Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Something New Every Day

A couple of months ago the 11 year old neighbor boy came over and told J he was scared to go to college because of hazing. Without thinking about it, they started talking about hazing, in detail.

In front of Bo.

Bo got sick with worry. Literally. He started crying and panicking about getting hazed at college. He had probably just completed his first month of kindergarten.

J talked him down from that ledge, and I heard minor references to it a couple of times in the next week or so, but not much.

Said neighbor boy was here again tonight for dinner (PBJ boy's brother, if you're curious) and somehow hazing came up again. I think I heard Neighbor Boy say, in an effort to calm the fears he'd rustled back up in Bo, "If anyone tries to haze you at all, you just call me Bo, and I'll come help you out."

The conversation was brief and I was distracted and didn't think much of it. I think Bo asked a question and both J and I shot down the whole discussion of hazing.

I can't believe we have to discuss hazing with our 5-year-old.

Anyway, about a half an hour later, Bo is in the bathroom and calls something out, a question to Neighbor Boy. I said, "Hey, Bo? If you are going to the bathroom, why don't you just focus on that and then come out here and start a conversation when you are done."

He came out a few minutes later and his eyes were glassy and I immediately assumed he was getting sick. He came over to me on the couch and just laid against my legs. I even made J look at him. "He's getting sick, look at him," says I.

J searched Bo's entire face, looking for measles, mumps, rubella, pox, plague, or the palsy. I impatiently said, "just look at his face, you can see it, can't you just see it?!"

No, he did not see it.

I harumphed with the burden of being the only parent who knows anything.

Bo came back and rolled around on my legs, looking for comfort on my kneecaps.

I got reabsorbed into my book when I felt him tugging on my shirt. He was looking up at me with tears in his eyes, and in a barely audible voice that was fighting hard not to sob, he said, "Why do there have to be clubs? Why can't there be clubs where they don't haze in college?"

I couldn't believe it. My poor baby wasn't sick, he was still worried and had been crying all by his little lonesome in the bathroom. That's why his eyes were red and his face a little discolored.

I pulled him up into my arms and started my spiel.

You know the one you memorize before you have kids, in the parenting class you take, that teaches you what to say when your 5 year old starts to worry about things that will happen to him in college if he happens to be a stupid drunk who looks for other's approval before using an ounce of comment sense?

Yeah, that spiel.

I say, "Oh Bo, I went to a college where there was no hazing, and so did Daddy. You can totally go to a college where there isn't any hazing. The only clubs that have hazing are clubs full of dumb people, and you are a very smart boy. You will hang around with other smart people and you will be in clubs with other smart people. There are lots of clubs that are fun and good that you can join if you want. There are clubs in high school where the high schoolers go to elementary schools and help the younger kids with their school work. There are clubs for people who get good grades. There are clubs for people who like to act, it's called drama club. There are so many great clubs that don't have anything to do with hazing, and those are the kind of clubs you'll belong to."

And then I said, "Hey Dad, what kind of clubs have you been in?"

At which point, the love of my life, turned to our precious, impressionable, sweet, yearning for something, anything positive to replace the horrible thoughts of hazing son, and said,

"I belonged to the Andy Griffith Rerun Watchers Club"

"Ha ha, that's funny J, I'm serious."

"I am too."

(clickety to biggify)

If you call me tomorrow, and I don't answer, it's because
I have died laughing.


Suzanne said...

Ooh am I first!?! Sweet!

The kids in the rerun club were probably just looking for excuses to cuddle with people of the opposite sex on a couch. ;)

Either that or they have an unhealthy obession with Aunt Bea.

Hmm...I'm going with the first!

Suzanne said...

P.S. Sorry about Bo and his anxiety. Hopefully with time, the fear fades.

My older son is the same way about stuff and worries about the future too. He told me the other day that he was worried that he wouldn't find anyone to marry when he grew up. Yeah...he's 8.

But that isn't what he's been most anxious about lately. But I can't tell you why here. I'll have to send you an e-mail. ;)

aubrey said...

WHAT?!?!?! are you kidding me? oh. my. gosh. tell j, i've never even SEEN that show.

Millie said...

Oh good grief. :) That's funny, but really, are you that surprised?

Weird Al started a Volcano Worshippers Club in high school, just so he could get in another picture in the yearbook. And it's probably really sad that I know that.

Millie said...

P.S. I was in the "Unhealthy Obsession with Aunt Bea" club in high school. We mostly ate pie.

glittersmama said...

That is teh awesomest. Where did he go to high school?

Code Yellow Mom said...

No, seriously. No, really. No, come on. Also on my laughter death-bed.

But I guess hazing and Opie really couldn't co-exist, now could they?

Sarah said...

forgive me but I just looked up hazing and I don't get it.. ummm by the way it's described, it goes on at work not just collage-

InkMom said...

I have died laughing, too! Hilarious!

And also, my dad is Andy Griffith. Just ask MommyJ.

Even weirder, both my husband and I were nicknamed Opie when we were small children. Funny, because now, the only way we could look any different is if we were different races.

Beckie said...

Just when you thought it would never be possible.....WOW!!! is all I can muster right now, from the stiffled laughs! Big Jay, You ROCK!!!!

I started an enviromental club in Jr. High, just so I could skip out of last period. We never did recycle anything, talked about it a lot, but not a small portion of a rain forest was saved.

You tell Mr. Bo that he should start his own club, where they aren't allowed to haze. And why, pray tell, is an 11 year old worried about that? How does that even come up?

Cindy said...

hazing?? they still do that? you are right..not fdor smart people!

You are so funny!! I am still laughing and can barely type. I can just see yours and J's expressions when he told you he was in the Andy G. rurun club.

What college did he go to? I want to be in a tv/movie watching club!!
That is too funny!

hold on, Ben come read this post!!! he will love it!

Bryner Family said...

That is the strangest club I have ever heard of for sure! Gotta love J. Jill worries about the future too. She says she never wants to move out of the house and go to college because I will miss her too much. I assured her I will miss her a ton but I want her to go to college and come home to visit sometimes. She was ok with that. :) Kindergarten really gets them thinking! :)

dancin' momma said...

Poor Bo. Or poor you...Not sure which us worse, his anxiety, or J's past extracurricular activities. Since you did such an amazing job explaining it all to Bo maybe you can come calm Banana's fear about not living w/me when she gets married. Twenty+ years from now. Seriously.

MommyJ said...

this really is one of the funniest things you've ever written about. Seriously, who knew big J was such a treasure trove of blog fodder?

I'm still laughing.


RING LEADER #2 said...


Klin said...

Awww, sweet B should not have to hear about such atrocities.

I think I am in that same club and I love Aunt Bea.

Perhaps we should start our own club- something like the Mom's Against Hazing Anywhere club.

Barnecked Lady said...

Why am I not surprised?!?!?!?! lol.

Big Jay said...

I was also in a whole lot of other clubs. And if I had it all to do over again, I probably would have played high school differently. I don't know about you guys, but I really get into those stories about people going back in time and stuff. I would have won state! I would have a hot tub to soak in with my soul mate! I would have been a national merit scholar!

Suzanne: Look at the picture. Not a lot of snuggling went on

Millie: I would have been in the volcano worshippers club if there had been one

bryner family: I think its pretty self evident that bryners are too mellow to really be 'in to' hazing -

MommyJ: The weird thing is I had mentioned this to Nobo before. Because in that particular picture it has me listed as 'Jerome' which is one of my most proud high school accomplishments. Apparently I did not include the name of the club in that story.

CoconutKate said...

Yeah, I'd die laughing too. Maybe this world would be a better place if they still had that club?

omar said...

I think what I'm most amazed about is the size of the club. And that there were female members.

And I bet they did have some form of hazing in that club, like making new members stand on one foot while reciting specific Goober Pyle lines or something.

Anonymous said...


Great speech, by the way.

ucmama said...

I am absolutely astounded J. That is the most random club name I have ever heard of. I'm proud to call you my friend and I totally would have bought a t-shirt if your club had been sellin' them.

Plain Jame said...

First of all, I'm sad about Bo being so upset by that the it was upsetting him that bad. SAD!

Ok, so do they really let kids create any kind of group they wanted to back in the 70's? hahaha, just kidding J.

Tori :) said...

OMGosh!! LOL!! That's cooler than me owning the "I was a Teenage Greg: Growing Up Brady" by Barry Williams. J is my hero.
My cousin got hazed- BIG time. Don't tell Bo that.

Super L said...

Why am I not surprised? Big J and Big M should swap high school stories. M was in more clubs, and on more yearbook pages, than anyone else in HS. ANYONE! Like, more than the Student Body President. It was impressive. Almost as impressive as the beard he is sporting in every single picture.

Poor Bo. I hate those conversations.

Rebecca said...

oh my gosh.. I think I have to go change my pants, I have wet them again.. I am going to start wearing depends just to "cickety" on your page!!! Now I feel for Bo.. but its gonna happen.. not the hazing.. but the converstions to satisfy their worries about life. Addison had to be talked down from a crying session about giving birth.. its a few years off.. but she was horrified at the thought of getting a shot..(the iv) little does she know thats the least of the pain.. anyway.. you are a great mom to bo and even more hysterical wife to J!!!! Go clubs of all kinds!!

swampbaby said...


Sarah Tilley said...

oh, no, i'm actually crying!!! and i made fun of ben for being in the math club!

big j ought to come out here to pullen park in raleigh and get his picture taken with the life-size statue of andy and opie.

oh, one of my coworker's aunt worked for the chick who played aunt bea and she said aunt bea was really a queen b. so sad.

NOBODY said...

Suzanne: Yay! You're first! I read your comment before going to bed and had dreams of AGRW Club members trying to snuggle me all night...oh wait, that was real.

Suzanne 2: I'm not a worrier, so this worrying in Bo is a little bit foreign to me.

Aubrey: That's not okay. Andy Griffith is classic. Everyone needs to know Opie and Aunt Bea just a little.

Millie: You're right, I wasn't surprised. I guess I was surprised that I didn't know it already. And I'm not surprised that you know that fact about Weird Al.

Millie2: Ha!

Glittersmama: Near where you did!

CYM: I had the SAME response. I should remind Bo he's much more like Opie than he is a hazer, so he's pretty safe.

Sarah: Better watch your back. Yeah, I'm sure it goes on everywhere to some degree. But fraternities are who are notorious for it.

Inkmom: I verified with MommyJ. You are clear. Funny coincidence that you were both called Opie. I'm trying to figure out how you landed that nickname.

Beckie: It's a continual problem around here, kids knowing things they shouldn't. I'm totally going to tell Bo to start his own club. I think he's good for it.

Cindy: How's about you and I start a housewives eating out and watching tv reruns club. Or rather, just finally give a name to it. :)

Bryner Family: I hate to think what Bo would come up with if he knew he'd have to move out eventually. Babysteps, babysteps...

Dancin' Momma: I don't have any luck with girls. Sorry.

MommyJ:You're a brat.

Ring Leader: Hi!

KLIN: The MAHA club? Sounds great! :)

Barnecked Lady: I know, right?

Big Jay: Comment Hijaker

CoconutKate: I never thought about that, I think you maybe right!

NOBODY said...

Omar: Ha! You're funny. I too noted the presence of girls in the club.

beeeee: Thanks. I do pretty good on the fly, don't I? I think it helps to have a husband who contributes so much. :)

UCMAMA: You would be proud.

Plan Jame: Ha!

Tori: Bo read your comment. Come clean up the mess you've made...

Super L: That right there is a huge difference between J and M. The beard.

Rebecca: HILARIOUS about Addison and giving birth. The IV? Really? That's just awesome.

Swampbaby: I still am!

Sarah T: Oh no you dih'nt just ruin Aunt Bea for us!
I think we uh, might be on our way out to visit you very soon. You and Andy, that is.

Coordination Queen said...

I am with coconutkate on that one! HAHAHA!

Sketchy said...

I don't think I own that spiel, personally, but now that I see the how handy it comes in these sorts of college/hazing/kindergarten discussions I'm totally purchasing it to add to my collection.

You know, the Andy Griffith thing is probably just another word for, we don't really have a great idea for a club but we want to belong to a club and hey this is a clever way to do that, and when you get right down to it, isn't that the point of all clubs anyway?

Sketchy said...

I remember trying to dissuade Millie from that "Unhealthy obsession with Aunt Bea" club, those kids were bad news. Seriously she could have ended up Messed. Up.

Anonymous said...

that's a great post. I'm glad I stopped over.

Physcokity said...

"You know the one you memorize before you have kids, in the parenting class you take, that teaches you what to say when your 5 year old starts to worry about things that will happen to him in college if he happens to be a stupid drunk who looks for other's approval before using an ounce of comment sense."

I want comment sense...in a 40 oz ;)