Thursday, May 31, 2007
I would sooner plant myself face first onto a cast iron whirly sprinkler than admit I had a 5-inch hair growing out of my nipple.
Much less alert the media and try to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Except between the ears of this week's award winner---store employee Chris Melton. Lots and lots of space there. So much space in fact, that stupid has been breeding like rabbits and have gobbled up whatever thinking brains cells this dingleberry might have ever owned.
A Package (liquor) Store in Atlanta, Georgia, has been busted for selling cups of ice with their booze through their drive-thru window.
State regulations show it's a violation of law for these types of stores to sell anything but bags of ice. The store owner said he didn't know it was a violation and the Georgia Union of Booze Distributors has tried to reinterpret the law to claim that cups of ice sold with a lid through a drive-thru should constitute a "closed container".
Thankfully, the powers that be are stepping up and enforcing the law.
The soundbites from f*ckwitted store employee Chris Melton are one part amusing and two parts frustrating. He insists that it is an American right for people to buy liquor and a cup of ice to drink on their way home.
Where did he get his civics lessons?
“These cats, they have a hard day at work, they come to the liquor store, buy a cup of ice…most people. I’m not saying all of them. Before they get home, they’re gonna drink and drive,” said Melton.
“It’s the American way.”
“They’re going to do it the American way and have a drink while they’re driving,” said Melton.
Does this Asshat actually manage to find his own heinie in the morning or does he need a map?
Monday, May 28, 2007
Go to sleep,
Love, good night,
Fades the light; And afar
Thanks and praise,
Sunday, May 27, 2007
The rest of them scare the doody out of me.
There are a couple of bug stories that really freak me out.
Twenty years ago my older brother, who is a musician, traveled around the bar band circuit in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. The band didn't get paid much, but there were other perks----booze, groupies, the possibility of being discovered and becoming the next big hair band like Warrant or Faster Pussycat.
They traveled around---and often slept in---a van and lived a somewhat communal life, sharing spandex pants, girls and hair gel.
The band had been on the road for months, and my brother had been feeling pretty itchy for about a week. He thought he might be having a reaction to some of the hair products he'd been using, so at one overnight stop at a motel, he examined his scalp after taking a shower.
He had crabs. They all had crabs.
In fact, the lead singer had them so bad, they had infested his chest hair and----OMG----he had crabs crawling around in his mustache!
Eeek! I'm starting to itch all over just thinking about it.
The other story that freaked me out was in a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, about a kid who had spiders in his ear. I think that was probably the worst bug story I'd ever heard.
A man in Cambridge, New Zealand suffered buzzing, ringing and itching in one ear for almost two years. His doctor tried flushing the ear (to no avail), and he once got some temporary relief by having it suctioned.
He was finally sent to an ear specialist. The nurse took one look in his ear and called in the doctors.
'Centre director Theresa O'Leary said she was amazed to see an infestation of "very active, tiny, bulbous, semi-transparent mites moving around in a moist layer and white eggs present all over the canal and eardrum.
"There were about a 100 of them. It was a well-stocked breeding ground." '
"The infestation has stunned ear therapists and a clinical microbiologist who are unaware of any other documented cases of mites thriving and reproducing in a human ear."
I DON'T CARE!!!!!!!
I'm REALLY getting earplugs this time.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Me? I've just been waiting for the ground to be uniformly warm enough to start doing SOMETHING!
Up here at 9000 feet, our growing season is incredibly short. So while people in other parts of the world start getting tulips in April, mine start peeking their stalks out in early June.
But it is kind of cool to have gladiolas in August.
Anyway, whereas I used to have a huge veggie garden when I lived in the flatlands, the weather (and the critters) have made it impossible up here. I miss it.
Although I've been stubborn and planting and replanting bulbs every other year, I've also tried to make do with the native drought-resistant wildflowers---the ones that survive the Lookie Loos, that is. They have a certain charm, but I want rose bushes, dammit!
For the last couple of years, I've been planting Sweet Peas from seed in the spring in the sunniest spot on the property. Since I can't have lilacs or honeysuckle, I've been determined to make it work. By September last year, I had 6 blooms before the first snow.
Boy oh boy, I sniffed all the smell out of them!
So this year I decided to try something different. Yesterday I called around down in the city to all the garden centers, until I found ONE that actually had live sweet pea plants. They had 4 containers of 4 left. I begged them to hold them for me, packed up the guys and ran down there immediately.
The plants were large enough that they represented probably about 5-6 weeks in the ground here, from germination to an 8-inch growth.
Yippee! I'm so psyched!
Then this morning, believe it or not, I woke up to this:
It's a conspiracy, I tell you! A conspiracy!
Monday, May 21, 2007
"Why Attila", you might ask. "Whatever do you mean?"
I don't just despise hot ham. I absolutely loathe it with a passion bordering on phobia.
So today when I read about a woman who got her head cut off in a horrible accident while cleaning a machine that processes hams, I felt validated.
It's not a vegetarian thing. When I watched the movie Babe, all I could think about was, "mmm, bacon!" I thought they should make Wilber into ribs as soon as possible on Charlotte's Web, just to shut the critter up already.
And I'm not a particularly picky eater. I like bacon, sausage and ribs. I can even take a thin slice of cold ham in something like a club sandwich where it's mixed in with all the other stuff. Such as lots of onions.
It's the big, glistening pink slabs with the ring of white fat around the edges that sends me screaming from the room.
You Canadians? You can't fool me. Cutting the fat off and calling ham bacon doesn't make it bacon.
Maybe it was all the holiday dinners we had when I was a child, when my mother proudly brought in a platter of clove and pineapple-encrusted pink flesh the size of a toddler torso, and my dad beamed at it as if it was his first-born child.
And then promptly carved it up with the BIG sharp knife.
We were expected to consume every salty bite on our plate. There were starving children in China, you know, who would be grateful to be as lucky as me.
Maybe it was all the potluck dinners we went to for the church, committees, school functions, etc where Mom would help us load our plates and I would ALWAYS get a big spoonful of some kind of casserole with humongous chunks of HOT HAM in it. You can't hide it with sauce unless that sauce is made of something even grosser, like--uh---fish eggs in snot.
Those scary pink lumplets jump out and say "gotcha" no matter what you try to disguise it with.
And you know the rules of potlucks. You can't hit the dessert table if you throw away food. There are starving children in China, you know. Plus the cook might be sitting next to you and you might hurt some feelings if you make gagging noises while trying to force said lumplets down.
Who knows? I just remember missing all the good stuff at those dinners.
When I became an adult, one of my first acts of emancipation was to decide that I didn't have to eat hot ham any more.
I don't actively ban ham from the house. I just don't buy whole hams (I do buy lunch meat for the guys). For a lot of years, various employers or relatives would give us a ham for the holidays. Little Guy orders Hawaiian Pizza all the time. We eat out often enough that they can all order ham to their hearts' content if that's what they want. They're not deprived. It's not like we eat lobster every week either.
Anyway, some years ago, we were supposed to go to my Mom's for Christmas dinner.
She lives far enough away so that we stay in a hotel when we visit on the holidays. Due to an unforeseeable complication with our dog-sitter, we were actually unable to come up until the next day. But since Mom wanted all her kids together for a holiday meal, gosh-darn-it! she was going to re-create Christmas dinner with the leftovers from the day before!
So we went to Mom's for the Day After Christmas Dinner with Leftovers from Real Christmas Dinner. We offered to take everyone out, but I think she was doing a little passive/aggressive number because we didn't just drive up and back the same day (yeah, my hubby and kids want to spend 4 hours driving on Christmas simply so she can have all of us together on THAT SPECIFIC DAY!). She was serving ham. Oh Joy.
But no biggie, I could skip the ham. There would be other stuff. I asked what we could bring, and she said, "Just yourselves!"
Turns out that Mom was worried that there wouldn't be enough leftovers to feed everybody, so she decided to supplement everything. Not actually add a couple of dishes of veggies or anything like that, mind you. She just decided to saw up the ham and add chunks of it to everything. The green bean casserole. The scalloped potatoes.
The only things she DIDN'T add ham to were the coleslaw and fruit salad with whipped cream. But she decided that there wasn't enough of either of those for everybody, so she mixed them together. And threw in a handful of nuts, I think.
At least she couldn't figure out a way to add ham to the crescent rolls, but only because I think she baked them the day before!
I was stoic about it all (knowing I could get a burger at Micky D's) but I made a big mistake.
A little later, when my older brother and I were outside, I said, "WTF WAS THAT?"
I should have remembered that he was a rat-fink mama's boy.
So right before Christmas the next year, when I asked Mom what she wanted, she asked if Hubby and I would come to her house and cook dinner. Oops.
We did, it was lovely, and it's all good. Even though she tried to stuff us with slices of a honeybaked ham a couple of hours before dinner.
When I found my birth mother a couple of years later, and we were in the "getting to know you" stage, I confessed to her my loathing of hot ham and my part in the above drama. I was thrilled to find out she converted to Judaism when she eventually married, because maybe I could claim a Hebrew heritage the next time some well-meaning soul tried to press a slab of pepto-pink grub on me.
Unfortunately, I don't think it works that way. She should have converted before I was born.
She braved the eggshells (which we all walk on in new reunions) and chided me a little for my unkindness.
That Christmas she sent a big box to my hubby. He put it under the tree. I looked it over.
"Honey," I said. "I think we need to put this in the refrigerator. This appears to be a ham."
He looked at the box doubtfully. I don't think she'd send us a ham. My parents' don't send us cartons of pecans when they use the Schermer's boxes.
"We better open it and make sure."
It was a ham. A big Smithfield ham the size of my 17-year-old son's thigh from knee to butt-cheek.
We laughed our asses off.
A new chapter in the Saga of the Hams was born.
I'm a bad bad daughter. ;-)
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Back in December, when it was my turn to do a Gasbag Review, I panned the TV series The Ghost Whisperer, and made quite a few potshots at Jennifer Love Hewitt's chesticles and their starring role in the show. I also included several still shots from the series to illustrate my point.
A couple of months later on my sitemeter, I noticed that there were 20 to 30 page views a day that went directly to the pages that were hosting one or more of those pictures. I didn't need headlights to know that someone was possibly linking directly to my blog pics and taking bandwidth.
Yes, I know I don't pay for Blogger, but it's bad citizenship, especially if you can load images onto your own server. If we didn't live with rules, it would be Anarchy, I tell you! Anarchy!
Geezus Pete! You'd think I kicked over the top of an anthill or something.
WTF? Ya think those glad bags are going to suddenly reappear if you come back often enough? They're gone, ya jugheads! Sheesh!
So a few days ago, I uploaded another pic with the same URLs, just in case they didn't get the point.
Bite me, you Boobs!
Friday, May 18, 2007
21-year-old Ryan Lambourn of Sydney, Australia was only known online by his screen name PiGPEN.
Until he created an online game based on the Virginia Tech Massacre, called "V-Tech Rampage".
In response to complaints, he posted demands for "donations" of up to $3,000 to take it down.
Some "pesky kids" managed to get his name and phone number off of his server, and posted it all over the blogosphere.
Lambourn's website has been taken down and his phone has been disconnected.
Guess it's not so funny when you're not anonymous, is it, Asshat?
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I don't know if I'm feeling especially sensitive, but has civility and good manners taken a vacation this week?
Or am I sending out Killer Rabbit Slipper vibes and are all the masochists in my sphere lining up for a good buttkicking?
My ex-father-in-law and I have a somewhat guarded relationship. He's basically driven his own children out of state by being an absolute control freak, bordering on abusive, and was the bane of my existence during my first marriage. Of course, it didn't help that my ex would completely disengage and/or disappear---leaving me to "deal" with his dad's crap instead of standing up to the old man himself.
For example, when we were married, ex-FIL would call and instruct ex to be at his house on Thursday evening after work to mow his lawn (didn't matter if we already had plans or not). Ex would agree (instead of telling him that we already had plans), leave the house on Thursday, but never show up at his dad's. So FIL would call and call, demand that I put him on the phone, insist that he must be there, and it would usually escalate into me telling him to get off his fat ass and mow his own freaking lawn.
Since my sons are now the only family he has in the state, I resolved years ago to have a civil relationship with my ex-FIL, and include him in some of our family activities. He does love them, and they are his grandsons. Plus he's mellowed out a lot over the years. Even though he scares them a bit, he's done his best to be good to the guys.
So I had an early meeting on Monday morning. I came home to a message on my machine. It said that he had things to do in the Big City (about 40 minutes away), and decided to come and take the boys to lunch. He'd be there at noon.
WTF? I'd come home to a similar message last week and had been able to catch him before he left. Explained that Little Guy is still in school (duh!) and Big Guy was ill. And I'd appreciate an actual voice-to-voice conversation before he took it upon himself to "drop by" because I'd sure hate [koff koff] for him to come all this way to an empty house.
I was able to catch him before he left on Monday, and told him that we had appointments in the afternoon and nobody would be here. And I'd appreciate an actual voice-to-voice conversation before he took it upon himself to "drop by" because I'd sure hate [koff koff] for him to come all this way to an empty house.
On Tuesday morning, I was taking a bath, and got out to a message on my machine. Ex-FIL said that he decided not to head up this way on Monday, but was coming now and would be there at noon to take the Big Kid to lunch. I called him back immediately, but I guess he raced out of the house before I could tell him not to bother. Obviously he was trying to get around the "don't drop by without a phone call" agreement we made years earlier.
I talked to the Big Kid. We'd had plans late that morning past lunch time, and I asked him if he'd just like to have lunch with Grandad and we could do our stuff a little later. He agreed. So we rearranged our whole freaking day.
I forgot to add, that ex-FIL is never on time. Ever. So at 12, he wasn't here. At 1 he wasn't here. At 5 minutes to 2, Big Kid and I got in the car to get our stuff done (had just enough time before Little Guy got home from school if we hurried).
So as we're driving up our road, who do we pass? Grandad, who was flashing his lights at us. "I decided to do some shopping!" he announced. If the Big Kid hadn't been sitting next to me, I would have told the inconsiderate fart to go f*ck himself.
If he ever pulls this crap again, I probably will.
The other thing that has been ticking me off is the lack of phone etiquette in some people. I guess if I had been feeling better, I would have handled things differently, but I wasn't and I didn't.
Big Kid has some girl "friends" that call him. Two in particular lately, and both of them are about as bright as sack-fulls of hair. If he didn't know for a fact that they were both 20, I'd guesstimate their ages to be around 12.
I was taking a restorative nap the other day---which is about all I'm capable of when I'm full of allergy meds. I had the phone next to me, because the Big Kid was out and might possibly need a ride home.
About 15 minutes into it, the phone rang. I looked at caller ID and it was Girl #1. I decided to let the machine pick it up, and drifted back to sleep.
10 minutes later the phone rang again. I looked at the caller ID and it was Girl #1 again. Oh geez. I ignored it.
Until it rang again in another 10 minutes. I answered it.
"Is Big Kid there?" she asked.
He's just as gone as he was when you called 10 minutes ago, and the 10 minutes before that. Would you please just leave a message on the machine and he'll get back to you?
No kidding! She made a WHIMPERING sound.
"But I don't LIKE to leave messages", she whined.
That was it. I'd had it.
I gave her Attila's Speech #38. The one that says that HER parents might not mind her friends calling every 10 minutes, and Big Kid might not care, but this isn't his house, and it isn't his phone. The phone is here for the convenience of my husband and myself, I am not Big Kid's social secretary, and maybe it would be best if she didn't call our number again until she learned a little courtesy.
Later that night, Girl #2 called every 10 minutes during dinner. Sheesh. I gave her an abbreviated version of Speech #38, and I must say, at least she didn't whimper.
So what's burning YOU up this week?
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Happy Mother's Day to all of you other Badasses!
Saturday, May 12, 2007
What a crazy week it's been! Since we're out of school, the doc has decided to try the Big Kid on some non-stimulant meds for his ADHD---didn't want to destablize him during finals week. While the Adderall had been helping with focus, it could only be used sparingly because it's been inducing manic episodes. The problem with adjusting to these new meds is the possibility of panic attacks. Oh joy.
Big Kid is going to be starting driving lessons again next week, so he needs to be focused all the time.
Last weekend Little Guy had a bit of a cold. Then Big Kid caught it. Of course, true to form, his affliction couldn't just stay a nasty cold. It had to get bigger and badder. He got a hellacious case of bronchitis, which required nebulizer treatments at the doc's office and an inhaler.
So he comes running into the living room yesterday. "GAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" Full blown panic attack.
"I think I coughed out a piece of my lung!!"
What? Oh my God! Where is it?
I tried to figure out if we should call 911 or wait 35 minutes for the doctor's office to come back from lunch (isn't it sad how well I know their schedule?).
"I flushed it down the toilet! I didn't want to gross you out!"
Then how in the world are we going to figure out what it is?
"It was reddish brown!"
I looked him over carefully. He certainly seemed to be breathing ok. He definitely didn't have any problem in the hollering department. Blood wasn't spurting out of any orifice. And what was that? A suspicious reddish brown smear on the side of his mouth?
Did you just eat lunch? What did you have?
In order to escape this mad, mad world, I was able to get some time on the computer this week. But as the week has progressed, all I can say is WTF?
Is it spring fever? Has the world gone wild?
In THE PAST WEEK ALONE....
Electrical Tools Gone Wild:
One guy stabbed his father to death and then cut off his own head with a chainsaw. Another guy cut off his mother's head with a circular saw, and attempted to cut his own off as well.
He didn't quite get the entire sucker off, but he's just as dead. He didn't win the stuffed penguin, though.
Did a new video game come out that I haven't heard of yet?
For Hubby's Saturday "Honey-Do" List: Put all electrical cutty things under lock and key. Swallow the freaking key.
Personal Responsibility Gone Wild:
In Nova Scotia, the law says Casino staff are supposed to spot betting addicts. I'll bet you five dollars that's not gonna work.
This reporter thinks that we should blame restaurants for obesity, because their portions are too large. Yeah, as if your waiter ties you down and stuffs the blooming onion, nachos deluxe and chicken fried steak dinner down your throat like you're a Thanksgiving turkey.
When you get a parking ticket, pay it or fight it out in court. Don't send the payment attached to a dog turd. Especially if you're too stupid to remember that your name and address are on the citation.
If you get "slain by the spirit" in church, maybe God is trying to tell you something. And no, I don't think He's telling you to sue Him for damages.
PMS Gone Wild:
If your wife blindfolds you and leads you into the basement for a "surprise", don't be a typical guy and think it's a blow-job or new fooseball table. Run like hell.
Skanky Heiresses Gone Wi---no Scratch That. Still Skanky:
Our favorite Bimbo Paris Hilton asked fans on her MySpace page to sign a petition asking Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to pardon her and overturn her sentence for her recent misdeeds.
Governor's office laughs---not because all 36 fans signed it---but because of the 1, 345, 987 signatures sent in begging him to extend her stay in the poky.
Some even offered sentencing expansions in creative ways. "Make the bitch eat cheeseburgers three times a day!", "What's 45 days going to do to her bleach-job? Show us the roots!" and "Make her wear the polyester jumpsuit!"
Unfortunately the governor had to reject these ideas because they constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
Teachers Gone----Freaking Insane!!!
Sorry, my friend, Mrs. Mayhem. I'm not trying to give you a complex. I know there are great teachers out there, but this really takes the cake.
In the past seven days, it has been reported:
A married 42-year old teacher sends love notes to a 12-year-old student and calls him at home. “I want you to be with me. I know that we are both with someone else, but that’s going to change one day."
Then she said that God forgives her, so everybody else should too. She's ready to move on with her life.
I want me some of those drugs!
This teacher has reached a plea agreement for having an affair with a 14-year-old student and running off with him to Mexico.
This teacher has been arrested for having sexual relations with a student (although the student is 17).
Another teacher has been charged with sexually assaulting two of his 9th grade students and was even dumb enough to post about his exploits on Facebook. I don't know what horrifies me more---that he was doinking his students or that he got a teaching certificate.
And last but not least, I guess we should be grateful that this teacher didn't get the "Mrs. Robinson Itchy Panty bug". She just hosted booze parties in her home for her students.
WTF is wrong with people?
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
I was awarded 8 "Thinking Blogger Awards", and I was supposed to pass it on and award it to 5 more bloggers. Each time.
All I can say in my defense is that the last couple of months have been really busy and a bit overwhelming.
My most humble thanks to all who awarded me. Just knowing that you like my blog enough to drop in regularly means a lot!
Instead of passing out more Thinking Blogger awards (along with the duty of awarding another 5 bloggers), I'm just going to spread out some Bling, in honor of the Dogg.
I've been contemplating some different Art Movements in history, and thinking about how various bloggers might fit in. So these are Attila's Artsy Fartsy Awards.
First there are the Dada-ists, who give me a view of parenting from the other half.
I love to visit Dorky Dad, Kim Ayres, Sven, Carmachu, Em and Fatman.
Next up are the Impressionists, otherwise known as the artists most likely to leave an impression of their sneakers on your heinie if you don't pull your sh*t together!
A day without snark is like a morning without high-octane java! When I need a pick-me-up, I get my fix from:
Dutchy, Ma Titwonky, Phlegm Fatale, Annie Drogynous, Special K, Nightmare and the Southern Circle of Hell.
Next up are the Pointillists.
These are the activists and advocates to causes near and dear to my heart. And they're good at bitch-smacking the pointy-headed.
When I need to get in the mood to rumble, these guys help me get my Attila on:
Did I Miss Something?, Diary of a Goldfish, The Gimp Parade, Whose Planet is it Anyway?, Saving Grace, Musings of the Lame, Amy,the Angry Adoptee and The Daily Bastardette.
I wouldn't last a day without the Folk Artists.
These are the bloggers I would most like to spend a hot summer afternoon with---kicking back with a gallon of ice tea on the porch.
They're colorful, comfortable, and I'm just crazy about them! Life doesn't get any better than that!
Manda, Deb, Miss Litzi, Stinky Paw,Texas Goodies, Blogarita, Brenda and Myron.
I just love the Pop (T)Artists! They're young, they're funny, they're fresh. Visiting their blogs is like a breath of spring air.
Samantha, Heather and Me.
Last but not least are the Expressionists.
They make me laugh, and cry and think!
If you want something to put your brain in gear, you can't miss by visiting any of these blogs:
Rootie, Beth, Sarala, Pendullum, Flamenco Mom, Kevin Charnas, Mel, Mrs. Mayhem, Mamma, Mr. Fab, Ruth Dynamite, Mary Likes Bacon! and Yerdoingitwrong!
Hope everyone has a wonderful day!
The above tole art plate is a design of Rosemary West and can be found here.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Over the years, my kids have had several ear infections. I've had a couple of myself. I think it's one of the most painful childhood illnesses to have.
Recently, Oregon mom Diane Courtney took her son to the doctor for an earache. The doctor examined him, and thought he could see something stuck down there. So he flushed the ear out.
It was spiders. Two of them. Well, one was dead, but still. They were the size of pencil erasers and had been attempting to make a nest.
I'm going to start sleeping with earplugs. Seriously. This scares the crap outta me.
What scares the crap outta you?
Thursday, May 03, 2007
As a parent, I know how annoying that is. I have one kid who is absolutely meticulous in taking care of his stuff, and another who would forget his butt if it wasn't screwed onto his hips.
Over the years he's lost glasses, coats, shirts, hiking boots, sleeping bags, coolers, expensive running shoes, backpacks, gloves, school football equipment, hats, 2 mp3 players, entire CD collections, schoolbooks, DVDs, cell phones, and even his pants.
Not EVEN going to delve into the lost pants---thank GOD he was 19 at the time.
Some of these items have been recovered. But not the expensive ones, naturally.
Replacement costs really add up. And it's hard if you're on a budget.
With an eye to the financial aspect, Jenna's mom went to eBay (auction can still be found at this link) to try to find a similar replacement at a lower price than retail, and was happy to find the exact coat, which was described as "hardly worn and in great shape. Super warm!!"
She then noticed that the auction started the day after her daughter lost her coat at school, and that the seller was from her hometown. She did a little sleuthing and then asked authorities to check it out.
The seller was Elizabeth Logan, her daughter's first grade teacher.
Logan has been arrested for theft by receiving and computer crime.
I just don't have any words beyond WTF?
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
To all my friends, if you have a few moments, please click on the picture, go to some of these links, read and comment.
Peaches, you're all peaches!
Many thanks to Diary of a Goldfish , for putting this all together.
Here's my post (which I wrote last night):
Mom, the Disabilist?
Today we celebrated Little Guy's 17th birthday with a party. We invited his entire transitions skills class (for those with moderate to severe cognitive disabilities), their teachers and para-educators, past and present. It's become kind of a tradition over the last several years.
The high school gives us permission to combine lunch hours, and they provide the transportation and treat it as a field trip.
Everybody gets to have lunch in a nice---nice as in "sit down" and not "fast food"--restaurant, so nothing is rushed and there's plenty of time to socialize. We invited the grandparents (who live out of town) and assorted available relatives (it's in the middle of a weekday), and they get to meet all of Little Guy's friends and teachers.
Since we live in a small town--other than fast-food places--there are very few actual sit-down restaurants, and almost everybody knows each other. So as other diners trickled in for lunch, they recognized or were recognized by party-goers and stopped by to chat. It was a really festive event!
After it was over, and Hubby had settled the bill (see, he's good for something!), we thanked the manager for the wonderful service, and mentioned that the kids seemed to have a great time.
"I'm glad you enjoyed it!", she gushed. "I was surprised at how polite and well-behaved they were!"
Mentally, my mouth dropped open.
My mind said: These kids are not toddlers, for pete's sakes! They're young men and women! What in the hell are you referring to?
We thanked her again, and left the restaurant separately---Hubby back to the office, and me back to the house.
I was in a bit of a huff, naturally. I got my Attila up.
I stewed about it for a couple of hours.
Over the years, we've dealt with some pretty nasty and ignorant shit regarding my guys, both who have disabilities.
In our previous school district, which I mentioned a few posts ago, during kindergarten, Little Guy was stuck in their absolutely cruddy "inclusion" program. Their idea of inclusion was to let the other--um--"normal" kindergarteners line up to sit on his back and ride him down the slide face first into the sand, like he was an animal.
Yay! They were "including" him in their play!When he was in the first grade, in our new school district (we had moved), he got beat up on the bus by 3 fifth graders. They kept whacking him over the head with their backpacks while calling him names. One of them actually had to stand up and cross the aisle to hit him.
The driver did nothing. Claimed he saw and heard nothing.
Little Guy was sitting in the front seat. In the FRONT SEAT.
When this was pointed out to him, the driver finally said, "I just don't want to be responsible for disabled kids on my bus".
The school district required him (and the 3 students, who were suspended) to take sensitivity classes. Hubby and I debated whether or not to keep Little Guy on the regular bus---he was physically capable of riding it--to prove a moral point---or to request he ride in the special-needs bus. At the time, we decided that his safety was the most important issue and requested the disability bus.
A year or so later, we were at a Thanksgiving gathering, and were recounting the incident to extended family members. An older guest---the mother-in-law of someone (she'd had a bit too much to drink), sat down next to Little Guy and caught the tail-end of the conversation (where we said we'd requested the disability bus).
"You did a good thing", she proclaimed. "In my day, they kept those kids where they belonged---in their own institutions! I don't see anything good with letting *them* mix with *normal* children!"
I pointed out that we were talking about my son, who was sitting right next to her.
She looked him up and down. "You're lucky," she pronounced. "At least he looks normal. He could have been born with fins or something."
If Hubby wasn't holding me down, I'd have reached over the table and snatched her change-of-life-sunset-harvest-orange-colored medusa harpy wig off her pointy little head.
Little Guy's had kids take his clothes out of his gym locker while he was in class and throw them in the trash. Once somebody actually took a huge shit in his backpack. That takes some malice and effort.
He's been stalked by a couple of kids who thought they were funny (they didn't think it was so funny when they were hauled out of the classroom by the police). Their parents were indignant---not because of their own children's behavior, but because they thought that when they paid for a "private phone number" it meant it couldn't be traced. By the phone company. Dumbasses. *59 is our friend.
Most recently, a year or so ago, I took the kid to the pharmacy on the way home from the doctor's office, because I couldn't leave him in the car alone, and sat him near the back where the chairs were while we were waiting for his prescription, and went to hunt out some Advil.
When I headed back, I heard voices.
"Are you a stupid fucktard? You're a stupid fucktard, aren't you?"
Little Guy said, Please don't call me that. My name is xxxxxx.
I rounded the corner, and there were 3 punks standing in front of him.
Their parents are still searching for the bodies. Remember, I have a big freaking freezer.
But I do have to add that reading blogs that use the term "fucktard" really offends me.
Today, a couple of hours after the party, I couldn't stand it any more. I called my husband at the office.
I can't believe what that manager said! I'm so offended!
"What are you talking about?"
I reminded him. He didn't see it my way at all.
"Maybe the manager has had to deal with parties of teens up here. You know how it's been".
He pointed out some of the ugly things that have happened in our small town in the last few years. Parents of teens renting a room at the local hotel so their kids and friends could use the pool (and completely trashing the room in the meantime), kids running amok in the small movie theater, kids skipping out on restaurant bills, attacking each other, being verbally abusive to all and sundry, etc.
Once at a high school football game, Hubby was talking to an acquaintance and her kid ran up. Can I go to xxx's house? Parent said no.
"Why are you being such a bitch? You're just a f*cking c*nt!" The parent was absolutely mortified.
And you know, I think Hubby's right.
I spent my afternoon being reactionary and pissy about an intended positive comment on our lively party, looking for an insult where there was none.
I have a litany of big-ass beefs, which I've recounted above.
But they've spanned a 12-year period. Compressed in a small post, they look absolutely horrifying.
On the whole, how is it different from what other teens experience in their everyday lives?
They get teased for being too fat, too skinny, too rich, too poor, too unfashionable, too shallow, too ugly, too fake, too spotty, too smart, too stupid, etc. They worry every day about fitting in with their peers. And a lot of them are foul-mouthed, and foul-behaved.
Maybe it was a refreshing change for the restaurant to have a group of teens who were extraordinarily polite and considerate!
For the most part, with a few exceptions, our community has been completely open-hearted and accepting of my guys, if they bother to notice their differences at all. The kids that Little Guy has grown up with have been incredibly protective of him. When those boys were identified and hauled off for stalking him, they were completely ostracised by the other students.
I guess I'm the one who has been keeping a scorecard and keeping track of the bad things.
Of course, there are plenty of incidences that I never heard of that the guys have dealt with on their own, and while trying to think of a post to write about disabilism today, it stood up and slapped me upside the head.
They're young men now. If I've taught them anything, I've taught them how to advocate for themselves.
As a parent, how do I train myself to stop reacting to real or imagined ignorant slights and insults and bugaboos in every situation?
Because if I don't, I think in my own way, I'm promoting their disablism.
How do I learn when to let it go?