Thursday, April 8, 2010

Boy Wanted

By Frank Crane

I've been reading this to my sons recently. Maybe some of it will sink in.

This "want ad" appeared in the early part of this century.

Wanted -- A boy that stands straight, sits straight, acts straight, and talks straight;

A boy whose fingernails are not in mourning, whose ears are clean, whose shoes are polished, whose clothes are brushed, whose hair is combed, and whose teeth are well cared for;

A boy who listens carefully when he is spoken to, who asks questions when he does not understand, and does not ask questions about things that are none of his business;

A boy that moves quickly and makes as little noise about it as possible;

A boy who whistles in the street, but does not whistle where he ought to keep still;

A boy who looks cheerful, has a ready smile for everybody, and never sulks;

A boy who is polite to every man and respectful to every woman and girl;

A boy who does not smoke cigarettes and has no desire to learn how;

A boy who is more eager to know how to speak good English than to talk slang;

A boy that never bullies other boys nor allows other boys to bully him;

A boy who, when he does not know a thing, says, "I don't know," and when he has made a mistake says, "I'm sorry," and when he is asked to do a thing says, "I'll try";

A boy who looks you right in the eye and tells the truth every time;

A boy who is eager to read good books;

A boy who would rather put in his spare time at the YMCA gymnasium than to gamble for pennies in a back room;

A boy who does not want to be "smart" nor in any wise to attract attention;

A boy who would rather lose his job or be expelled from school than to tell a lie or be a cad;

A boy whom other boys like;

A boy who is at ease in the company of girls;

A boy who is not sorry for himself, and not forever thinking and talking about himself;

A boy who is friendly with his mother, and more intimate with her than anyone else;

A boy who makes you feel good when he is around;

A boy who is not goody-goody, a prig, or a little pharisee, but just healthy, happy, and full of life.

This boy is wanted everywhere. The family wants him, the school wants him, the office wants him, the boys want him, the girls want him, all creation wants him.


  1. Bewares the want ad of the future:

    Wanted: a boy who sits down and shuts up, and tells his other friends to do the same.

    This boy supports the government agenda blindly.

    He cannot think through an argument with supportive data. Indeed, he has no desire to find underlying information nor to challenge the prevailing power structure with honest questioning.

    This boy is willing to pay a huge tax on everyone's education, healthcare, employment, etc. because he's been taught that this is the only way to be fair.

    This boy must not excel nor stand apart, as he would then necessarily require society's intervention to re-educate him.

    This boy should not believe in God as this may make him dangerously aware of morality.

    Uncle Sam WANTS this boy NOW.

    No one else in his/her right mind wants him.

  2. Very good Gail Ellen!! It could not have been said better!