You can’t get out of school without a final rule being shoved down your throat. The final rule of today’s Promotion Ceremony was handed down yesterday — no flip-flops. Screw it. Our student has a special new pair of flip flops with sparkly straps to go with her new dress, and she’s wearing them, and if anybody makes a stink about it they’re going to be dealing with me, and mama don’t take no mess. There’s a point at which all the stupid rules of school become unbearable, and they don’t even apply to me. I’ve sat silent through No Squirt Guns at the Class Picnic (violation of the weapons policy) and No Untwisted Paperclips (ditto) and a punishment system that frequently involves writing, but on this one I’m a scofflaw.
(The punitive-writing thing bugs me in particular. Say you’re, oh, a software designer. Were your child to misbehave while in my care, I would not make him or her design software as a punishment. And yet, teachers think nothing of assigning painful essays as punishment for breaches of conduct large and small, and then wonder why kids despise writing.)
I shouldn’t complain. I don’t have to wrangle a few hundred kids who’d much rather be at the pool. I frequently marvel that teachers stay sane at all, and don’t begrudge them two or three end-of-day cocktails one little bit. Keep in mind this is a middle-class suburban district where kids are, generally speaking, still respectful of adults (in public, anyway) and will behave if ordered to do so. Still. Squirt guns? Please.
In other domestic news at this hour, we have a resident wild thing — an opossum. (The writer within insists I call it by its formal name on first reference.) I think it’s living under the deck by day and it needs to be removed, but I caught a glimpse of it in the driveway last night and damn — it’s the size of a Ford F-150. For once I was grateful for the dog’s ailing eyesight, because I was able to call him inside before he saw that mofo lurking out by the birdbath. A fight between those two would have been ugly. Alan has a live trap at the lake house, weaponry from last fall’s Groundhog Wars (score: Groundhog 1, Humans 0), and it’s coming here a.s.a.p. I like to live in peace with the natural world, but I’m wary of the damage a beast like that can do. And I read that in possums, “senescence is rapid.” I don’t want that sucker dying under my deck.
A quick skip to the bloggage, then:
I’m sorry, but when I see a headline reading Baby born with penis on back, man oh man am I clicking that one. If more babies were born with extra penises growing out of their backs, the newspaper business would not be in the fix it is today. For the squeamish, this appears to be one of those incompletely-absorbed-fetal-twin situations, and the kid seems to be fine after surgery, even though he lost a second career as a coat rack.
My congresswoman, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, is the Detroit mayor’s mother and is, I have assumed, as cemented into the job as my last congressman. The Free Press says maybe not — her son’s troubles have given mom some challengers, one of whom released an ad on the internets this week. In typical old-media fashion, the Freep didn’t provide a link. I’m going to assume it was an oversight, but here it is, and it’s a goody. (It uses the infamous “y’all’s boy” meltdown, seen in longer form here.)
You’ve probably all seen this by now, but just in case not, the NYT looks at the popularity of re-virginization surgery among European Muslim women. Show me a culture that values chastity over everything else in young women, and I’ll show you a sick culture. Nothing in this story changed my mind. Funny line:
But hymen repair is talked about so much that it is the subject of a film comedy that opens in Italy this week. “Women’s Hearts,” as the film’s title is translated in English, tells the story of a Moroccan-born woman living in Italy who goes to Casablanca for the operation.
One character jokes that she wants to bring her odometer count back down to “zero.”
I’ve always thought you could judge a group by what they compared their women to — cows (as in why buy one when you get the milk for free), shoes (you wouldn’t buy a pair without trying them on) and now cars. I ask you.
Off to walk around threateningly on the deck. Maybe I can scare the possum away. Ha.