I walked outside my townhome this afternoon and surprisingly saw two little girls looking at the stones that I had used to adorn my sidewalk. MOST people don't know those "stones" are actually fossils and agates I deemed to be unworthy of showcase materiel and since I had a surplus of them, I decided that "sidewalk adorning" was their best use. But these mere 9 year old girls had a trained eye and noticed the pattern of the ammonite shell differentiated those "stones" from the rest of the stones members of the HOA used.
Originally I had a better intention for those fossils. For those fossils were no ordinary fossils upon discovery. No, they were my first veritable "find" of fossils I ever had in my life. A find nobody else found, and so I loaded up no less than about 400 pounds of those fossils.
Of course I found out later there are billions of these fossils available for sale on the internet, but at the time it was in my humble life a "historic find."
Confirming my "discovery" was nothing special was when I decided to take some of my lesser samples and sell them at the local flee market. Oh, yes, I polished, cut and coated all the fossils in enamel to make them marketable and appetizing to the young boys who would no doubt beg their parents to buy them some. But sadly in the end I only sold one fossil.
One measly little fossil to some nerdy kid.
It begat a philosophical reaction in me.
"If young boys can't be interested in fossils then where the hell has this country gone!?"
I don't know about you, but have any of you ever held a fossil? Have any of you ever held the former remains of a creature that was here multiple-millions of years ago?
I thought it was pretty cool. I thought that was pretty neat.
But, alas, as I am a capitalist first and foremost, it doesn't matter what "I" find interesting, it only matters what the masses find interesting, and thus, more people find Apple's latest 'screw you over gadget' er...I mean ...."product" more interesting than the physical remains of a pre-historic octopus.
Regardless, despite my spectacular failure to sell fossils and thinking no kids in the entirety of the United States had any interest in fossils, there sat before me two young girls rummaging through my "sidewalk crap fossils."
I said, "So, do you like fossils?"
They looked at me all scared like (as they should because they are only little young girls and I am a mean, evil puppy kicking republican male).
"yeah" one sheepishly said.
"Well those are all crap-fossils. You don't want none of those. I have a lot better fossils that are in storage."
There was a bit of an impasse as I looked at them blankly and they looked at me blankly. Then it dawned on me that they're kids and I better take the lead plus they were probably scared of me.
"Stay here, I'll show you some real fossils."
And so I went down into my basement, grabbed from my collection an ancient clam STILL with some of its original shell, a jaw bone of an oredont, a fish fossil I found in Kemmerer, and a handful of quality ammonites and clams.
But when I returned, they had spawned into THREE little girls.
One of their little buddies just popped out of nowhere.
"Who the hell is this?"
"This is our friend Amy"
"Uh..oh...well ummm..good for her."
And so I went to show them some of the better pieces of my collection and engaged in some discussion about paleontology.
Now by this time I had already told them that I had some much better pieces in storage AND I told them they could take whatever they liked from my crap sidewalk fossils AND to check back with me later when I retrieved my fossils in storage. I was thinking this statement and my showing them some better pieces would send them on their way and they would take the hint.
But no. They're kids. They don't pick up on those subtleties normal adults do. They look at you like you're going to say more.
And so I had to say,
"well, look girls. I have to go do some adult stuff. But why don't you stop by later next week and I'll make sure to have enough fossils for all of you."
They still sat there with blank stares on their faces.
"Uh, I have to GO and do things. I PROMISE I WILL bring you back some fossils. Just stop by later. You have to go now."
I think they finally got the hint and so they slowly shoved off. They walked down the sidewalk with the handful of fossils I gave them and I thought "Bonus Cappy Cap Points for spreading the word of paleontology."
Thinking I was rid of them I started running my errands, until 2 hours later when they knocked at the door to see if I had retrieved those fossils in storage.
"No, girls. Not yet, it will be a week. They're in Wisconsin and far north. I have to go get them. Stop by later. And by "later" I mean a week!"
So they kind of sadly shoved off again, and SO FAR they haven't been back this evening.
Now, I know you schmoes. You're all getting warm fuzzies about how I had this triumvirate of girls show up at my joint and I wasn't the mean, evil, republican type that yelled at them and told them to get off my property at the end of a shotgun.
THAT IS NOT the lesson to be pulled from here.
The lesson is WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING TO THE BOYS OF THIS COUNTRY?
I have three GIRLS pilfering my joint, interested in fossils????
Where the hell are the boys????
I was at least HOPING some young boys would at least have the decency to STEAL some fossils so I could slowly unload all my crap fossils. But, no, young boys in America today can't even do that. No, I need three 9 year old girls to sheepishly look over my crap-sidewalk fossils and then ask politely to have some, and then stop by two hours thinking they've been delivered.
Sad day in America when the girls are starting to show more scientific promise and curiosity than the boys.
What happened to them? I don't know but I will say that as the older men die off, those that come behind them will have lost not only knowledge and interests, but skills as well. They're not picking up anything because this culture lacks any real substance. What was important no longer applies.
It's saddens me to no end to look at all my tools and realize that they'll probably end up in the scrapyard one day. No one will have and use for them.
pfft! Fossils, my ass. Three little girls have crushes on you!
You are going to get your ass talked to by the police for talking to little girls.
Happened to me, twice, some over anxious suburban mom called the cops on me & my father in law. (They were polite & "officially" friendly about it I have to say.) The second time it was the same cop, he saw it was me and waved and drove on. ( Apparently, I do not meet the profile.)
That being said I do recommend continuing to talk to them but make sure you are above reproach and seen to be so.
And raise your hand if you hate the modern world.
Our neighbor from across the alley will occasionally come by to visit. Her and her husband are something of a train-wreck, and I fear the kids (girls ages 13 & 6) will bear the brunt of it. Yeah, I know it’s not my responsibility, but…..
Anyways, what does the youngest want to do when she comes over? Several times now, she’s asked to dig around in the garage. Apparently I have stuff she likes there; cheap little balsa-wood airplanes, robot kits I lost interest in after I built them, and all kinds of tools.
It gives me hope on some level.
Amy was actually a boy who had been successfully "identified" as a girl. God just got all that biology and DNA wrong - clearly Amy was MEANT to be female.
Nothing a childhood full of conditioning and some reconstructive surgery can't fix, right?
I've always been more of the beachcomber type, but it's still the same "exploration bug".
"Is the spark of curiosity and exploration innate in a young man? Of course. ...
Something will always beckon from beneath the lake’s expanse, from behind the curtain of trees, from beyond the sky and firmament.
In the cacophony of today that “something” may indeed be difficult to hear. But what happens when the boys stop listening?"
I used to like to pick up rocks to. I have a block quartzite still around and some others. I used to have a small mineral collection.
I do have a bit of hope with Hacker 2600, Make Magazine, and other DIY stuff available that there may be more people than we know making or engineering stuff just for fun.
Probably studying engineering or one of the hard sciences.
Cappy! Not sad at all!
Encouraging, I say. Girls interested in something other then princesses, ponies, and rainbows. Encourage it. You may have just saved the world from another liberal arts major.
But... I thought this was what you wanted.
Seriously though. Take that anon persons advice and be above reproach. Have a witness. It's a crazy world when even women(me) feel under scrutiny when you take pictures of children at public events. See! I even have to qualify myself here. Just not having children makes you somehow creepy. It crazy we live in that world now, but we do.
Oh I dunno, the future might be promising in some respects. 15 years out, say?
Fossils you find on your own are always, ALWAYS cooler than fossils you buy, or otherwise acquire from another human. Even before one knows that there are billions of them out there, already found and mostly available for sale to anyone who can pony up a little cash, finding them is already way, WAY cooler.
It is therefore inevitable that only the most rank of beginners is going to be interested in any fossils of yours that you care little enough about to give away, or even to sell at a flea market. No matter how little you care about a given fossil you found, you'll still care more about it than some would-be customer (or would-be thief) will. Because you found it. For you, it's a memory of an achievement. For anybody else, it's just a piece of stuff.
Ergo, your sampling method will never catch the boys you're looking for. Just be happy it caught these girls.
"Oh I dunno, the future might be promising in some respects. 15 years out, say?"
Well, that is one way to take the long approach. Planning your dates 15 years out and such. Most people don't even have that much dedication when they are married, little alone advance planning on dating. But, more power to ya Cappy. Just heed the warning. You don't have to be guilty to wind up paying a shitload of money.
Well, if you lived in my neighborhood, I know my 7 yr old son would be all over those fossils, and he wouldn't take subtle hints to leave either.
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