, 2007 | 11:06 pm (UTC)
Another topic ripe for commiseration!

I was a boy scout for around 5 or 6 years. As you probably can imagine, I wasn't the best scout in the troop. I fucking hated it, but all my friends were in it so I dutifully went every Wednesday night to the fallout shelter under St. John's Episcopal Church.

I never made it past tenderfoot, which is the rank you earn by joining.

My mother once sued this guy from her real estate office for sexual harassment. This guy just happened to be one of the troop leaders also (and his son was in the troop, and his wife was a teacher at my middle school). He tried to get me kicked out, which of course I could simply NOT abide. This happened several times, but the one that sticks out the most is when I heard him say with a chuckle to the other leaders "Wanna hear a loaded question?" and then called me over and asked me if I believed in God. Because, you know, they can kick you out if you don't.

Another troop leader (Mr. Joyce) once called me out of a game of capture the flag or something to say one-on-one to me: "You know, Jamie, some people say that the end of the world is going to come soon, like in two years or so, and I just want you to know that I worry about your immortal soul. You really should give Christianity a try." I was 14. This same guy called the only black kid in the troop "Boy" all the time, and then made jokes about it behind his back to the rest of us. "I can call you boy if I decide to, and there's nothing he can do about it!" I didn't get it back then, but the rest of the troop seemed to think it was funny.

My first "experimentation" was with an upstanding, socially conservative, religious eagle scout who was the top scout or whatever it was called. He was also one of my best friends, and it went on for a few years. I still don't know what prompted him to tell his girlfriend about us years later.

The first time I saw pot was at a scout meeting. Kyle had some. His mother was the Den Mother. She is now a junkie, as are two of her three kids that were in the troop. They shoot up together. This is not hyperbole.

The only merit badge I remember getting is Riflery.
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