When I was growing up, I wanted to join The Boy Scouts. They seemed cool, but, I was too young. There was The Cub Scouts, though! And one could evolve into a Boy Scout from there. I convinced my parents I should join.
I think I was in the Fourth Grade. I became a Bobcat, a newbie. My parents never even sprung for a full uniform, just the shirt, bandana and cap. And I had to walk about a mile to my den mother’s house on meeting days. At least I got to hang with other boys my age, and we sometimes did cool stuff.
But, soon, my den mother moved away, and no provision had been made for us to transfer to another den. By default, I left. No Boy Scouts for me!
But one of my fondest memories of The Cub Scouts was the Scout Oath. Not the solemnity or the promise. The language.
In the early 60’s, the counterculture wasn’t yet tipified by the hippie. It was the beatnik that brought societal scorn. As typified by the character Maynard G. Krebs on The Dobie Gillis Show. (the G stood for Walter, it was silent!)
When something was mainstream, whitebread, uncool, the beatnik said it was SQUARE.
And The Cub Scout Oath (of that era) was:
I, _________, promise to do my best
To do my duty to God and my country,
To be square, and
To obey the Law of the Pack.
Now, sometime after 1964, the changed the oath to read to help other people, instead of to be square.
I wonder if that was because every boy jack of us said the oath as follows:
…To be a square…
Not really comprehending what being square meant.
Being on an extremely limited disability income, I sometimes (often) find myself in a financially uncomfortable situation. Often a week or more before my stipend is due to arrive. I wish I could say it was because of extravagance, but more often than not it’s because of a math error.
Fortunately, I am sometimes assisted by my friends. I am most blessed.
And yes, today, I AM SQUARE.
I AM ALSO A SQUARE! I need one of these!