November 02, 2005


I was on a walk today with my first grader, James, when I discovered that he'd never heard of "cooties". When I was his age, it was an article of faith among all of the first grade boys that girls had cooties--and if a girl touched you, you'd get cooties too. Naturally, they had a similar belief about us.

Mind you, I don't think any of us had any idea just what cooties were. It was just an unpleasant condition endemic to the opposite sex, and it was to be avoided. And, of course, it was an excuse to chase the girls on those days when it was there turn to play on the jungle gym during recess. We'd chase them to give them cooties, and they'd run to the jungle gym, which was safe. And the next day, when it was our turn to play on the jungle gym, they'd chase us.

But these kids, these days, they don't know about cooties. I suppose cooties were deemed sexist and were stamped out somehow. It's rather sad, really.

Posted by Will Duquette at November 2, 2005 07:42 PM