The Outhouse

Growing up, my grandparent’s farm was something of a free zone for my siblings and cousins. In most ways, this was a pleasing experience. We made the cattle shoot into a castle. We hunted toads, climbed trees, and every now and then caught sight of grandpa ambling between the buildings with a pail of feed hanging from each arm.

The adults never watched us too carefully. Looking back, I find this a bit strange. There was no heavy traffic or strangers to avoid but there were still a good many ways to get hurt. And yet, none of us (and we numbered into the hundreds) were ever injured beyond scrapes and bruises.

I don’t know this for a fact but I believe the general rule was a bit of homespun practicality I’m calling the Rule of Stupid.

Here it is, “None of the kids are stupid enough to get in the fence with one of the bulls or anything so patently dangerous. And all the other stupid stuff they will do (touching the electric fence) will only make them a bit smarter.”

Trust me, the electric fence hurts.

Of course, being so unsupervised did involve other risks…

My brother Nate and cousin Dustin were approximately the same age with an equal bend toward mischief. Grandma knew this but allowed them free reign because…well…the Rule of Stupid applies even to the ornery.

One day, Nate and Dustin wandered by one of the most important structures on the farm…Grandpa’s outhouse.

No one went in Grandpa’s outhouse. There was no rule against it but why would you sit on the worn wooden hole (spiders?!) when the indoor bathroom was only a short run away? The narrow wooden walls stood resolutely near Grandpa’s tool shed waiting patently for its one and only master.

Dustin stopped walking and grabbed Nate’s arm. “Hey Nate, you know what would be funny?”

“No, what?”

Suppressing a giggle, Dustin pointed toward the outhouse. “Grandpa keeps his toilet paper in a plastic ice cream pail. Let’s take it and throw it into the hole.”

Short pause. “Yea! That would be funny!”

Our grandfather’s body consists of whole wheat, tanned leather, denim, and barbed wire…but mostly barbed wire. A few hours later, he burst into the home and came right for Nate and Dustin (who should have been half way to Nebraska by that point but were instead watching TV as if they had done nothing wrong).

“YOU BOYS ARE GOING TO GET OUT THERE AND START PITCHING SOME @#$@!”

I didn’t understand what was funny about throwing our grandfather’s toilet paper down the outhouse hole and I suppose I never will. But watching my brother and cousin pitch $#%^…now that was amusing.

Great Moments in Parenting

I’ve just finished holding my newborn daughter. During our special Father-Daughter time, I could hear and feel her lining the inside of her diaper. Melissa was in the kitchen enjoying a snack and chatting on the phone with her sister. She would return soon and if I were still around, she’d have me changing the diaper.

Acting with the speed of trained father, I gingerly set the baby into the bassinet and began tiptoeing out of the bedroom. If I could make it to the bathroom on the second floor, there was a chance I could get by with this stunt.

She caught me in the hallway. “Hey Matt, would you do the dishes while I tend to Olivia? Thanks.”

I paused in mid-step. Melissa normally does the dishes but with a new child I’d been forced to help out a little more. “Why do we have children again? Think about it. You used to help me with dishes. Sometimes we would go out to eat and not have to worry about dishes at all. Remember that? Think about the immense amount of money, time, effort, and energy we put into these little people and when their finally able to function in society they take off with merely a wave of the hand.”

“The hospital has a strict policy on returns but I’m willing to bet the government wouldn’t mind taking them. Do you want me to let them know we spank?”

I ignored her poor attempt at humor. “All I’m asking is what do we ultimately get out of the whole thing?”

After a moment, Melissa replied, “Grandkids of course.”

Here are a couple of extras for you to throw in the toy box…

*Saul had a plastic book that was affectionately titled, “Who Loves Baby.” The inside pages had pockets for pictures. Melissa and I not only left it empty but I made sure it stayed in Saul’s travel pack of toys.

At the beginning of each long trip I’d hand the infant Saul the book and ask, “Hey junior, look at this, it’s called Who Loves Baby? Let’s look inside and see…oh, tough break kid.”

Saul didn’t know what I was saying. I guess the joke was just for me.

*The other night Saul and I were playing a bit rough and he was mildly hurt on a few occasions. (You know, the three Cs – cuts, contusions, and concussions.) The last time he put his head into a door jam and the sound was a perfect, “Thud.”

I thought about it for a second and decided that Thud would be a pretty cool nickname for my boy. Melissa was, of course, aghast but I persisted and tried it out.

“Hey Thud, do you want to go wrestle again or throw your mother’s exercise ball through the window?”

Saul reached up and clamped both hands on my lips. He brought his face in close to mine and with all the seriousness of an action hero he said, “My name’s Saul James.”

I’m glad he wasn’t carrying a gun…toy or otherwise.

The Boyd Ringo Interview

Miss Nomar: Hello ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to another knuckle-to-the-gut, elbow-to-the-butt interview with some of today’s most lopsided personalities. Regular humans, just like you, who have taken their potential to extreme levels of absurdity. Not bizarre enough for the tabloids and too confounding for the national media, only I, Miss Nomar, can bring them to you.

The length of my introduction has already annoyed today’s subject. The thinly circulated magazine, Inane Pursuit, has ranked him as America’s busiest man. Lining up this interview was harder to do than catching a cockroach on a disco floor. Please welcome the world’s busiest man, Boyd Ringo!

Ringo: (talking into cell phone with one thumb speeding along the keys of a blackberry) “…no really, you can’t cross the streams. Everyone knows that could make every soft serve machine in the tri-county region break down! Look, this woman’s ready to cram my interview in, I’ve gotta go.” (Ringo claps his cell phone shut but is still using his blackberry.) “Go babe.”

Miss Nomar: So, Inane Pursuit has named you America’s most…

Ringo (impatiently): Busiest man! I know. It’s quite an honor but we need to roll this thing along I have to watch Book Tapeworms on the Recovery Channel. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s where the producer takes thirty middle school kids to the local library and tells them there are four one hundred dollar bills hidden in the books. It’s great watching the look on those librarian’s faces as their Dewey Decimal system is fanatically transformed into a tossed salad! And then they only wind up being ten-dollar bills! It’s a riot and it starts in ten minutes!

Miss Nomar (a bit annoyed): How is it you have time for cable television when you’re so busy?

Ringo (sets the blackberry down and pops open a handheld video game system): I don’t really have a choice. In order to get my money’s worth out of ordering cable television, I need to watch it (whips a calculator from his shirt pocket) about ninety-two hours a month.

Miss Nomar (confused): That’s almost four days of solid television watching. Heck, I don’t watch anywhere close to that amount! How can you be that much busier than I am?

(It takes a few moments for Ringo to respond. He is concentrating on his video game system. Suddenly, his face sours, he throws his head back, and begins to whine.)

Ringo: Ah man! That’s garbage! Do you hear me?! Garbage! I’ve been working on this game for the last week and I can’t get my Sword of a Thousand Snows to work on the Ringworm of Wraith! What is it going to take?

Miss Nomar (greatly annoyed): How can you be America’s busiest man? I haven’t seen you do anything remotely productive yet!

Ringo: Productive? I’ll have you know that I’m the administrator for the web site OldYearBook.com. I’ve spent months and months scanning each and every yearbook page in the country from every high school from every year onto the site. People can go online and write crass notes, draw facial hair, or write in their favorite memory of that person. It’s great!

Miss Nomar: That sounds like a huge waste of time! I thought you were supposed to be busy! All I’ve seen or heard from you are video games, TV, talking to your friends, a useless website…how are you busy?!

Cant do the dishes right now mom! Im busy!

Can’t do the dishes right
now, mom! I’m busy!

Ringo: (with an indignant air) Miss Nomar, my dear, it all depends on how you define busy. I stay busy because I’m constantly doing something. I may not be productive but I most certainly am busy. Like right now I should be working on my World of Witchcraft character.

Miss Nomar: World of Witchcraft?! Do you mean that ridiculous online world where millions of inner geeks are running around playing pretend with other useless folks?

Ringo: The one and the same!

Miss Nomar: Do you even have a job or a family?

Ringo: My website makes $54,000 dollars a year but my parents don’t know that so I still live at home. They think I’m a professional video game tester.

Miss Nomar (Enraged): You’re not busy! You’re just some useless…

Ringo (flips open his cell phone then interrupts): Look lady, this has taken up too much time already. (stands) Of course I’m busy. You don’t average eight hundred seventy five text messages a day without some serious effort. Gotta go.

Pokorny Letter – Zimmerman Letter

Dr. Pokorny,

My name is Thomas Zimmerman and I’m the dessert chef at one of the fancier restaurants in my hometown.  I’m very good at what I do which means I have a real hard time keeping my fingers out of my work.  I’ll whip up some perfectly fluffed cream for a batch of gourmet éclairs and I’m constantly dragging two fingers through the middle of it.  Bread pudding, cheesecake, baklava…It doesn’t matter; I’m eating some of it!

The health department doesn’t know anything about this so keep it on the “down low.”

You might think that I weight about three hundred pounds but that’s where you’re wrong.  I spend a lot of time on the treadmill at the local gym working to keep off the weight.  It seems to be working.  In fact, I think I’ve even become smaller, more nimble.

So here’s where things become interesting.  I was mowing my lawn one day when this small Asian man comes shuffling down the sidewalk.  He’s wearing a long, red, silk robe and even has the long Fu Manchu beard going on.  He stops on the sidewalk in front of my house and gives me this strange look.  Before I know it, he’s throwing small pebbles at me.  They’re not thrown very hard but they still sting a bit.

I start dodging them.  Left!  Right!  Pretty soon, I’m like dodging every one!  The old man cant’ hit me anymore!  It was so cool!

When I finish mowing, he comes up to me and tells me I have all the tools to be a world-class ninja.  He told me he’s never seen anyone sidestep rocks like that before!  Apparently, I began looking like some sort of blur.

The old man told me that I could sign up for a six-week ninja class for only $62.99 and that normally he charges about a thousand dollars?  He’s only given me one week to make up my mind.  Look, he was short, wore silk, had little sandals, and carried a walking stick.  I think he’s legit.

What do you think?  (Professional Ninjas make about $220,000 a year!  And once you figure out throwing stars and climbing drain pipes, the rest is all black underwear!)

Sincerely,
Thomas Zimmerman (a.k.a. The Black Confusion)

 

Dear Confused,

Normally I omit the proper names of those who write me but just in case someone from the Health Department is reading this advise column I’ll include yours.  The spoon licking, hand dipping pastry chef is THOMAS ZIMMERMAN.  The return address on his letter was 1435 Main Street in Las Vegas, Nevada.

About the ninja school, HECK YEA!  I can’t think of anything cooler than throwing sharpened coasters at men with semiautomatic pistols!  And did you know that numb-chucks got their name because of what happens when you accidentally hit yourself in the ying and yang?  AWESOME!

Also, you can sneak into the bedrooms of the neighborhood kids and scare them out of their flannel pajamas!  At least until their parents get an alarm system, large dog, windows that lock, or their father shoots you dead.

Just make sure you get a receipt from the old man.  You can take some educational expenses off on your taxes.  The outfit also makes a great Halloween costume just be sure none of the kids get their hands on your throwing stars while your handing out candy.

Yours truly,

Dr. Pokorny

Teaching for Teachers

Here’s a simple rule from the Big Book of Common Sense…The first time you try something you always make a mess and the mess is multiplied by the complexity of the task.

*Do you remember learning to ride a bike? Simple right? Not the first time. Most people go through every Band-Aid in the house before they catch on.

*Ever have the pleasure of sitting through Calculus and wondering how math had morphed into strange magic spells?

*How about your first day on the job? How many dumb mistakes did you make? Where you efficient at all or did you have to ask for help with everything including finding the bathroom?

I assure you there are few things more complicated than teaching. You’re not just presenting information in a digestible form you must also impose your will on a group of somewhat uncooperative “clients.” Unlike engineering, there are no absolute rules of physics to rest on. Computers will bend to your will if you speak their protocol but no child is formatted the same. Oh yea, and you can’t just use the bathroom whenever you want.

Here’s where I’m going…You want to avoid, if possible, putting your child in the classroom of a first or second year teacher. Why? They’re still learning what they’re doing. Do you want them breaking in and sifting their tactics on your child?

Here’s statistic to think over. Just over forty percent of teachers quit after the three years.

That means with four years of education classes, they were still unprepared or unaware of the demands their profession would extract. I sure pay plays some part but most go into teaching with a grand vision that turns into a search for the exit sign.

But fear not! I have a fix.

Most (and by that I mean almost all of them) education classes in college are ideal based with the anchor of reality long since severed. Aircraft engineers don’t spend years in a classroom learning the names of parts and how their put together and are then sent out to fix commercial aircraft. Instead, they are given a limited amount of instruction and a whole lot of practice with actual engines before being set loose. Teaching should be the same way.

Traditional Teacher’s Education

About 1.5 years of general education classes (speech, psychology, etc.)
About 2.5 years of education theory classes (children’s literature, classroom mismanagement, and instructional strategies)
Only .5 years as a student teacher (I’m guessing it’s so short because they don’t want you to figure out that you’re no where near prepared for this job.)

Matt’s Perfered Teacher Education

About 1 year of education theory classes (Instructional strategies and classroom management ONLY)
About 1 year of general education classes (Centered on the subject you might like to teach)
About 2.5 years as a student teacher working the six million kinks out.

Even then, the teacher dropout rate may only slightly improve.

OLIVIA ARRIVES!

Olivia Kay Teply
Olivia Kay Teply

It began on a Sunday morning after church.  Matt and Melissa were sitting in their kitchen enjoying a simple lunch of tuna melts complemented by a short pile of sweet gherkin pickles.  They had just returned from church and were looking forward to a quiet day.  In the adjoining room their little boy played with cars.

Melissa looks over at Matt and casually inquires, “So, when are we going to try for a second child?”

“You mean Luke?”

She responded quickly.  “You don’t know that.  I could be talking about Olivia.”

Matt took an overly large bite and chewed while he spoke.  “Well, we didn’t want the boy here to be an only child so I guess that meant we planned on having another.  Are you implying you wanted to start trying now?’

“Oh no, I want you to make the decision.  I’m fine with Saul and I but I knew we were eventually going to have another.”  She waited for Matt to swallow.  “So when are we going to do it?”

As if he was relating the time, Matt responds, “Ok then, why don’t we start now?”

That conversation occurred on January 13th, 2008.  Exactly three hundred and sixty-five days later Olivia Kay Teply was born and Matt is forced to face the profound ramifications of his oh-so nonchalant decision.   

Life long affection in the form of joyful tears emerged the moment he met her.  For Matt, kissing her round, sensitive cheeks is like taking in life itself.  It isn’t just his arms that embrace her but the breadth of his very soul.   

Of course, he doesn’t talk like this around other people.  Instead he says things like, “She is as pure as fine porcelain and softer than an angel’s butt.”

Personally…

There are two challenges with a second child.  The first is (deep breath) starting completely over.  Long nights, three-hour feedings, and enough soiled diapers to insulate my walls.  It took time and a second helping of patience to get my son where he is now and now I’m (deep breath) starting over!

The next impossible task is trying to go anywhere.  I’ll be honest; it would be easier to move Stonehenge than try to get out the door in a half hour.  Getting oneself ready is the easy part.  Now try finding the older one’s shoes, packing twelve-pound survival kit (I mean diaper bag), dressing the spawn, and cinching them into a car seat.  I’d say organization is the key but we can’t find that either.

Here’s what I’m counting on…That Olivia is a unique human being and on a different path.  The benchmarks (walking, talking, eating) may be the same but the trip will be different.  It should be.  The guide book for raising a girl has about sixteen additional, bonus chapter from the one we received with Saul.

Dear Doctor Pokorny – Smith Letter

Dear Doctor Pokorny,

Hi!  How are you?  I am fine.  Anyway, I’m currently sitting in a hospital room with my newborn baby and they won’t discharge me from the hospital until I’ve chosen a name for him.  I want it to be a unique name that sets my child apart as the special child I know he really is.  Sam, Roy, or Jamal Smith seem so stale to me and I’m flirting with Funtae Smith. The name means someone who likes to have a good time.  I’ll bet no one else will ever have the name Funtae!  What do you think?

Thanks.
Undecidia Smith 

 
Dear Mrs. Smith,

I apologize for the lengthy wait between receiving your letter and my response.  I needed to show your question around the office and get a little feedback on your selection of the moniker Funtae.  The reaction generally went something like this …

“What?  I don’t get it. (12 times)”

“You’re kidding me. (11 times)”

“What box of cereal did that come from? (2 times)”

“Oh that poor, poor child. (females)”

“Hey, that’s the Russian word for barstool! (Eugene)”

Remember, names are a little like sweaters.  Sure, you can knit one that’s homemade and unique but EVERYONE will be able to tell when one sleeve doesn’t go as far as the other or the strips turn into more of a zig-zag. 

Please don’t crowd out your son’s achievements by forcing him to head his resume with the name Funtae.  A name should add distinction and not cause distraction.  There is an absolute chance that perspective employers will go no further.

Mrs. Smith … remember that while you have a legal responsibility to care for your child, there is no requirement for you child to love you in return.  In a purely professional sense, I like you less and less each time my eyes skip across such a stupid name.  You would do much less damage to your child’s future by naming him Tracie, Kelly, or even Sue.

And this is from someone who knows a thing or two about stupid names.

Sincerely,
Dr. Doctor Pokorny

NOTE TO READERS:  The name Funtae was NOT just conjured out of mid-air (at least by me).  It was the name of one of the babies I saw in the hospital nursery.  No joke. 

Keep Your Pennies … These Are Defective Thoughts

Here’s a few random thoughts to keep your week moving in the right direction and since time travels in only one direction you really don’t have much of a choice.  Look, just keep reading….

Item #1 – Oreo Cookies 

The rule is simple.  Store bought cookies are NEVER as good as the homemade counterpart.  They’re never as fresh.  They don’t fill your heart with love or your mind with memories.  Come to think of it, Grandma’s cookies make Nestle Toll House look like a Haitian brothel.

There’s no denying that cookies born from Grandma’s oven each have a distinctive look.  You know every precious morsel is an individual creation coming from an oh-too limited batch.  You would throw away a store bought cookie that looked too real but the varied lumps and edges on a homemade cookie mark each as a separate masterpiece.

But when the love is pulled from the recipe you get a bag of Chips Ahoy.  The cookies are mysteriously the same shape, color, and size.  And when you eat too many you don’t get sick satisfaction you just wind up sick.

The rule doesn’t apply to Oreos.  There simply is no homemade version.  Nothing grandma ever made properly competes.  Grandma’s cookies may be as good but their not the same unique chocolate cake / pure sweet flavor.  Oh yea, and nothing Grandma ever made “unscrews.”  How can an unfeeling, monolithic plant create such delicious confections while the loving and skilled hands of grandmothers lie helpless? Are they made from alien technology?  Is black magic involved?

Item #2 – Flannel Shirts 

I really thought these things were out.  I do know you can’t unbutton them and leave the shirt tales out anymore.  I received a cease and desist order from my wife a few years back.

Anyway, I really don’t care I’m going to wear them anyway.  It’s the same attitude old folks have when they wear those ridiculous looking “blinders.”  You know, those are the sunglasses that wrap almost complexly around their frontal lobe.  It’s a shame they don’t realize that the glasses contain an electrode designed to stimulate the part of the brain that controls their right foot.  (Attention, mission control: It doesn’t seem to be working.)

Right, I was discussing flannel shirts.

Half the casual shirts I have are flannels and all would be perfect wear for your local lumberman.  Sprinkle a little sawdust on the shoulder and trees would lean away.  The part that bothers me a bit is that each Sunday during the winter months I come within a pair of suspenders and stocking cap from being a Halloween costume.  

Item #3 – “Family” Attorneys Take Anther Step Closer To Being Vampires

I’m driving to work the other day with the radio pumping its usual nonsense.  Most of the time I’m not paying it any attention.  I like to imagine an advertising executive out there pulling his hair out because I’m not swayed or even listening to his “Wholesale Direct prices” or his “Once in a Lifetime Sale!”  I miss a lot of unbelievable opportunities.

Anyway, my attention was yanked by a the sound of an arguing couple then an ominous voice saying, “Let’s face it. Some things are just broke and cannot be fixed.  When you need a divorce, contact the law offices of Bloodsuck & Sadist.”

Really that’s not the worst of it.  The advertisement ends the narrator saying, “Make a fresh start in the new year.”  Followed by the couple’s male voice saying, “It’s time, I’m getting a divorce.”

They made it sound as if breaking up a family was one part New Year’s resolution and one part gym membership!  I checked the Big Book of Common Tact and there are approximately 3,452 other ways for a law office to advertise its services without helping people make such a destructive decision.

Handful of Nails

“I wonder why she does that?”

Jennifer sits in the row beside me then up one desk.  She has her elbow propped up on her history book, her chin planted on her palm, and fingers curled onto her lower lip.  It’s the unassuming look of someone who is bored by the lesson.  What she doesn’t realize is that I’ve been watching her chew the nail on her right index finger for the last minute.

“Hmmm,”  I squint to get a better look then confidently nod.  “She seems satisfied with the progress she’s made on the index finger and it looks as if she’s ready to move on to the naughty finger.”

She does.  The move was as subtle as her mildly illicit activity.  I scan the room once more.  It’s true; I’m the only one watching.  Returning my gaze in her direction, she’s already moved to the ring finger.

I was going to ask her to the Sweetheart dance next week but instead I’m thinking of offering her a new pair of nail clippers and some hand sanitizer.

“Why does she do that?”  I ask myself.  “With all the time she obviously spends applying foundation, blush, eyeliner, eye shadow, lip gloss, and fitting her big red nose why is she too rushed for some quick finger nail care?”

After class, I’m sitting in my dorm room with my history book resting in front of me just as it did during class.  There’s no reading occurring.  The information is stuck to the page without the hope of rescue.

“I wonder what the appeal of chewing on your nails is?  If you think about it, your hands and feet are like your body’s ambassadors to the world.  They touch and step on hundreds of surfaces everyday that are shared by less sanitary people.  However, unlike your feet nothing protects your hands.  Every bit of foreign contact from doorknobs to pencil sharpeners is direct with your skin!  And then you want to bite the tips?”

I studied my fingernails for a few seconds.  A few are almost a sixteenth of an inch in unruly length.  Understanding sometimes requires stepping into another’s shoes.  In a moment of sheer experimentation, I try biting off the first.  And then I realize the smooth, satisfying experience of Paleolithic nail care!

Years later, I still catch myself biting my nails whenever they grow anywhere beyond the fleshy part of my fingertip.

I took a bad habit for a test drive and wound up adopting the dumb behavior.  I can’t help but believe that most bad habits start this way.  Some sucker thinks, “What’s the big idea?  What’s the appeal?”  Tries it and is quickly leached.  At least Jennifer wasn’t sitting in class sucking on a cigarette.

On a related note, I was standing next to my classroom door between classes as one of my goofier students ambled up to me.

“Hey Mr.Teply, look at your nails would you?”

“Why?  What’s the joke?”  My rule, as always, is never trust a seventh grader.

“Just do it please.  There’s something I need to know.”

I studied Curtis a bit longer in an effort to discover the meaning behind such an unusual request.  Coming up empty, I went ahead and turned my palm towards my face and curled my fingers in to make a loose fist.  There was nothing unusual about my nails.

“Good job, Mr. Teply!  You passed this important test of manhood.  If you had done this…” He raised the back of his hand and straightened his fingers.  With a slight lean to his head he gave his hand a coy look.  “…we would have known something was wrong with you.”

Then he walked into class.

HAPPY TRDMLKJ DAY!

Today is The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Day and I have one big question…How am I supposed to celebrate?  Most other holidays come with directions.  For instance, on Thanksgiving everyone is supposed to gather and give thanks for the sins of gluttony and laziness.  Wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.  Fly your Confederate flag on Flag Day.  And on Labor Day do the opposite.  But I have no idea how to celebrate The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Day.

 

Well, maybe I do.  Here’s my schedule of events…

 

12:00 Midnight to 7:00 AM  – The Official “I Have A Dream” Sleep In.  Grabbing some extra ZZZZZs is the hallmark of any good holiday.

 

7:00 AM to 9:00 AM – Enjoy a bowl of Coco-Puffs and skim milk.  Appreciate the way two foodstuffs of different colors and origins come together to create something new and harmonious…chocolate milk.

 

9:00AM to 11:00AM – Ponder the oddity of someone who needs SIX words to complete his formal name (seven if you count THE).  His name was The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior.  Compare it to one of his contemporaries who was much more efficient with his monikers…Elvis.

 

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Enjoy a bowl of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.  Let your brain freeze with the symbolism.

 

12:00PM to 4:00PM – Participate in a “Sanitation Strike.”  Refuse to do any chores regardless of your spouse’s nagging until you receive proper compensation.  Make signs that say, “Housework is Woman’s Work” and prop it against your recliner.  

 

They may come from different cans but the pot treats them both the same.
They may come from different cans but the pot treats them both the same.

 

4:00PM to 6:00PM – Begin humming the old pop song “Ebony and Ivory.”  This activity may beyond 6:00 because it’s scientifically impossible to get the darn thing out of your head.

 

6:00PM to 12:00 Midnight – Finish your day by avoiding any conversational topic that has anything to do with race.  These conversations boil down to everyone sounding enlightened and pretending to be open-minded.  Every sentence begins with the dreaded, “I think…” or it’s evil twin brother, “Well, I think…”  Guess what, I don’t care.

 

Extra Note:  Do you realize that TRDMLKJ Day is the only day on the calendar that honors just one specific person!?  Washington (father of our country) and Lincoln (sustainer of our country) had to TEAM up just to cobble together President’s Day.  I’m all for giving due to folks who made a difference in our history but…

 

If you want to honor those who were involved in the Civil Right’s Movement, then it should be called Civil Rights Day or something drastically catchier and if it happens to fall on the effort’s most famous leader than so be it.