• this scout is flanging (‘flan-jing’) •
“This Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and IRREVERENT. Eleven out of twelve ain’t bad…
Hm. Alright, well, as to TRUSTWORTHY, well…I TRY to be honest, but…remember the week I tried to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? THAT was a disaster. Do you have any idea how many questions I had to answer, after that? You can’t go around telling the truth all the time; after a week nobody will talk to you. Trust me.
Consider the eternal verities:
“Is there a God?”
“Is my butt too big?”
“Why does Aunt Tilly continually refer to me, as ‘razor-lips’?”
I mean, technically all of these questions can be answered with the same retort: “Nobody can answer that question for you, you have to answer that for yourself. You look at the preponderance of evidence and come to your own conclusions.” ‘Nuff said.
Now, you can dispense with the God question using that response, but it just doesn’t work with ‘is my butt too big?’ You find yourself, you know, improvising, temporizing: “Well…I mean, you know…compared to what? The Statue of Liberty, the North American continent, the Moon? Now, the Statue of Liberty, now she’s got a big butt”…and, this is all ‘internal’, of course, you don’t say this. But, you find yourself hesitating in the sentence, to include these other things, and you can tell by the look you’re getting, it’s a dead giveaway: “No, uhm…(compared to the Statue of Liberty) it’s…tiny, imperceptible, minuscule even…I mean, it’s perceptible…to me, but in a good way.” And, the “razor-lips” thing? You might as well ask her to kiss your wrists. Please.
She can see you’re flanging.
“Oh, nevermind… Just shut up!”
And she’ll never talk to you again.
Oh, alright, I lie. I lie all the time. I am a big fat liar.
So much for ‘trustworthy’.
Still, ten out of twelve ain’t bad…
I guess we’re gonna have to re-think BRAVE…huh? (see above)
But again, compared to whom?
Duke Wayne? Oliver North? If SUCH is the case, I have to say, in my own defense… “I don’t recall.”
Alright, scratch ‘brave’.
But I’ve still got nine left. Right? Nine…’virtues’.
CLEAN? Well, that’s relative, as in, I am relatively clean. Of course, if you stuck me in a Petrie dish, and left me in an incubator for three days, I might come out a little worse for wear, and kinda fuzzy, but hey…
I mean, I’m clean when I NEED to be. Of course it’s been a long time since I’ve needed to be. A long, long time, in fact (again, see above), but if I needed to be clean, say, on short notice, I could probably manage it.
I guess you couldn’t say I’m spic and span twenty four seven, but…
OK, ‘clean’, maybe not so much.
I have to say, I’m generally comfortable in my own skin. As long as I don’t accidentally sniff my own socks, or something stupid like that.
I’ve still got, what Eight left.
That’s a reasonable number. Eight. How many guys can honestly say they’ve got eight good qualities?
Of course, certain questions do arise about this LOYALTY business…
OK, maybe I slunk off to the reception area when the minister, holding the two rug rats by the scruff of their skinny necks, asked the congregation, “Who do these belong to?” after they were pinched trying to liberate the Lotty Moon Offerings…
I thought the question was rhetorical, and there was coffee, and… cupcakes…
ALRIGHT! So much for ‘loyal’. Hey, we got the kids back…after they had worked off their ‘service’. Anyway, they’ll never do that again. It was good for them.
What am I down to now…seven? Seven’s good. Seven’s real good.
I can say, proudly, I’ve got seven good qualities.
I never said I was an Eagle Scout.
I am FRIENDLY…at times. Just don’t phone me up at dinner time, and I’m perfectly, uhm…HELPFUL? Well, yeah, to the extent that’s allowable, given my philosophy, along the lines of…God helping those who..help themselves.
COURTEOUS…yeah, mostly, as long as it’s not ‘expected’. I tend to avoid those ‘situations’.
KIND? Yeah, I’m kind…kind’a.
With kittens and puppies, and rodents, and so on, as long as they’re where they are supposed to be: out of doors…
No, can’t say I was ever any good at that.
CHEERFUL? After my second cup of coffee, in the morning, I can probably squeeze out a smile, given the need…alright maybe more like a grimace, but that’s subjective. I think I’m grinning. What do you want for ten in the morning, a song and dance?
THRIFTY. DEFINATELY! Some say I squeeze a quarter so hard the eagle squawks.
What!? Uh oh.
Maybe I’m not much of a Boy Scout.
I still have my good qualities. Which?
I’ll get back to you.
~ Tim Burchfield