More Joe + Frank = Less Crank

I originally wrote this 3 years ago for I’ve decided to update it a little and to delete the parts that were, for lack of a better phrase, horrifically unfunny.


We are living in tumultuous times, my friends. We truly are. Unemployment is soaring. Crime rates are high. The stock market is pretty much screwed. (That’s a technical phrase. I went to business school!) There are wars breaking out everywhere. And FAMILY GUY is still on TV. And while not everything is bleak — I found a seven-minute version of “Groove Is in The Heart” by Dee Lite in mp3 — these are scary days, brothers and sisters.

Now, because you are here at PDDC, I know that you are expecting a higher quality of writing than you might find on your typical websites (or newspapers, bathroom walls, etc.). You come here for guidance. You come here to feel better about the world. You come here for Lauren Graham mentions. But, most of all, you come here for answers to life’s questions.

I will not disappoint.

A sure-fire way to get the world back on its feet… Make kids read Hardy Boys books. It’s really just that simple.

I had pretty much the entire run of Hardy Boys books. But, a couple stand out the most in my memory:

The Mystery of the Whale Tattoo (1968) – I remember this one mostly because the baddies all had tattoos, which at the time made me think, “Ooooooh, they must be sailors or bikers.” Of course this was back before every CPA and 16-year-old girl had been inked.

The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook (Rev. 1966) – In hindsight, the chapters on surveillance kind of read like a primer for stalkers. Hmm. None of y’all get any freaky ideas now… Seriously. Stop it. Put the book down.

The Proof…

You may be asking yourself how something as simple as reading “Hardy Boys” books can make the world a better place. Permit me to demonstrate:

1927 – The first Hardy Boys book, The Tower Treasure, is released. There is not a single car-jacking that year. Not one! Granted, there are only 14 automobiles in North America, but still…

Side note: I have it on pretty good authority that there were no cases of computer fraud or satellite piracy in 1927, either. Interesting, no?

1958 – The only year between 1927 and 1979 that a Hardy Boys book is not released. The United States joins the International Atomic Energy Agency. I don’t fully understand the mandate of this agency, but I feel fairly confident in saying that if a book had been released, there would be no such thing as nuclear weapons now.

1961 – “The Bay of Pigs” takes us to the brink of another war. I’m not sure exactly what went on here, but from what I can gather it had something to do with cigars, baseball players and moustache wax. Don’t quote me on that though. Is it any coincidence that The Mystery of Desert Giant comes out and then tensions cool off? Hmmm? Hm? Uhm hmmm.

1979 – The last “original” book, The Sting of the Scorpion, is published. Six short years later, the US unemployment rate peaks. I don’t think that it is any stretch for me to say that kids had become too socially inept — without these books — to even hold down a job. And who are you to question my conclusions? You probably didn’t read them, either.

Still not convinced, eh? Think about this:

– Jennifer Lopez never made a movie or album during the time Hardy Boys books were being released.

– Frank & Joe have never appeared on that crappy Craig Kilbourne show.

– During a year when a Hardy Boys book was published, there was no show on TV where anyone competed to marry a bachelor in Paris or elsewhere.

– Have you ever tried to read a book while hiding in a dark alley waiting to roll some poor old lady?

How Can We Update “The Hardy Boys” For Today’s Youth?

Personally, I don’t think that we have to. But, you kids and your MTV and pogs and whatnot. You know what you’re like…

1) Hip-hop-ify the guys. We can call them F-Money and J-Hard. They could solve crimes like “The Disappearance of Ray-Ray’s Baby Mamma’s Stash” or “Who’s Been Tricking Out Auntie Gertrude?”

2) We can make the boys both into “skaters.” I’m not exactly sure how this could be done but I’d imagine that they’d just start spelling words that began normally with “ex” with a large “X” instead. They could say stuff like, “This fingerprint will be X-hibit A!” And they would be constantly “shredding” apparently. Whatever that is. And they would do everything to the extreme… uhm, X-treme.

3) Turn them into a crazy-assed Japanese cartoons with names no one can pronounce, that cause seizures, and then have them banned in grade schools. (Seriously, I still don’t know what the hell a “beyblade” is.)

In Conclusion…

I am not sure what happened to my Hardy Boys books. I hope that I passed them along to another kid. Because these books aren’t made to be saved in your attic. They aren’t made to be sold at flea markets or, God forbid, on e-Bay. They are made to be passed from an older boy to a younger boy, much like mouthfuls of cooking sherry at the bottom of a bottle, fake joints (summer savoury in a Zig Zag!) and 12-year-old nudie mags with the covers missing. And THAT, my friends, is a tradition that should not be tampered with.

I hope you have found this post to be both informative and reassuring. And if you remember just one thing from everything that you’ve read here, please make sure that it is…

Seven minutes is not nearly long enough for a version of “Groove Is in the Heart!”

2 thoughts on “More Joe + Frank = Less Crank

  1. I had a Hardy Boys record player with a mic when I was a kid. I’m a big Nancy Drew fan. She even got a mention in my library school essay as being one of my inspirations for going into the field. I consider myself to be an information sleuth. ;-)

    Yep, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys…those were the good ole’ days before Lopez’s ass showed up and ruined the scene.

  2. Reading this post reminded me of another series that I loved when I was younger, but I can’t for the life of me remember the title. It was about a group of children who lived in a train box car. Now that’s teaching kids survival instincts! Or, you know, the idea that if your parents die and your uncle is rumored to be grumpy, you should all go hide in the forest and live off of the nature instead of living in his amazing mansion.

    … Right.

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