Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I was a Boy Scout, albeit briefly. The organization and I had “creative differences”; they shot weenie guns, used crummy folding knives, fished badly, and we never got to kill and eat anything.

My entrĂ© into scouting was calculated to help me down the road to becoming a better Wild Man, and I was thrilled to join a group of like-minded strangers intent on becoming awesome. I needed to learn some knots, how to sail, maybe a bit about building a "lean-to" and I’d have been in great shape to start my bid for world-domination.  Imagine my disappointment when, on my first big-adventure campout, my new Scout Brethren showed up prepared to “rough it” with two People magazines, a Sony Discman, 5 cigarettes, a six pack of Coke, half a dog-eared Playboy, and a tampon. At that point I started to realize I was out of my element. The cigarettes were Marlboros and reasonably fresh (a big step up from the CarltonMenthols I’d broken in on at a tender age), but I never did understand how “tampon” made the packing list.

The uniforms put me off a bit too. I don’t know what Aryan model of perfection the Scout uniform is based on, but my experience indicates the term “husky” wasn’t properly-defined in the Scouting lexicon. Ultimately, I found our troop to be more “sewing club” than “hunt club” and I hated the uncomfortable uniform; so I bailed. Dad said “hey next year let’s bag Scouting and go elk hunting on horseback in Wyoming instead” and in that instant I became Husky-Second-Class-Scout-Ewing forever.

Despite my brief, failed, foray into Scouting I appreciate the organization and have been interested to see Scouting pop up in the news quite a bit lately. Apparently, gay kids aren’t allowed to Scout. Or maybe they’re not allowed to act gay while they Scout. I am not clear on the details, but for those of you recently in extremis at the very thought of homosexuals subverting 100 years of Boy Scout tradition: rest easy. Gays have been in the Scouts since kickoff, so this is not news. 

As far as I can tell, gays make up about 2% of the population and probably have for the last 10,000 years. That means: gays are not taking over the world, The Boy Scouts, or your local Waffle House; so they’re either bad at recruitment or that's not quite how it works.

Fortunately for you concerned straight folk, my gay friends suggest that one of the very last places on our large, flat, earth most gay 17-yr-olds want to be is in a suburban Elk’s lodge, after dark, surrounded by straight kids armed with hatchets and knives, all keen on "knot tying". Either way, if your Scout Master finds the 5 new Scouts having gay relations with your kids; I’ll be astonished - because guess what straight kids don’t do? Get gay and naked with their Boy Scout buddies.

Before you get upset with me, rest assured: I get the broader issues at hand. I really do, I'm only suggesting it's a tiny bit moot: kind of like the "women in combat" debate. What are all the men pissed off about again? I am confused.

There are many more women in my life that I'm scared to death of than men, but that's just me. Mom could have disarmed a Mexican drug cartel with a medium-sized wooden spoon, I am here to testify to that, but apparently some of our fighting men are concerned that smaller-statured women won’t be as capable in combat and may put them at risk.


To me, a short-legged person in uniform looks like someone I may be able to outrun on the battlefield; and that is exactly what I am looking for. God knows if she wants to stay and fight I am all for it. I'll hide in the trench and toss up handfuls of bullets. I'd fight if I had to, sure, but I am absolutely thrilled when anybody else wants to do it in my place. 

So, God bless you gay Scouts – you already have support from the Manly Outdoorsman set - most of them thought Scouting was for gays already; and more power to you, fighting women, with your angry combat breasts and guns and boots and things. Kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out!  

While you ladies preserve my freedom (thanks!); I am going to be at home twiddling with my fishing lures and thinking about why God didn't make me with sharp claws.

God bless 'Merica! Where the army'll take anybody and gay kids get hatchets too.