PART III — WHY ARE ALL OF THESE CHILDREN LAUGHING?



Author’s note: Part III is THE ANSWER to the question I promised to answer in Part II (see post and columns below). It is below the copy below the photo I posted for Part I………



Look at them! Take a minute and look at the face of each of these children……….go ahead, I’ll wait.

Done? Bet you feel pretty good inside right now, eh? How can one’s spirits NOT be lifted by the laughter and beauty of each of these faces.

These children are all in their early 20s now…….the picture was taken in early 1990 and yes that is The Vinman laughing too (I’m the big kid). The photographer who captured this perfect moment is Anette Montoya. It is one of the favorite moment of my life — really! The photo hangs framed nicely just inside the door to my office so anyone who enters can see it on their way out. Not because I’m in it, but so they can see the childrens’ faces.

That was over 13 years ago now — hard to believe!!!!! My hair is a little grayer, still all there and I no longer wear tacky loafer dress shoes handed down to me from my dad (they worked at the time) when I became managing editor of The Daily Californian.

Oh yeah, the answer to the question……Why are these kids smiling so much???

Well, you know, I think I’ll save that for another night…..I am tired and need to go to bed.

Stay tuned!!! The answer is as good as the picture………

THE ANSWER? ONE WORD: KUDIES!!!!

HERE’S THE SCOOP: If you read the columns associated with Part II, you remember that The Vinman was at a grade school in El Cajon, California about 13 years ago on a reading day to the kids. The story of the shenanigans of these cute little kids before I got there is part of the column. Anyway, the book I was given to read to the children was called “What’s Behind The Door?” and I remember the dialogue with the class like it was a minute ago. I will ALWAYS remember it and often do when I need something special just to make me feel good and remind me life is not so damn serious.

On the cover of the book is a picture of a boy about 7 who is holding back a door cracked a little bit open. He is frightened out of his wits at what is behind the door with a fearful look on his face and sweat on his brow………We have small talk for awhile and then examine the cover of the book…….the children are into it and they know we’re about to embark on an adventure…….

Vinman: What’s going on here? What do you think this guy is doing?

Children: He’s holding back the door cause he’s afraid!

V: Yeah, I’s say your right….but what is he afraid of?

C: He’s afraid of what’s behind the door, silly!!!

V: Yeah, okay, but what do you think IS behind the door? Do you think it’s a dog?

C: No….it’s not a dog……

V: Well, how about a mommies or a daddy?

C: Nooooo, it’s not a mommy or a daddy………c’mon

I mention a few more possibilities……..a teacher? Nooooo, A policeman? Noooooooo!!!!!!

Finally I hit on it and I look them square in the eye and speak the words slowly so they know I know what they are thinking…

Hey gang, do you think it just might be, …I mean maybe could be……the…one…thing…that would really scare…….a….boy?

How about a GIIIIIIRRRRRRLLLLL?

Man, they broke out giggling like I’d just ticked each of their feet…..but the best was yet to come…..

AND DO YOU THINK SHE HAS KUDIES????

BOOM, BAM, NO HEAT SEEKING MISSILE THE MILITARY HAS COULD HIT THE TARGETED FUNNY BONE AND UNCONTROLLABLE LAUGHTER SPOT LIKE THE WORD KOOOOOOODDDDIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEES!

And that’s it….one simple word: Kudies. A girl with kudies is behind the door and that is why that guy holding it back is so frightened.

It was all so simple then. If you liked someone, I mean REALLY liked someone, you got to hang out after school at her mom’s house with cookies. If you didn’t you got to nail them with a rubber ball during “kill the man with the ball” during recess. and so on.

Anyway…there’s the answer….now look at that photo again and say kudies to yourself….

Oh the joy of children’s simplicity.

(More to follow some other time………time for beddie bye!!!)

(c) Copyright Vincent J. Kern — 2003

All Rights reserved

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