Friday, February 11, 2011

What am I Becoming?

At what age does one become a curmudgeon? I ask this, because I am only 24, yet I feel I am already exhibiting all the classic symptoms of curmudgeon-itis. Annoyance with small children, the burning desire to tell them to slow down and stop running, if I had my own house, I’d probably be hollering at them to get off my lawn.

“When did all this start?” you might ask. “Today.” I would answer. There were busloads of street urchins running wild in the Wellness Center this morning. Thousands of the little blighters swarming everywhere like enormous insects. I’m glad I don’t use the pool, because if it was this bad in the gym, it must have been much worse in there. According to one of the housekeepers, that’s where most of them went upon arrival.

Half of the kids apparently could not even read. I know this due to the signs posted around the walking track pointing out what direction you are to walk. From the direction that they were headed in, It was quite obvious that they didn’t know how to read them. This is especially sad knowing that they were all at least twelve years old. Has the public school system degraded that much?

Normally I walk around the track for around a half an hour before going to the weights, but today I elected to use the treadmill. I was not about to risk my sanity on a racetrack of chaos. I don’t know where these children’s supervisors were, but they certainly were not anywhere around. Or perhaps the meaning of the word supervisor has devolved to mean someone who just looks at the children, not bothering to keep them in line. I hope it’s not a paying position, because if so, they’d better start paying me, the other patrons, and the Wellness Center employees, as we did just as much as whoever brought the kids. (Nothing)

One child apparently was quite ill. He looked as though he may have swallowed a piglet or two, and was slowly plodding around the track holding onto the railing with his head down and his unkempt, curly hair dangling shoulder length around his face. Another child must have forgotten how to walk properly, because he spent at least twenty minutes walking the track backwards. A whole group of girls decided that they were going to run as fast as they could and raced around the track, weaving in and out of the other walkers, like bicyclists in a New York City traffic jam. Another child must have been having a gender identity crisis, and he was not happy about it. He spent the morning stalking angrily around the track with a large diamond stud sparkling in his earlobe. As I was getting ready to leave I noticed another child who had apparently climbed out of the pool and gotten lost. He was wandering around the track, sopping wet, with a towel wrapped around his waist.

As we left the building, another patron mentioned that the bus was taking the children to Pizza Ranch next. I feel sorry for the unfortunate employees of Pizza Ranch. I can only imagine what will happen to the buffet once the swarm of voracious delinquents descend upon it like a heard of locusts.

So you see my concern. I have not been an adult all that long, but I think I may have already forgotten what it was like to be a kid. Instead of seeing a group of happy youngsters having an exciting outing, exercising and going for pizza, I saw a gang of unruly brats who all needed to be lined up at the woodshed, each being forced to cut their own hickory switch. If I’ve already begun the transformation into Curmudgeon-hood, at what age will Geezer-hood set in?

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