Cub Scouts

Cub Scout: (n) a member of the junior division (ages 8–10) of the Boy Scouts.

 

It was supposed to be a weekend trip to see if I liked it.

“It” referring to an outing with the Cub Scouts.

I was nine years old but much larger than the other boys. Actually, I was much larger than my dad. So when I asked to sign up for the troop, there was a hesitation I had not seen when the other boys expressed curiosity.

Here is what they told me:

  1. We’re not so sure you’ll like it.
  2. There’s a lot of walking and hiking.
  3. The tents are small.

And:

  1. We checked. They don’t have a Cub Scout uniform in your size.

Much to the chagrin of the Scout leader, his wife offered to sew me one, so that I could be part of the troop. After he gave her a sour look, we proceeded on to plan a trial excursion, where I would join the Cub Scouts—uniformless—for a weekend, to see if it was (pardon the expression) a good fit.

Even though I was young, I realized quickly that the leader was so reluctant to have me join his little conclave of Cubbies that he found it difficult to converse with me, and was a bit bitter when he attempted to answer questions.

I tried my hardest—and when that was not good enough, I tried my damndest.

I thought I had some moments where I sort of resembled one of the guys doing guy things out beneath the pines.

But I was slower in the walking.

I was stuffed into a tent instead of placed there.

And it was obvious that for me, bending and crawling were not fluid endeavors.

At the end of the weekend I decided to drop my application. It was obvious to me—and probably the other dudes—that our leader was relieved and thankful to return to fearless.

I will never know whether I quit because of the strain or because I felt unwanted.

Unwanted is more than a feeling.

It’s a sentence—a punishment.

And if you’re a young, fat boy, it can be a demand to eat more, to escape the condemnation of having eaten too much.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 

Crestfallen

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crestfallen: (adj) dejected and discouraged

It is astounding to me how many words have been exiled to the “Island of Unwanted Syllables.”

They used to be popular–then somebody or a bunch of nobodies got together and decided they sounded old-fashioned. Of course, that was their death knell. Anything that sounds old-fashioned to a younger generation is immediately rejected and becomes a code word for uncool.

Crestfallen is certainly a better term to describe what occasionally happens to us humans, instead of falling back on dimmer terms, like depressed, bummed out, or under the weather.

I guess we favor the term “depressed” because it seems to have a clinical, physiological component to it, instead of just being us, greatly disappointed and discouraged. I suppose I could even give you a list of things that leave me crestfallen, which make me wish that life was different or that circumstances were changed, or people were more enlightened.

But sharing these pains and frustrations with you would only end up being depressing, with me unable to use the more effective term of crestfallen.


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News