Last week was Drew and Meghan’s baby shower. Whole families were invited to attend and this was the post script on the invitations, “Gentlemen: You are welcome to bring a Daddy Survival Gift.”  Not surprisingly, Drew received assorted libations, several books like 50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children to Do and The Dangerous Book for Boys and even a coveted set of vintage Lawn Jarts with the original metal tips! BOYS! It seems like whenever they… meaning men and BOYS… get together, they find new ways to flirt with danger, and the larger the “pack” the more perilous their feats become! The photos above were taken at a backyard barbecue last year, when the boys decided it would be great fun to deconstructed part of the play structure to caber toss??? Now, this doesn’t mean women and girls are incapable of behaving in a reckless manner, I’m just saying… Anyway, all of this reminded me of a post on One Generation to Another, first published June 24, 2008. Enjoy!   
Is it just me or as a girl is it sometimes hard to totally get BOYS? I should. I didn’t have sisters. I was raised with 3 brothers, so by association, I probably did more boy things than many girls. And I had 2 boys of my own. But there’s this line…let’s call it, hmmm…common sense…that most girls won’t cross. I don’t mean to be sexist, but in my vast years, it has been my experience that boys will often do things that most girls wouldn’t consider. Before anyone says anything, yes, I know, many of us were “Tom Boys”, loved to run and play sports, weren’t afraid of spiders, and could spit with the best of them. What I’m talking about here is that unexplainable willingness to put your body at risk and do unimaginably gross things for, for, see, there’s my point, I really don’t get why they do some of the things they do! BOYS!!!

Take the movie Jack *ss. Now, this is a movie you couldn’t have dragged me bound and gagged to the theater to view. But, while visiting my son in South Carolina, he was flipping through stations and stumbled upon it. I sat there for about 20 minutes watching this movie with Adam and Tim and saw one man put a leech on his eyeball, another strap a rocket to his back and allow himself to be shot out into the middle of a lake, and another drink an unmentionable animal excretion. While watching this I groaned, but Tim and Adam chortled, and used words like “Sweet” and seemed to be cheering the men on from the couch. I found myself asking “Who in their right mind would do something like that?” and the apparent answer…BOYS!

Sure, you say… but that’s just a movie. Those guys get paid a ton of money to do stuff like that. Again, referring to my vast years, it has been my experience that most men and boys don’t need an incentive beyond a dare to do something totally moronic! For example, one of my brothers’ favorite pastimes was playing a variation of dodge ball. In their version, they’d turn off all the lights in the basement, stealth around the room, and throw darts at one another. They encouraged me to join in the fun, but I was disinclined to acquiesce to their request! Common sense and a healthy fear of pain wouldn’t allow me. Our daughter Liz’s boyfriend, Kyle was relating a story about when his family was putting a pool in his parent’s backyard. They were unearthing tons of worms. At one point his dad held one up to his sister and said, “I’ll give you $20.00 right here, right now if you eat this.” She grimaced and shook her head. “No way,” she said. Kyle then offered to eat one for $20.00. When his dad refused, he shrugged his shoulders, and let one slide down his throat anyway. BOYS!

Boys dare each other to put their tongues on batteries, jump off anything that is high, and sneak into any place they are forbidden to go. They also possess, what can only be a throw back from Neanderthal days, a fascination with fire. Every man I have every known has some horrific story involving fire. And if you think they outgrow this, look no farther than your backyard barbecue. It might be hard to get your hubby in the kitchen to throw together Mac N’ Cheese, but give him a slab of meat and a healthy fire, and wah-lah…dinner! (Of course any real man will make the distinction between cooking and grilling!) Add their incomprehensible fascination with blowing up things, and it’s no wonder they have to fight the urge to cut across 3 lanes of traffic whenever they pass a roadside fireworks stand! BOYS!!!

As a young girl I did not question the adage “BOYS will be BOYS” I just had no idea that the average 65 year old man still possess a healthy dose of BOY. When traveling in a pack, grown up men still do idiotic things. Go to a chicken wings bar with a group of men. You’ll still hear comments like, “I dare you to put 10 drops of Diablo Hot Sauce on your tongue.” I can guarantee you there will be at least one taker, if not the whole table, that will do it. A couple of years ago, at a family backyard picnic, the men decided it would be great fun to take turns running across the backyard as the group on the sidelines tried to shoot bottle rockets at them. The women watched, occasionally putting out a smoking shirt, and plotted the quickest route to urgent care. There is no doubt that men can be mature. They are doctors and lawyers; factory workers and mailmen; pilots and priests. They do their jobs…we count on them. But every once in a while, the 10 year old resurfaces, and they are invincible…able to leap tall buildings, jump through burning hoops, or eat a garden worm on a dare. BOYS!!!

You might wonder what inspired the theme for this week’s blog. Well, with summer upon us, I’m sitting here listening to fireworks going off in our neighborhood. Besides trying to encourage our gun shy border collie to stop shaking, I have this unexplainable desire to keep our fire extinguisher at arms reach. Let’s face it, with boys around you can never be too careful!

So, what’s the craziest BOY thing your dad, brother, son, boyfriend, husband, or other significant male has done that made you shake your head and say, “BOYS!”?





  1. Submitted by Michelle on Tue, 06/24/2008 – 08:05.
    Well, I’m a bit surprised my mother didn’t mention the incident at hand herself… of course she may having willing forgotten it. Anyway, this is my most “BOYS” story that comes to mind. It involves my 2 younger brothers, a couple days post 4th of July, when they were around 9 and 12 (I think – maybe my mom will correct me). They were playing in the backyard with a neighbor friend when suddenly they all run in the house and lock themselves in the bathroom. Knowing that absolutely no good could come of this situation my mother stepped in to find the two older boys trying to brush out a brillo-pad mass of melted hair on the 9 year old’s head. This was about the same time that the pain seemed to set it for him as well… which lead to an urgent care visit for some serious burns.

    The boys had gotten the brilliant idea to take apart the thrown out, dud fireworks, empty the contents into a coffee can and light the whole thing. Apparently the fuse they made fell out of the can and my youngest brother picked it up and dropped it directly in. Fortunately the shock pushed his hand up to his face; otherwise this might not be merely a fairly amusing family anecdote now. He had severe burns on his hand, a sunburn type burn on his face (you could see the outline of where his hand covered his eyes), melted eyelashes that stuck together like Velcro and a large mass of singed hair that smelt like what I can only image cooked dog would smell like. Frankly it was pretty gross and he was very lucky not to have been more seriously hurt.

    I shutter at the thought now that I can see the story from the other side… imagining my own son in the situation. At the time, I was just mad at them because we were supposed to leave on vacation the following day. In the end I think we were only a day late in departure.

    Submitted by Sarah on Tue, 06/24/2008 – 16:53.
    Hehe! One of my favorite expressions is BOYS! I say it whenever DH does something I consider silly which seems to be often 😉

    One of the BOYS things I never understood was back in elementary school. The guys did this weird thing where one boy would hold his breath and another boy would come up behind him and squeeze him or something and they would actually pass out. They’d lay on the ground a while before they came to. I never understood that one. Then one of the boys found out he could pass out by holding his breath real long. He did it in school one day, passed out, fell out of his chair, hit his head on the corner of his desk and wound up with a million stitches. It was prohibited to do the passing out thing, but after this happen they did a mandatory expulsion from school and it stopped. But you have to wonder why? BOYS!

    Then, that whole pack thing. When my DH gets together with my step brother and their college buddies they behave like total loons. They do this thing out on the boat where they try to knock each other off the tubes they’re riding on. Well someone got the idea to pull 2 people and they were going to joust with pool noodles. They went out. When they came back in they were all quiet and didn’t say much more. Later I got it out of DH that something happened, the guys bumped heads, one of the guys passed out, and was in the lake face down. Luckily they didn’t need to resusitate (sp?) him, and he came to on his own, but it gave them all a pretty good scare. BOYS!

    Submitted by Tina on Tue, 06/24/2008 – 18:37.
    Hmm…I’m having difficulty coming up with any boy stories. Which, with two older brothers, and two little boys of my own, you’d think I’d be able to do. There must be something in testosterone or that Y-chromosome that removes impulse control when they are surrounded by other men. I do find it interesting (and vaguely infuriating) that men can’t remember to pick up milk at the store, but could quote you the entire roster from the 1987 XYZ favorite sports team.

    Submitted by Tina on Tue, 06/24/2008 – 23:13.
    I forgot to mention that I got a chuckle out of the items that are listed below your post from Amazon. 🙂

    Submitted by Cheryl on Tue, 06/24/2008 – 23:33.
    I can remember back in grade school, after a rain when you had all those worms dying on sidewalks, the boys use to pick them up and chase us with them, sometimes throwing them at us. Even back then I thought it was the dumbest thing in the world to do. At lunch I read the blog to "potential" new boyfriend. I told him what I was going to share. He said when they were kids they would actually go up to girls with bugs and pop them in there mouths and watch them scream and run off. He said they never intentially ate one, spitting them out when the girls ran off, but occassionally they’d be digested. I asked him why in God’s name would you do something that dumb. And his profound answer, "I don’t know. It’s just something the guys did." What great thinker came upon that plan? And why did so many willingly follow?

    Then, God knows where this started, before any of the major school dances, with the guys dressed up in suits, they’d have water balloon fights, even in the winter. In half of my pictures I’m standing next to a guy who looks like he was caught in a down pour. It wasn’;t anything major, and usually by the time we were done with dinner they were all dried out, but again, WHY???

    Submitted by Candy on Tue, 06/24/2008 – 23:36.
    I block them all from my head. I am married to my HS sweetheart, so there are tons of stories of him and his/our friends…snowmobile jumps, tubing behind boats, campfires/bonfires, eating or drinking disgusting things. I would just roll my eyes, shake my head, think "BOYS!" and be waiting as the responsible person to treat a wound, give some water and say "I TOLD YOU SO!"

    Submitted by Lesley on Wed, 06/25/2008 – 21:54.
    Hmm, I think I have a million. I have a brother, I have three boys of my own and my hubby is in the Army, which if you know the army intimately might realize its just still boys playing soldier. They are the WORST! Two weeks ago, only because this is recent, we went jet skiing with friends. I went out with one such daredevil soldier. He had us going at 30+ and took a really tight turn, thereby throwing us 15 feet into the air. Apparently, this was VERY COOl from the beach. They all saw us going flying in the opposite direction of the ski and hit the water with amazing force.
    Soooo cool that he wanted to do it again and get a picture. It was easier to do with two on and so I was supposed to go do this again…No. They think it was great and want to recreat it. Although I laughed at the time, probably since I was thanking God that I was ok, but to recreate, that is left to the boys. Its all I can think when they suggest it…BOYS!

    Submitted by Lisa on Thu, 06/26/2008 – 00:41.
    Being raised with 2 sisters I never got the brother stuff. And maybe because I had girls around, most of my friends through school were boys. I didn’t really make female friendships until I was in college. I didn’t do everything my male friends did, but I must admit I was more awed by them than repulsed. I would love to have had the nerve to eat a bug or drop a snake down my shirt. I also wouldn’t "pop a wheely" or play this game "skateboard roulette". But I did my share of egging the guys on. So I suppose I don’t really get boys but in a different way. I don’t get their nerve. I think guys live life with gusto. Sometimes they’re stupid and sometimes it catches up with them, but they are downright fun to watch! I also love you Amazon ads this week! You’ve got a great sense of humor!!!

    Submitted by Lisa on Thu, 06/26/2008 – 03:13.
    Okay, just remembered a BOY thing that was unbelievably idiotic! In college the guys use to down "flaming shots". Us girls never quite got the thrill. One time a guys arm got knocked and the flaming drink went down the front of his shirt. At least someone had the presence of mind to throw him on the floor and put out the flames, but not before he got 2nd degree burns on his neck and chest. Did this stop the other guys, nope! Next week they were right back at it. So, I don’t admire everything guys do, but I still think they’re fun to watch!

    Submitted by Kimara on Mon, 06/30/2008 – 07:19.
    The funny thing is, when talking to a number of BOYS over this past week, none of them seemed the least bit insulted by this blog. Not that they should have been…but it seems they all agreed with me. They are the first to admit that they do things when they are with other guys that they would never do when they were alone or outside the "pack". I really think guys can’t be accountable for the questionable things they do…it’s instinctual! Look at the pack mentality of all other male animals. The strongest, bravest, brightest runs the pack and gets his pick of females. When BOYS are with other BOYS, they need to "out do" the others. They can’t help it. Dares become an opportunity to prove their masculinity. And, they don’t do it for us…at least not directly. This is about social position…who gets to pull Santa’s sleigh! So, as females, I guess it’s our job to sit back and let them do stupid things, ah, I mean feats of bravery! Just keep the first aid kits handy, and Candy, I believe an I TOLD YOU SO is in order, whether spoken or implied by the smirk on our face, the roll of our eyes, and our disbelieving head shake!

  2. This was so funny. There were sisters in my house, but our next door neighbors had 7 boys. My sisters and I marveled at some of the stupid things they did. Jason broke his leg not once, but twice jumping off their garage roof. And once they started their tree house on fire. I must admit, I always envied them a little, but never enough to risk it!

  3. Too funny. My husband WOULD cross 3 lanes of traffic for fireworks. I’ve sat outside with a hose on many occassions when he gets together with his brothers!

  4. Very funny. Sounds like our house. I bought my boys The Dangerous Book for Boys and they loved it. Just wondering, how are the cabers used in your play structure that they could steal them away?

    1. We have 3 of the poles set in stands at different heights to use as balance beams. So, saying they deconstructed the play structure was a bit of a hyperbole, but still, BOYS have a way of creating mischief and mayhem with any common object 🙂

  5. I have 3 sons and DH is the oldest of 3 boys. I have one brother, 8 yrs younger, so I didn’t know much about boys. But I do now. I describe my mother role as being the house-mom at a fraternity house – and that includes the drinking, the smoking and the pranks!
    One February, DH got all the guys outside to get rid of the junk. He piled trash in the middle of our restricted covenant suburban backyard and lit it. It burned for a while, but not well. Then he threw the drier than toast Christmas tree on it and WHOOSH it went up. Singed everyone’s eyebrows. And the neighborhood came out with a stern letter about burning in the yard….

    I have been to the ER with the middle child so often that I remember the OLD wallpaper and know the staff.

    1. Of course, I say all this about BOYS but I have some of my own "daredevil" and perhaps some "not thought throw" adventures. Igniting 30 feet of dry roping in my fireplace comes to mind!

    1. I taught my boys to sew at an early age, and they are quite capable. Also, one of them learned to knit… in high school! But they still behave like BOYS!!! 😉

  6. My oldest son was the wild one. He broke his collarbone three times – the third time required surgical repair. He decided he could drop out of the tree onto his father and his father walked up the sidewalk – his father moved – and we had a broken arm with that one. He was playing football on the concrete patio of my grandmother’s retirement home during her 100th birthday party and broke his hand – that one got into the paper. He dissected a dead snake on the kitchen island using my best chef’s knife and then left the remains staring up out of the trashcan. He and his friend played tennis in the bedroom using action figures for balls, necessitating sheetrock replacement. Frisbee with the old sidewalk resin drainage caps resulted in a broken nose. He dealt with a clogged toilet one day by throwing all his dirty clothes in the bathroom and letting it run until I can home for lunch and found him asleep and 1″ of water on the floor. An old kayak found on the creek provided hours of amusement before it broke in half and sank, resulting in a smelly green child.

    My youngest was not as accident prone, but he’s an Eagle Scout and we had our share of scout adventures. Rock climbing was his favorite – go figure – but this child will go anywhere and do anything.

    They aren’t children anymore – 19 and 23 now – and while I wish there had been less blood involved in their childhoods I don’t begrudge them one second of their experiences.

    OK, I could have live without the dead snake being dissected in my kitchen.

    1. My youngest son, Drew, the one throwing the caber in the above photos, and the one soon to be a Daddy, was my accident prone son. I preferred to think of him as embracing life with gusto instead of being reckless. Be that as it may, before he could get his driver’s license, there was one stipulation… he had to go an entire year WITHOUT going to the emergency room!

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