We’re havin’ a heat waaaaave…a tropical heat waaaave….

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Mornin’ all.

It’s twenty degrees warmer this morning than yesterday morning. It’s a face-melting 14 out there! I busted out the tee shirts and sunscreen for the kids.

I joke, but seriously, it does feel a ton warmer. I’m reluctantly acclimating to this horror we call winter. Why do I need to acclimate? Why can’t I hibernate?

That’s it. I’m forming a new Super PAC. We’ll call it the Anti-Acclimation Pro-Hibernation League, of AAPHL for short. Our goal will be government sanctioned hibernation laws for all northern areas of the country. Our mascot will be a bear. We’ll go on tour with our mascot and try to drum up support. Crowds love bears. It’s a winning idea.

“Uh, Bethie? I don’t mean to piss in your Wheaties or anything, but how are you going to get a bear to go on tour with you in winter?”

…oh. I guess we can’t actually parade a bear around this time of year, can we? Fine. We’ll have a picture of a bear. Pictures can be just as moving as the real thing. Besides, I think PETA will be less likely to protest our rallies if we don’t drag a sleeping bear around by a collar.

“And what, exactly, are you rallying for? You do know it’s not illegal to hibernate, right?”

Well…I mean…I guess not *strictly*. But they certainly don’t make it easy. If I want to hibernate all winter, well, dammit! I should be able to hibernate free from consequence and…

“So you essentially want napping laws.”

…don’t you?

“Guess it makes as much sense as any other Super PAC.”

Glad to see you’re on board! I’ll send you a pamphlet and an online petition once we work out the details.

There was an event at our local elementary school here in town last night. The 8 year old was completely jazzed for it. The mum, eh. Not so much. I dragged the 16 year old with me. Not only is he the only one that could also provide me with entertainment (he’s a crack up), but he was probably the only one of the three that would actually go. I wasn’t expecting to have much fun, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

The event was Casino Night.

“Casino Night…at…an elementary school…?”

…yeah, that’s what I thought at first. A bit of an odd choice. However, there was no gambling. The night was held to cap off a unit of math the middle schoolers had done. They worked very hard to create games of odds and math. Every kid from the school who attended had a casino card, and when they did one of the activities, they’d get a sticker. At the end of the event, they tallied up how many stickers they collected and got a prize from the table of neat give away items the local bank donated.

It was a pretty damn cool event, if you want to know the truth. It’s a small school, only a couple hundred kids grades pre-k through 8th. I was actually very impressed with how much they managed to do. I’m a big old nerd, too. I absolutely love seeing what kids can make, and some of the games and displays they came up with were super impressive.

They have a fantastic theater director there who is so unafraid of embarrassing himself that he pasted on fake sideburns and donned a white jumpsuit and glittered cape to pretend to be Elvis. All. Night. Long. Even when he sidled up to give the 16 year old a hug and a slap on the back because he hasn’t seen him in awhile, he stayed in character. He said, “Well-uh, hey now, partner! I haven’t seen you-uh since we tore up Reno!” Fan-Tas-Tic.

The flow of the night needed a bit of work. Some of the games took awhile for kids to play, making the waits in the line take awhile. But the idea was great, and if they do it again next year, if they just tweak it a bit, it’ll be a huge hit. An impressive showing by the staff and students of what in this area is widely considered to be a sub-standard town. Last night’s event was full of creativity, hard work, excellent teacher and staff involvement. No, we couldn’t hold it in a fancy event center. But I guarantee that a larger percentage of parents and families showed up to support their kids last night in our “dumpy little redneck town” than any functions the richer schools in the area hold!

…er…sorry. I wave the hometown flag a little hard sometimes. Hey, SOMEone has to!!

As great as the event was, there were a couple people there who didn’t realize that:

a) They were in a school.

b) The school was filled with children.

c) Those children do not want to hear about gutting a deer, “fixin’ that fuckin’ muffler,’ or who Becky went home with from the bar the other night.

* Sidenote: If your name is Becky and you’re from a small town in the southwest corner of NH and you happened to go home with a man after a few too many last weekend….woman to woman, you need better friends. STAT.*

Now, lest you think it turned into a wild, spittoon twangin’, jug chuggin’, fiddle hoppin’ hootenanny, there were a couple hundred people at the event, and only a handful of them had no class. The gossip chicks who totally did NOT have Becky’s back, the “fuckin’ muffler” guys, and the details of the deer gutting happened only between a few people. You get those folks in every crowd. There is always someone who doesn’t understand how to behave in a mixed group, regardless of geographical location.

One such woman looked to be well put together. She had her make up on and her hair did. High heel pumps (which are NOT allowed on the gym floor dumbass) and a fancy pocket book which I’m sure cost more than a couple cars I’ve driven in the past. She started to chit chat with me about her son running one of the game tables, and it all went fine until she asked about my younger son. I said he was in third grade. She got this horrified look on her face and said, “Third grade? I thought he was a kindergartener!”

Now folks, I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned, but my 8 year old is…diminutive. He’s not a dwarf or little person (no offense meant, I genuinely do not know which term is preferable), he’s just short for his age. Like his dad, he seems like he’ll just grow later in life. I know this. HE knows this. And it’s been quite a struggle to get him to be okay with the fact that there is only one other kid in his class that’s as short, and she’s a girl. We have pointed out that his oldest brother was very short, too, until 9th grade, and that his dad didn’t actually have a growth spurt of note until he was 19.

Everyone can see he’s short.

My question is, why in the HELL would an ADULT feel the need to point it out? Not just in a crowded location, but right in front of him??

I was flabbergasted. I said, “The boys in the family grow later. This guy here (16ager) was the same height at 8. So which game is your son’s?”

I wasn’t justifying for the lady, you understand. That lady could take her spiked heels and fancy purse and shove them up her hoity toity ass. I was trying to make it okay for the 8 year old boy who just heard an ADULT be HORRIFIED that he was so short. And call him a KINDERGARTENER.

Have you ever had an 8 year old boy? They are loud and brash and fully believe themselves to be five years older, ten feet taller, and twenty times stronger than they actually are. Being called short and three years younger is almost the ultimate insult. The only thing that could have piqued his ire more is if she also said he looked like a girl.

…and even that, meh. I’m not so sure he’d care as much. As long as it was an 8 year old girl.

So giving any response to Shithead Sal wasn’t me trying to justify or explain anything to HER. My words were for my kid.

You’d think she would have realized she was choking on her own foot at that point, but no. Clueless Carol had to keep pushing the issue. She said, “But 8? I don’t believe it. He’s so tiny!” It was clear that Nancy Numbnuts was just going to keep grinding him into the ground, so I ushered him along and made a point to once again tell him how wrong it was for someone to care about his height.

Why do people do this? Why do ADULTS do this? Why do they think it’s okay to point out differences in children?

What was Debbie Dumbass’s thought process that lead her to believe that it was not only fine to proclaim what she perceived as an inadequacy in my child, but to then keep pressing when it was clear that I was attempting to get her to shut the hell up? There were a million other potential small talk topics. The childrens’ art projects on the wall next to the line. The event we were waiting for. The principal who walked around handing out Mardi Gras beads. Shit, we’re a poor community without any sports teams, but we’ve somehow managed to keep having weather. Talk about the weather.

Or, don’t talk. Give a polite nod, tell your son’s age, and be done. I didn’t know Jessie Jerkoff, and she didn’t know me. She did not owe me conversation, and I would have been completely fine if she never opened that diarrhea maw of hers. We could have nodded uncomfortably, then looked away as normal people do when they’re in line.

Thankfully, it didn’t ruin the evening. My son had a great time, and even the 16 year old admitted he really liked seeing some of his favorite former teachers. The games were fun and there was free popcorn. Can’t have a bad time if there’s free popcorn!

So that’s our local school report.

There’s a school in Alabama making headlines this week, and not for their fantastic Elvis impersonator or his performance I believe Roger Ebert would have called “inspired.” A middle school principal has come up with what she believes is a brilliant way to ward off would be school attackers. Have you heard about this? For those not in the know, I’ll catch you up.

Her brilliant plan is to have a cache of weaponry on hand in every classroom for the children to use.

Hang on. Before you go launching an anti-gun rally, the principal’s idea is even DUMBER than using actual weapons. What does she want to stockpile?

Cans.

Actually, “canned food items.” Over and over she kept saying “canned food items.” It got so annoying.

She sent a letter to parents requesting that they each donate one 8 oz. canned food item. She said that at the end of the year, if the students did not need to use the cans for protection, the canned food items will be donated to a local charity for consumption. She said the parents should consider the canned food items as a last resort for children to be “empowered” to help protect their school from an intruder, and assured parents that the children will not be walking around the halls with loaded canned food items.

…I added the “loaded”. That’s it. The rest was legitimately what she said about the canned food items.

(See? “Canned food items” gets old quick, doesn’t it?)

As you can imagine, the comments section under the article was absolutely hysterical on the surface. There were too many witty quips to list them all, but they ranged from, “Canned tomatoes don’t kill people, CANS do,” to, “If I was a shooter, you’d bet your ass I’d gun down a canned asparagus wielding little puke. But a kid with a Chef Boyardee can would give me pause,” to my personal favorite, “It needs to be said. All it takes to stop a bad guy with a can of peas is a GOOD guy with a can of peas.” I chuckled. Snorted, actually.

And then I got over the giggles at the absurdity of it all and realized it’s not really funny. It’s not funny at all.

Everyone’s afraid of school shootings. Of all the possible phobias out there, this has got to be one of the most justifiable, especially if you’re a parent of a school aged child. Remember Sandy Hook? Since then, there have been 74 shootings in schools. And that was just a couple years ago! School shootings are real, they are happening, and schools HAVE to be prepared. I am not arguing that whatsoever.

But people. The way to prepare is NOT to arm children with useless “weapons”. With ANY weapons. It is not a child’s responsibility to try and stop a shooter. And what in the bloody hell is a can of flippin’ peas going to do against a gun?

The moronic principal says that this plan is “empowering” for children.

Right. Well, let’s take a look at how the scenario would play out, shall we?

Gun man is crazy. By the very act he is about to commit, we can say with absolute certainly that he is not a mentally stable individual. He has rage. He has bitterness. He has a taste for revenge that is so twisted that his primary targets are little children.

He walks into the school. Maybe he shoots some teachers or staff along the way. Gets down the hall. Enters a room with children, only to have some cans thrown at him as soon as he opens the door.

The principal would have us believe that like a black bear raiding your camp for munchies, this would be enough to fluster and scare the attacker and he would run away.

The principal is fucking dreaming.

Gun man is NOT a black bear. He is NOT more afraid of you than you are of him. He has a gun, and if something is thrown at him, he will use it. He will turn it on the kid who stood up from behind cover in order to pelt 8 ounces of canned food item uselessness at him and he will blast that child away. He will remove the threat. He will not hesitate to add to the body count, because his entire point of going into that school on that day is to rack up as many kills as possible.

It’s not funny. It’s not clever. It’s not “empowering.” It’s a death sentence.

And yet, the community there is blindly following the principal’s insane lead. Not a damn one of them will point out that the emperor is not wearing clothes.

Our schools around here do lockdowns if there is a problem. As soon as an intruder is detected in the school, the doors to the classrooms are locked. The lights shut off. Teachers have been instructed to get children behind book cases and other furniture items, and the children are to remain as quiet as possible. An alert goes out to police immediately, and in the drills they’ve done, they can have the entire school locked down with police on site in minutes.

Is it perfect? No. There is no perfect system when you’re dealing with sick, crazy individuals. But I guarantee you these steps would be infinitely more successful in a worst case scenario than relying on children to throw cans at a psycho.

Thus concludes a school themed Musing for Friday, January 16, 2015. I’m off to go out back and sunbathe on my deck for awhile. What? It’s a balmy 21 now! Can’t miss out on this little slice of heaven…

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