Pet Peeves

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Denise & Mr. Wilson


Mark Crantz
Mark Crantz

I’ve changed the names in this column to protect the privacy of the people I’m writing about. My name is changed to Mr. Wilson, of “Dennis the Menace” fame. The little girl who lives next door is Denise. She refused using a boy’s name like Dennis for this column. And she insisted on writing the first draft with a pink crayon. She’s 100% little girl.

Denise is 3 years old and really believes my name is Mr. Wilson. She likes to visit with her plastic toy trumpet and entertain me. I do not recognize the songs she plays. She doesn’t read music. She plays by ear. I know this because my ears hurt for hours after she goes back home. Her mother’s attempt to temper Denise’s gusto is answered with, “Just making music. Just having fun.” Well, thank goodness one of us is.

Denise and Mr. Wilson have nothing in common. Denise runs around all the time. Mr. Wilson sits around all the time. Denise eats healthy foods. Mr. Wilson eats pork rinds. Denise drinks from a juice box. Mr. Wilson drinks from brown beer bottles. So you can imagine Mr. Wilson’s surprise when he realized he and Denise had something in common after reading Indy’s “Survey Shows Youngsters Unprepared for School.” The article was eerily similar to AARP’s new TV ad campaign. AARP is for young people, not just old fuddy-duddies. “Just making real possibilities. Just having fun in work, travel, tech and more,” blasts the AARP trumpet.

The Indy article recounted that less than half of Laguna Beach kindergartners are fully prepared for the classroom experience. Results from the LB Early Development Index indicate 48% of the children were not ready in fine and gross motor skills. And the LB Early Development Index found that 49% of children struggle in communication skills and general knowledge. Results from AARP’s Late Development Index indicate 48% of pre fuddy-duddies were losing fine and gross motor skills in their 50’s. Also, AARP’s Late Development Index found 49% of pre fuddy-duddies struggle in communication skills and general knowledge. Laguna experts believe a community wide effort is necessary to improve early childhood service systems. AARP experts believe a nation wide effort is necessary to improve early aging service systems.

Fortunately, Denise and Mr. Wilson do not need these outreach programs. They’re doing fine on their own. Mr. Wilson has connected with Denise through music. Every Monday on garbage day, Mr. Wilson throws his empty beer bottles into the recyclable bin. The noise rivals Denise’s trumpet. Denise has told her father that the noise is Mr. Wilson’s wind chimes. So, Denise and Mr. Wilson decided to get together and form a band called the “Perfects.”

Now Denise and Mr. Wilson blast out together. “Just making music. Just having fun.”


Crantz tells the Indy that the “Perfects” will be jamming on Wednesday nights with Kenny Loggins at the house at Pooh Corner.         




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