The last few days have been interesting on the parental-duties front. Kate got in the car after school a few days ago and announced the world was supposed to end tomorrow. (To my relief, she didn’t use this as an excuse to not do homework that night.) This was the first I’d heard of the Large Hadron Collider, actually, but I covered my ignorance with a “Don’t be silly” and opted to flip it into a discussion on the importance of skepticism. I remember junior high pretty well, how rumors swept through the student body like crabs in a bathhouse, and thought the best thing she could learn from this was, as stated so eloquently by Detroit philosopher Marvin Gaye, to believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.
That night, reading the British dailies, I learned about the supercollider and the fears of British schoolchildren that baby black holes would band together and suck us all into the abyss. I flagged the stories for her to read the next day, and she made it her weekly current affairs assignment, and that was that.
We haven’t been talking about Wall Street this week. She’s a worrier by nature, and the last thing I need is Mini-Me. I’ve mentioned before that I still carry the scars of the 1970s on my psyche, the cold and dark years when it seemed things were only going to get colder and darker. (And look, it’s like that “Twilight Zone” where the girl wakes up and discovers it’s not that at all, it’s the opposite — global warming, not a new ice age. Life imitates Rod Serling.) We are going to whistle through this one, we are. More cake for the table! More champagne! But make it the cheap Spanish stuff, please.
Oh, and read the Freakonomics guy (his colleagues, actually), and their readable explanation, here.
Friends, I have to skedaddle today. I’m catching a flight for St. Louis in 3.5 hours, and have yet to shower, so I’d best get that out of the way. I’m speaking at another conference — thanks, Tim Goeglein! — and will post from the road. Have a good weekend, all, and if the plane crashes, remember these final instructions: Someone stand up at my memorial service and say, “She always loved ’70s funk.”