essays

Here’s Looking at You Kid

Sundance KidSomeone called me a whiz kid the other day, because I knew how to record a voice memo on an iPhone. He’s a few years older than me, but it got me thinking that if I qualify as a kid, maybe it was time to start to giving the “Kid” moniker to anyone younger than me.

The server at the Indian restaurant will be Kid Curry, the UPS driver will be Kid Brown, which means the other delivery guy will be Kid Fed. My coffee will be expertly brewed by Kid Barista and I’ll purchase my jeans from Kid Levi. Movie tickets will be purchased from Kid Flic and burgers from Kid Mac. Kid Firestone will rotate my tires and Kid Kroger will bag my groceries. Kid Cable will keep my internets going and with any luck, I’ll never have to watch any of the shameless shenanigans of Kid Kardashian.

When you’re a kid, you don’t want be be called kid. As in, “Scram kid.” Or W. C. Field’s line, “Go away kid, ya bother me.” And being someone’s kid brother or kid sister isn’t exactly the description a young person Rawhide Kidwishes to be called.

But attitudes change and the years have mellowed my opinion about being “the kid.” Being the youngest carries no stigma anymore. On the contrary, when you put a bunch of boomers in a room, it’s quite the honor to be considered the kid.

It’s a storied tradition when you think about it. The Cisco Kid, Billy the Kid, Kid Shane, Karate Kid, Cudi the Kid, Kaitou Kid, Heartbreak Kid, Ringo Kid, Rawhide Kid, Two-Gun Kid, Kid Rock, Kid Kaplan, and who could forget the Sundance Kid. In the movie Casablanca, Rick toasts Ilsa with “Here’s looking at you kid.” That line is one of moviedom’s most famous.

A kid is young. A kid can get away with stuff. A kid has a certain joi de vivre, and who doesn’t want that? Yes, I like this “kid” thing. I like being called kid, and I think I’m really going to enjoy calling younger people “kid.”

It’s a lot better than whippersnapper.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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