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August wholly dazed
Watching eight—nine, if you count the one in the middle—boys ranging in age from maybe seven to 14—and I’m wondering what the firetruck went wrong in the last 40 years.
Sitting in a corner of my son’s school, I’m passing through on an errand, isolated from other “campers”—if you can call being locked up all day in someone else’s school during August holidays “a camp”—nine boys, young and fit—well, one chubby, one obese, other seven skinny to muscular—nine boys on a sunny afternoon in August, nine boys, whose total energy, if it could be tapped, would rival the hydroelectric potential of the Kaiteur Falls, nine bundles of over-exuberance…sit, unmoving, in total silence.
Well, not total: the beeps; the buzzes; the deedle-deedle-deedle-deedle-drones break it up. Eight more or less healthy young men who should be bumping off walls are sitting, stone still, watching one of them play a video game on a handheld device. The second week of August. Good firetrucking grief, as the offspring of Charlie Brown and Hunter S Thompson might have said.