Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, there was this book about kids who go to a labor camp to dig holes and learn how to not be little terrors. It was all the rage for some reason. This book, and later accompanying film, were, of course, called Holes—a fitting title if you’ve ever seen one. Anyways, yeah, the kids dig holes to build character, and a whole bunch of evil adults scheme to reclaim some lost treasure and fulfill their own generational trauma. A "hole" lot of other stuff happens in the process, which doesn’t necessarily relate to digging holes… something about this guy and this donkey in this boat with these onions—but I don’t want to spoil that for you. Besides, Dude in a Boat With Onions doesn’t make for nearly as good as a title.

The adults in the book really seem to think that character is built through hard work and suffering (especially by digging holes.) It’s that same idea your parents pushed when they decided you should spend your entire summer of 8th grade spitting and hauling cords and cords of firewood for them. Speaking of digging holes… This kid got one up on his old man by maliciously complying with his dad’s order that he dig and keep digging a fence post hole until he was told to stop. Safe to say, the old man was impressed, if not taken aback, by the result.

Brad Dickson

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