Cub Scouts introduced me to the game Good Citizen/Bad Citizen | Just Jaggin' | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Cub Scouts introduced me to the game Good Citizen/Bad Citizen

My son just started Boy Scouts. And it is a whirlwind. There are taco lunches, meetings every Sunday, and a lot of hand signals, salutes, and creeds that must be memorized. It’s good that I have been able to get practice with the Pledge of Allegiance at my twice-monthly commissioners’ meeting. Otherwise, I would have been really embarrassed at the first meeting when everyone in the room was asked to recite it.    

But I probably embarrassed myself anyway, as those who are dedicated to the craft often do. The troop was playing the well-known game of Good Citizen, Bad Citizen. I would explain it, but you probably play it all the time at family functions. No? Alright. So, the troop leader pulls pictures out of a brown paper bag that features either a true derelict or an American hero and a sentence or two describing their actions. “Bobby is pushing his little sister:” Bad Citizen. “Jim folds his flag before storing it.” Good Citizen. Then the scouts drop the picture over into the correct brown paper bag.        

Well, we got through a couple cycles of the game, and most of the examples were pretty obvious to me. Then the leader pulls a picture of a kid picking his nose out of her bag of tricks. “Uh oh,” I thought. “I know this has to be wrong, but … but …” And then I blurted out, “What if you are alone!?” only half-jokingly. Score! I had to be right. That’s when then scout leader only half-jokingly said, “I think I know someone who won’t be allowed back next week.” 

I didn’t swear an oath on the Constitution of the United States at my local municipal building as a duly elected official to have my right to freely pick my nose in my own house stolen from me like a round of Jarts. What’s next?! Smoking on a plane or crossing the street against the red light?! I won’t have it. I’m no criminal! And that has been proven by the four different background checks, including an FBI fingerprinting, I had to submit to for the scouts. Or at least I hope I’m not. 

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