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The question: to wear headphones on the street or not

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from the mouths of babes

A spectacular moment…the bus going west on 9th street actually arrived…for those denizens of uptown, it is a rare moment indeed. The line is so special that it has been stopped completely on the weekend; probably, so that the overworked tires can get a lube job or whatever buses and their drivers require in order to work so hard Monday to Friday. Must ask Ralph Cramden.

I squeezed myself on between a set of nine year old boys.  The future leader of the world was enthralling his friends with his knowledge of history and it was pretty good. “This guy Patrick, he was cool. And he was out there saying great stuff and then he got married.” Patrick who I wondered. Then: ” If This be treason, make the most of it!”, the kid bellowed through the bus.

Well he wasn’t talking about OWSers? Was he? I kept trying to turn around without making him self-conscious..but nine year old boys are rarely self-conscious.  “Yea, and he said, Give me Liberally or give me death.”

Ok, even with the typo… Patrick Henry. I knew that much. Interesting.. he must have a good teacher…even in New York. Ok, so I continued with my spying.

“Yea, and he married and she died.” The other chap uttered a “oh”, and the third “did he find a new wife?”

“Yes, said my genius friend, she was twenty years younger.”  So that’s when trophy wives were invented.

“And he kept doing good things and lived until…I forget old.”  At this point, their nanny caregiver suggested the two brothers share a snack before swimming. So there was a pause of 3 seconds while they inhaled their granola bar and then he continued, “But he had slaves, even though he was a nice man. Everyone had them. ”  His other friend must have looked a bit surprised, so he quickly added, ” But.. he treated them very well. Like family. They were part of his family” Aha, revisionist history. This is why we needed  Howard Zinn so much.

When I turned to peek at the caregiver, a kind looking woman from perhaps Haiti, I understood his confusion as well as his apology.  Suddenly the bus reached the swimming stop and the history lesson was over.

I got off at my corner, still amused by the kid’s erudition when I over heard the twenty-year old trustafarian NYU‘ers coming up fast from the rear. “Yea ..she didn’t like him at all but had to carry his scent all day on her butt finger.”

Ok, I’ll wear the headphones.


Written by nancykoan

December 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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