“Conditioned To Ride”


(February 1, 2019)

the young: conditioned

to ride back of mommascar

and wear backpacks low*

*(I always wanted to ride up front with the window rolled down and let my hands trace the winds as dad drove. But with two brothers: such as a rare-ish treat. But I recall only a very few – fewer than a half-hand of times I got “took” to school by car and only once returned home the same way…and that was a con-job expertly played by one fourth-grader I still can find in a mirror. But I must go on record. Never have I ever worn a backpack – bookbag some call ’em – riding that low, just above my ass and guaranteed to cause backstrain. And never have I – or would I! – wear a backpack still high up on my shoulders (even before learning that way at Parris Island Marine Corps boot camp – into the back seat of any car!. We are raising – or in my case I am watching the raising – of a generation of doomed-to-remain infants. And they almost all will have accumulated lowerback strain from wearing their bags-fulla-books too damn low to let their shoulders share the load. Watching a pair of young boys – middleschoolers – swing their arms and flap their hands like girls running to the next clique to share a horrid little tale at the playground during recess – carrying low above their butts big bulging bookbags as they “ran” down my side of the street and crossed – without looking in ANY direction – to get to mommascar almost made me violate the two-beer rule.)

3 thoughts on ““Conditioned To Ride”

    • The higher up on the shoulders one wears any kind of load-bearing device – backpack, bookbag or sack o’ ‘taters, the less strain lumbar-speaking. I’ve seen middle school kids with backpacks bulking more than they do…but in only one case was the girl with the big bag wearing it up high and smiling and moving at full ease…she took off the bag when she entered the after-school prison (oops, activity) bus, and waved to me as I sat and rocked and tended the two trash cans I had placed in the street – right up to the curb – to force drivers to go slower than their hurry-home accelerator-foot wanted. My career as an aeronautical hand-flyer remains, but it’s hard to find a newer-ish auto or truck not suitable for a window rolldown these days. Our improvements keep ironing out the fun edges to a child’s life, even if the child is chasing 71.

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