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Life out here by Bret Kofford: Maturity is overrated

February 21, 2001

Considering his age and position in the community, the letter-writers have written recently, he should demonstrate more maturity in his columns.

My response would be considering my age and position in the community, isn't it wonderful I can get away with being so remarkably immature?

"Maturity is overrated," I often say to whoever will listen, which usually is no one.

I do my work to the best of my ability, try to be a good parent and spouse, pay my bills if I can find them, shave on a semi-regular basis and pass gas silently. That's enough maturity for me.

I have at least 20 good belly laughs a week, and probably 15 of those laughs come from me being stupendously immature. But while immaturity can be rewarding, it can be hurtful, because I have been known to blow a gut muscle from laughing too hard at funny situations or silly people taking themselves seriously or piously.

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There are many examples of my raging immaturity. Even though my son is beyond Little League age, my friend Tony and I are coaching a 7- and 8-year-old "minor B" Little League team. And while I truly believe baseball is a great game and I should be a good role model yak yak yak yak, more than doing anything noble, I am still coaching Little League because I like playing with the kids.

While premature prune faces think I should be more serious and reverent now that I have reached a certain age and status I, think I am irreparably immature.

I am one of those parents who actually likes much of the music his teen son enjoys. We agree P.O.D., Green Day and the Red Hot Chili Peppers kick serious butt, and we have been known to crank it up and head bang in the car when certain songs come on the radio. He asks me to chill when his eighth-grade friends are around, but that makes me car slam dance even more, just to embarrass him.

Yeah, I'm that kind of dad. Cool, eh?

Yet my immaturity goes further. I laughed at apparently highly inappropriate times recently while watching "Hannibal" and felt people turning to look at me in disgust. I should have been ashamed, I guess, but hey, they were at "Hannibal," too, so who were they to judge? I loudly rooted against "Patch Adams" and his cute schemes a couple years ago when my family forced me to go see that gooey piece of Robin Williams dookie. "Why can't Patch die, too," I said in full voice at one point.

Speaking of dookie, certain things make me laugh every time I recall those events months, even years, later.

In October I was in San Antonio on business. During a break from the proceedings I went on a boat tour down the rivers of the lovely city.

Sitting across from me was my longtime colleague Margaret "Peggy" "Mrs." Dale. Sitting next to me was an adorable 3-year-old boy from Mexico City.

Kids can ruin such a trip with endless movement. This kid ruined my trip with one big movement.

Mrs. Dale soon got a whiff of my agony, but because she wasn't sitting rib-to-poo-pants against the tike, Mrs. Dale was, quite visibly, enjoying my pain.

Speaking of enjoying, the little guy carrying the load had the most content, beatific look I have ever seen. That look was one of the funniest things I had ever seen … at least after I got off the boat and made it 60 feet upwind of the muchachito.

That look returns to me every time I hear mention of San Antonio. It may not be my best memory of San Antonio, but it is my strongest.

I still laugh hard whenever I remember staff wise guy Richard Montenegro saying to a new employee who had been carrying a metal briefcase during his first few days of work, "What are you carrying in that thing, uranium for the government?"

As the supervisor of this department, I thought it might be appropriate to put a stop to the teasing of a new employee. Then I thought, "Nah."

Just thinking of our president grabbing his wife's rump in public still makes me laugh. I considered apologizing to the women I offended by my reporting of the president's public consensual cohabitant caboose caresses, the woman who called me "a community embarrassment." Then I said, "Nah."

Just the other day I was sitting cross-legged on the couch watching "Hot Shots: Part Deux" (let me recommend this timeless cinema classic along with its predecessor and all the "Naked Gun" movies) with my son and screaming, "Watch this part about the monks trying to impress the good-looking woman who comes into the monastery. Now watch the monk strip to his Speedo and flex." I was crying with laughter.

Then I thought, "You're 42 and have an important position in the community. It's time you became mature."

Then I thought, "Nah."

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