Thursday, July 29, 2010

55 - keys, keyholes & other romantic training


boys learn lock picking
in middle school locker rooms
(the same day they
roll condoms down bananas--
inflating egos, as if...)
while dads umm and ahh
through awkward conversations
on living room couches
during desperate housewives
about things their sons
learned online by age eight;
no wonder there are scars
on so many lock faces.

What can you say in 55 words? Give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.
And for more keyhole musings, check out Magpie Tales.

129 comments:

Monkey Man said...

So much more exposure now than when we were boys. Of course, I was brought up in a cave and my Dad invented fire, but that's another story. Great 55. My 55 is HERE .

Jaime said...

do schools actually do the whole rolling the condom down the banana thing?

kkrige said...

I do not want to know all the mysterious things they will pick up on the internet, but will have to know anyway when the time is right.
umm, ahhh
errr
Not there yet, thank God. happy Thursday Brian

Catalyst said...

Fine writing, Brian.

Stan Ski said...

Kids learn so much at school... education comes later in life...

Sam Liu said...

This was an enjoyable read, Brian. So often we believe that school prepares us for life, when in reality it really doesn't it.

The Retired One said...

Loved this. And the photo.
My husband has told me things about boys as they grow up and what things they try and do....
girls would be amazed.
I know I was.....
thanks for the insight into the growing up of the opposite sex.
I am way behind in my blog reading..had company at our house for over a week..that is why I haven't commented. I have missed reading your blog and hope to get caught up soon.

Helen said...

Really liked this ... you caught it (the feeling) perfectly.

Kat Mortensen said...

Very perceptive piece. You've tapped into something here. Very thought-provoking.

Kat

Mighty M said...

Banana. Condom. Tee hee. :)

Lorenzo said...

A great last line: "no wonder there are scars
on so many lock faces". From now on I will always look for those scars

CM said...

I know! I totally want to keep my boys away from all of that, but nowadays, what's a parent to do! Once mine are a little older, I'm going to be so strict they will probably hate me, but oh well!

little hat said...

Loved the flow of this one Brian. Such lovely observation. The wacky world of parenting and schools. Love it.

Marilyn said...

Well written - scary being a parent of a young boy. I am thankful that my son got through those years well.

Marilyn said...

Well written - scary being a parent of a young boy. I am thankful that my son got through those years well.

Eva Gallant said...

I'm grateful my boys and I survived their childhood and adolescence!

g-man said...

What Middle school did you go to?
But I guess you had to learn somewhere.
Fantastic 55 Son..
You did real Good!
Thanks for your weekl...er Daily Brilliance.
Have a Kick Ass Weeki-End...G

dustus said...

Insightful, with sad vivid ironies throughout the 55. Great write, Bri

sheri said...

extraordinary, brian...most adults don't posess the guts, the heart, or the concern to do the work of parenting that we were meant to do.

liza said...

"no wonder there are scars on so many lock faces"...what a great line...LOL {while blushing}!!!!!!

TALON said...

It's a brand new world. I'm sort of glad my two sons (and my daughter) grew up with a little less world-wide information! Great 55, Brian!

lime said...

they surely do learn at much earlier ages today don't they?

Pat said...

No wonder, indeed!

There's another kind of lock - parental lock - on cable TV - and passwords on computers!

Sophia said...

Well, I do not have any children of my own (and not by choice)....but I have a niece and nephew and I cannot believe some of the things they learn nowadays. Crazy! I used to think school prepared us for real life...not sure if I really believe that anymore.

Again, great writing. I am always eager to see what you write next, so keep it coming! :)

Suz said...

Oh boy this one was fun
I had a big smile all the way through reading it...
poor dads nowadays

clean and crazy said...

what a great perspective!! that is an awesome 55. i got one up myself this week

moondustwriter said...

Bri:
strong and profound
what a great story from the lock's perspective

Always a gr8 55

signed...bkm said...

Great magpie--you explained alot about young men --never knew about the banana thing..but I will refrain from asking my son about it...bkm

Lori said...

Great words Brian...I've raised 2 boys to manhood and had enough of these talks with them...:)...now I've got another...God help me! :)

PS I've missed reading your words. XX

Yvonne Osborne said...

Killer lines, as always, Mr. Miller. You caught the true essence of fathers and sons in a most original way.

The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street said...

That is awkward without a doubt!
If I hear so much as the word banana in the room, I swear I'd bolt right out the door! Ha! ;-)

Susan at Stony River said...

Ooooh -- nice one. That last line caught me by surprise and had me rereading the whole thing, and liking it even better the second time.

Not sure I'll ever enjoy my morning banana again --
:-S

Tracy said...

Wow, I always wondered what happened in the boys' locker room. :-) I'm not gone yet!

Mama Zen said...

Nicely done, Brian!

Kay said...

right on.

Joanie M said...

This gave me a whole new insight to my 4 brothers. or maybe my son.

Claudia said...

like how you've put this together - and yep - there's way too much they "learn" online age 8 and not ready to deal with it..

PattiKen said...

Oh, please, tell me the banana thing isn't part of official "human sexuality" education. When my oldest was 10, the mother of one of his friends told me he'd had "that conversation "with her son, also 10. And he had it all right. He scared the daylights out of the kid.

magiceye said...

wow this is brilliant!

Boonsong said...

Wow! Tremendous.
Take care.

All the best, Boonsong

sagirl said...

This was, in many ways, like being a fly on the wall! Brill.

Mr. Stupid said...

Great write Brian. Kids do learn a lot in School. Though, it's life that teaches them more compared to that in schools.

sweetmango said...

sigh so much to do as a parent LOL!
My eldest (wise beyond his years) has known the basics since he was very young... the twins... well that is another matter LOL they are so young!! When the time comes though ill teach them...or have them read this LOL (so joking)
nah ill just give them a banana LOLOL
xxm

LadyFi said...

Oh really? I don't think boys in sleepy Sweden start quite that early! ;-)

JeffScape said...

So you're the one stealing everyone's textbooks and selling them on eBay.

A ha!

Alice Audrey said...

And I thought it was just the drunks leaving the marks.

anthonynorth said...

Very true and great words at the end.

Cinner said...

Seems there is so much going on for kids, I wonder if they can ever just be kids agin. take care Brian, be well.

madamebutterfly said...

Enjoyed this Magpie - yes locker room secrets...

John's comments said...

My son just said dad in that sorrowful, pitying tone reserved for parents. Just a fun 55 today!

slommler said...

Who needs sex education classes when we have peers teaching and TV commercials!!!!
Loved this 55!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Goofball said...

is it that bad? Did you have such an awkward conversation with your sons already?

I've never regretted going to an all girls school.

BLOGitse said...

poor boys,
poor dads,
poor men,
life is not easy...
great writing!
ps.
you could give me some of your WOrds...:)

Greyscale Territory said...

"lock picking" cycles around to "lock faces" with many life keys in between! Very clever!

Kat_RN said...

That is an awkward stage both for the children and the parents. Do you feel the connection to your Father and his now?
Kat

Cindy said...

Ha! I have a 12 year old daughter, so I would rather not know what the boys are doing or thinking!
Good one!

Valerie said...

Yeah, right, bananas.... ok!
After the fiasco of my sex education at school I resolved to explain the theory to my son ... OMG, I think I went too far... grins.

the walking man said...

I never left a scar on a lock, we were taught caution, and I always wondered why they used something as small as a banana for the demonstration.

Brian Miller said...

goofball, not yet, completely that is...they are 5 & 7...though we do have some pretty open conversations and have spoke in general terms about a lot of things...i have had a conversation with my 7 year old about some of the things on the internet being not good for him...

Just Be Real said...

Oh this brought back memories. In the 60's when we really did not have to lock our doors just yet, but on occasion had to, I learned as a kid how to pick a simple lock. Anyway, great 55 Brian. Blessings.

Friko said...

An unusual take on the prompt. Very good.
I like the brevity.

TechnoBabe said...

You got alot in those few words. When I grew up lock picking was just part of life. Interesting that dads still unn and ahh when trying to speak about specific subjects boys need to learn from their dads. Probably more cases of dads deciding now is the time to teach son about life and dad is already too late. You brought it through, the lock faces.

sheila said...

Yes, they learn so much so early now. It's very sad. If it were fact maybe it wouldn't be so bad, but ya gotta do a lot of combatting negative and false info by the time our kids reach the age in which we were just asking about this stuff when we were that age.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

so different since we were little 'uns...

Mines up too.

Vicki Lane said...

Wonderful piece,Brian! Oh, those awkward conversations! Me, I got my sex education (such as it was back in the Fifties) from reading trashy historical fiction.

Birdie said...

I may sound old fashioned but I find it a little sad that the kids are exposed to sex so soon ... it's everywhere, completely everywhere and I really don't see why we have to have a sex context even when we buy a toothpaste ... anyway grandma spoke ... lol .. but ... have a wonderful weekend Brian

Caty said...

terrific! Have a great Friday :)

Selma said...

Haha. Absolutely perfect. Boys will indeed, be boys!

drybottomgirl said...

The "information highway". I kind of liked it when I didn't know so much :) but like most things, as parents we have to guide, even into the unknown, but I didn't know that boys rolled condoms down bananas! I guess I'll have to ask my husband about that one! Have a great weekend!

Akelamalu said...

We only ever learned about the birds and the bees (literally) when I was at school, but then that was in the dark ages! ;)

gayle said...

Wish little boys didn't have to grow up so fast now a days!!

Betsy said...

wow...kids DO learn things so much younger than we did!

DJan said...

Brian, I am now following you because you seem to be commenting on all my favorite bloggers sites just before me. I do watch DH and enjoy the silliness. Condoms and bananas? I hope they are still in their peels.

izzy said...

Well said, so much awkwardness and discomfort.

Linda said...

An interesting look into boyhood. Life is what teaches us about life.

AmyLK said...

Oh so true what little boys learn nowadays! Nice piece today!

Katherine said...

Wow it is so interesting how times have changed... Bananas!! I don't recall having any sex ed at school & I think a group of adolescent young men, with bananas & condoms would have produced nothing but fun & games. My boys would have seriously lost it in a hysterical way.
I am so pleased that you chose a picture of a lock & not a banana in a rain coat. tee! hee! hee!...I do apologize but I am feeling particularly cheeky tonight...have a great week end Brian..great 55!

Magpie said...

Innoncence is such a fleeting quality these days. Whether lost through the internet or at the hands of one who should protect us.
I fight to keep the balance between innocence and naivety with my daughter.

Hilary said...

Oh yes.. they're learning much earlier these days. Nicely done.

Meeko Fabulous said...

I totally agree! I remember when Super Bad came out . . . I could NOT watch it with my sister. I couldn't believe what they were saying on the TV. I switched the channel. She was like, "I'm not a little kid you know . . ." She was right. She was like 18, but still . . . EWWWW.

Help! Mama Remote... said...

haha! I totally agree. Thanks for the inside scoop on boys.

kathew said...

oh yes- raising boys to be good men...nice Magpie!

SuziCate said...

I had a friend try to teach me to pick a lock when I was a kid...I was inept, good thing I didn't want to become a thief when I grew up!!! It is amazing though the things little boys figure out how to do. What baffles me is where these ideas come from in the first place!

Monique@Mommyhood Exposed said...

That was great! I'm terrified when my little boy gets older...why can't they stay innocent until they're 21...at least:)

Monique@Mommyhood Exposed said...

That was great! I'm terrified when my little boy gets older...why can't they stay innocent until they're 21...at least:)

spacedlaw said...

The hands can be pretty unsteady, burdened by such knowledge at a tender (tender?) age.

susan m hinckley said...

I love the image of "lock faces". Such a nice take on the prompt -- luckily, I raised girls. :)

Ruth said...

Yeah, sometimes I think we should ask them to tell us about ...umm...ahh...

no wonder there are scars
on so many lock faces


Brilliant!

Paul C said...

Interesting take on locks and coming of age.

Martin H. said...

Neatly written. I'm guessing the stock answer to fathers these days is, 'what do you want to know, dad?'

Daniel said...

Oh man this one was awesome. Love the photo and the connection. Top notch - one of my favorites.

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

For my oldest, that time will come before we know it. Scary.

Prayer Girl said...

No wonder women sometimes feel like objects.... LOL

PG

Brian Miller said...

it is rather frightening the ways our kids learn things and at an early age...then they are left to make their own conclusions if we dont talk with them about it...

thanks for the love...i really wasnt pleased with this one when i published it but...

william said...

kids nowadays know more than us mate lol, strange as they still get into trouble at too early an age, great write :)

willow said...

That last line is just fantastic!

Gabriela Abalo said...

a very nice take on the theme. So real!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

You managed to capture puberty in just a few words!!! I am so glad the illustration was a lock and not the "dressed" banana .........

Helen said...

All I can say is ... thank goodness my child rearing days are behind me and I can just watch my child raise my grandchildren ... from a safe distance ... spoiling them rotten. But I DO remember those sex talks with my boys .......... and my daughter.

River-Rose said...

Wow. So true. Two boys and one is 16- I rememeber when I knew everything at that age...

Systematic Weasel said...

Excellent magpie!

sarah said...

excellent writing...in just 55 words you conveyed so much...

Dianne said...

Great piece!

Mona said...

We do not have sex education in India, so our children learn in odd ways. I remember my son reading it in the children's encyclopedia with illustrations and all & then not speaking to us for days. In the end he 'accepted' it, when we told him that his grandparents also did it ( he revers his grandparents as role models) :D

Cute 55ve!

Tina said...

Another great metaphor. We can't protect them completely, but we can equip them with the correct info. I'm lucky that my 13 year old will ask me ANYTHING. Makes for some interesting talks...Really liked this one, Brian.

CatLadyLarew said...

Ah, the milestones of youth!

chiccoreal said...

Dear Brian: Great job in 55 words! Could this fit in 140 letter count (thinking Twitter here)? Repost? Permission slip? The perrenial teacher for the parental angst. Those 8 year old boys must have it tough and rough thus the "invisible" scars. As a brain-box which ought never to be locked has been compromised by terror via "too much information" for such a young age. A truly amazing poem!

joanny said...

Perfection Brian you nailed both the 55er and the Magpie, with one swoop a great little parody and by means of being humorous, satiric poem.

Joanny

Warm Coco said...

Yes indeed Brian,
I am so ready, waiting for my Mr5 to venture on the Internet (age 8? 9?). I am going to be looking over his shoulder like nobody's business. I am a firm believer that kids should never go online except on a computer,in the living room, so they can be supervised at all times.

shewriting said...

Brian,
Your writing makes me think.
Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog. I'll be back here soon.

Zuzana said...

Thank you for this eloquent inside into the mind of a boy.;))
xo

Tony Single said...

Me, on the other hand, were a good boy. :P

Great bit of writing, Brian. :)

hope said...

I really like this one!

And it brought back a funny memory of Mom, little Sis and watching a soap opera at the age of 8. Sis turned to Mom and asked, "If Rachel is married to Russ, how can she have Steve's baby?" And so "the talk" began. :)

Lyn said...

It's amazing that we live in the same world! But you are poetically adept!!

kathew said...

Kudos to you!
http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=29273583&postID=3452695282812741651

Syd said...

I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.

christine said...

Once again a revelation, you keep telling me things I never knew.... do boys do that in schools today I wonder?

Christine

AngelMay said...

Lock picking! Oh my. I had the same idea - exhibited in a different way, of course! Good one, Brian.

mel said...

wonderful!!

Austin said...

Well done Brian - and bring on the awkward conversations, easier to show where joy and satisfaction truly lie

Tattered and Lost said...

Ah yes, the uncomfortable but necessary moments of life. Can't keep them locked away forever.

Nice one. Very nice.

Tumblewords: said...

Terrific!

Jennifer said...

What I want to know is, why the scars? Why is it so hard for us to talk to kids about love? Something so fundamentally wonderful?

Love your magpie question Brian.

Kavita said...

That's a powerful one, Brian!
I saw the change as I was growing up... parents' awkward moments, the "things" being taught in school.. my own uncomfortable moments, and then the change in my own behavior...
It's strange that I am still the same person :)
And you've presented this thought very beautifully here!

Patience said...

i like this a lot. I think the scarring comes from kids learning about life from school instead of being taught by their parents. But seriously, it's amazing how fast they teach them in class these days, which is not always a good thing.

RNSANE said...

Such talents young men acquire at an early age and you tell all so well.

ninotaziz said...

Aaahhh, the experiences my husband will miss. You relate them so well.

annell said...

As parents I guess our greatest hope is not to let them get too far ahead of us. Nice piece.

Marla said...

I am so glad our boys are grown, healthy and normal. It was iffy at times, with us for parents and all.