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(Page 3 of 7)
The boys looked at each other, impressed. Soon the buzz of conversation arose again but this time at a different level. Ears were alert for forest sounds. One by one, single file, they followed Newman into the woods.
NEWMAN WOULD NEVER ADMIT IT but he loved being out with boys this age. It reminded him of his own childhood and the youthful enthusiasm he had felt before the disappointments of life set in. There was something primal about this relationship between boys and men that was now almost completely forgotten in society. It was the mentoring of youth, the passing on of wisdom to the next generation. And who but an adult male like himself could recognize all those crazy impulses and teach boys how to control them?
None of this cut much respect anymore. Boys spent most of their lives in the care of their mothers. As homosexuality had played a larger and larger part in American life, one of the ridiculous outcomes was that men like himself whose instincts were purely paternal were constantly being accused of homosexual impulses. Even now Newman was defying the “rule of two,” the principle that no adult leader could be alone with the boys for more than a moment or else something untoward might happen. Newman had tried to enlist some help but where could you find another “family man” these days? All the men he knew were wrapped up in Virtual Reality. And so he had resolved to take them out by himself, hoping word wouldn’t get back to the church leadership.
“Mr. Newman, Mr. Newman,” called Darien, the leader. “Can we call you Phil?’
“I’d rather you didn’t,” said Newman. “Just stick to Mr. Newman.”
“My mother lets me call her ‘Molly,” said Jared, a wiry redhead marching right behind him. “She wants me to call her that.”
“My mother’s boyfriend wants me to call him ‘Dad.’” said Squirrel, a scrawny pipsqueak with a whole inventory of facial tics. “I say f—k him. That bastard tried to put a cigarette out in my ear.”
Newman stopped in his tracks. “Now look,” he said, “we’re not going to talk like that out here, alright? I don’t want to hear any swearing. We’re in the woods. This should be a religious experience, like going to church. Let’s all pretend we’re civilized.”
“What’s church?” asked Jared, innocently. Newman hoped he was kidding.
“That’s where you go to play bingo, stupid,” said Arnold, a cynical 14-year-old who already had a full mustache.
“What does ‘civilized’ mean?” asked Christopher, a pale boy with glasses.
“It means you play by certain rules,” said Newman, pulling himself into an avuncular mood. “You respect other people’s rights and feelings. You do unto others what you would have them to do unto you, as a Great Man once said. You try to live up to other people’s expectations.”
“I know what to expect from that c—ksucker who lives with us — oh, I’m sorry, Mr. Newman.” Squirrel covered his mouth in exaggerated apology. “I won’t say it anymore, I promise.”
Newman turned around and as he did, a buck antelope bolted out of the trees right in front of them and arched its way up the mountainside.
“Wow, did you see that?” said Darien, awestruck.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?