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Lowlights for Rebels

The other side of Howard Ashby Kranz. Every child who's ever been to visit the dentist, remembers through a haze of terror a magazine called "Highlights For Children." One of the features of that magazine was an illustrated strip contrasting the lifestyles of Goofus, a ne'er-do-well slacker (before there was a name for it) who was slovenly, disrespectful, and generally apathetic, and Gallant, a "model child" who always kept his hair neat, practiced Good Table Manners, Spoke Respectfully To His Elders, and generally Served As An Example. If you really want to know what happened to them, here's the scoop.


and Gallant




Goofus eats his ice cream cone from the bottom
And blows bubbles in his Coke with a straw.
Gallant chews his mixed vegetables well
After showing his clean hands to Pa.
Goofus reads comic books and in class he draws pictures
Of rocket ships going to the Moon.
Gallant reads Kipling, and Adventures from the Bible,
And does his homework in the afternoon.

Get off my gettin’ on!
Get off my gettin’ on!
Get off my gettin’ on!
Well I could work it out if you’d leave me alone.

Now Gallant knows that Goofus has some kind of understanding
With Debbie, the Queen of the Prom.
Gallant took Debbie to a candlelight dinner,
She didn’t know where he was coming from.
Debbie wants to be a Supreme Court justice
But she doesn’t believe in the Law.
Gallant lies awake nights thinking about something
He’s seen that he shouldn’t have saw.

Papa took Gallant to a Christian psychiatrist
Who gave him a relaxant and a talk.
Debbie’s mama knows she’s still getting into no good
Though she watches her like a hawk.
Goofus rolls around in the back yard in his good clothes
Getting stains all over his knees.
Gallant sits in the Good Citizens’ Club
Saying, Thank You, You’re welcome, and Please.

Now Gallant is an accountant for the 3M Companies
He has everything he imagines that he needs
Goofus is a drummer working at the mattress factory
Trying to kick a bad habit of weed.
Debbie married Gallant, but she goes bowling every weeknight
And Goofus is in the same league.
Anyone of them could have been anything they wanted
If you listeners would only believe.

Get off my getting on!
Get off my getting on!
Get off my getting on!
I could work it out if you’d leave me alone.

© 1985 by Howard Ashby Kranz

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Reed Waller
309 Division Street W.
New Richland, MN 56072

© 2018 Reed Waller - Omaha the Cat Dancer
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