People are always asking me about today's young people, because they know that I, as a swim coach, have the respect and trust of the young people. The young people listen to what I say. The young people stack their kickboards when I ask them to. The young people confess to me their most profound anxities, their deepest secrets.
And so it is that I can state with confidence the two most compelling issues to the young people of today: Caterpillars and Gummi-Worms. First, caterpillars. Our pool had swarms of caterpillars yesterday, crawling across the cement, falling into the pool, inching their way across the dangerous volleyball court. The children sprung into action. Swim pratice was secondary to the task of rescuing the caterpillars, making caterpillar homes out of empty boxes of Cheez-Its, debating whether the caterpillars were poisonous, and trying to find caterpillar food. Even after practice, the pool was abuzz. Not with the usual gossip about Coach Sean's hair, or Coach Sean's revolutionary side-breathing drills, but with the quest to find and rescue as many caterpillars as possible.
The caterpillars were not poisonous, by the way.
The media talks a lot about how kids today are apathetic, how they don't believe in anything. Maybe they'd be right if they were talking about streamlining off the wall, or quieting down when their handsome coach is talking, or even washing said coach's car, but it's a different story with caterpillars. They show a concern for caterpillars that exceeds their empathy for their peers or younger siblings. They hit each other over the head with kickboards, yet delicately carry multiple caterpillars in the palms of their hands without jostling them. Caterpillars mean something to these kids. I think that with the right platform, a third-party caterpillar candidate could do quite well in the 2024 presidential election.
Gummi-Worms are also important, due to their bright colors and deliciousness. The youth of today loves Gummi-Worms nearly as much as caterpillars. I have fielded as many questions about Gummi-Worms in the past two weeks as I have about my personal life, stroke technique, and the Iraqi conflict combined. The youth of today want Gummi-Worms, and I will be the man to provide them. Except to Lane 4 if they don't stop splashing right this instant.