In Case You’re Wondering What I’ve Been Doing
One of my depression-combatting strategies is to watch hours of sitcoms with my bulldog, Wonderbutt, snoring and farting in my lap. I’m not really sure if it’s the sitcoms, Wonderbutt, or the inhalation of gases that actually help, but I’ve been too lazy to change any of the variables in the attempt to conduct a scientific investigation. The most recent sitcom therapy has been “Modern Family” for the sole reason that one of the networks has been running “Modern Family” marathons during the past couple of weeks. However, they alternate them with “NCIS” marathons, which seem to have the opposite effect on my temperament. I tell you, this T.V. watching can be a real roller-coaster for the psyche.
The other problem with watching “Modern Family” is that I’m not sure it’s actually improving my mood, so much as altering my personality. After watching for a few hours, I have a keen desire to go to dinner with the gay brother that I don’t have or to call Claire and challenge her to a battle of the neurotic perfectionists. Even worse, I start speaking in a thick Colombian accent, saying things like, “Aiii! After all those years with Peg, who knew Al Bundy could be so sweet and charming?” I have a tendency to immerse myself in fictional worlds, in case you couldn’t tell.
These issues could be avoided, of course, if someone just decided to make a sitcom out of my own life. I already mentally explain things to a camera-man half the time, anyway, so putting an actual camera in front of me would not be a stretch. Then I would could watch my own show for hours with Wonderbutt snoring and farting on my lap, and become myself – which would be a welcome change.
Or I might become Wonderbutt.
Some might say that would be an improvement.
It Must Be Hard to Be the Letter “X”
Did you hear what he said?!!! He said the “X” word. What? You don’t know what that is? Poor “X.” As a letter, he really bears very little weight. Unless we’re talking Roman numerals. But people seem to have other, far more pressing matters on their minds these days.
I don’t know what the f*#k everyone is so worked up about. Apparently, a recent episode of Modern Family implied that a toddler said the F word. Although, in reality, she said the other F word – “fudge.”
Sometimes, I think we spend too much time creating our own problems. Why do we give certain words so much power?
Kids accidentally drop “inappropriate” words on a regular basis. Our reactions to them are what give the words their power. Trust me, as a teacher, I’ve had a little experience with this. I had a student tell me one day that the octopus is different than a spider because it has testicles. Not one student in my class of fifth graders cracked a smile. “I think you might mean tentacles, Charles.” “Isn’t that what I said?” “Uh, no. But that’s okay. Now, who knows the difference between an octopus and a squid?”
That same year, I was informed by another ten year old that living things are orgasms. A reasonable mistake, considering there is only a difference of a couple of letters. Again, no reaction from the rest of the class. I was dying inside, of course. I made a mental note for future teacher’s lounge conversation, carried on with a mild correction, and crossed my fingers behind my back that no parents would suddenly get interested in what their kids had learned at school that day.
When collecting my students from the basketball hoops at recess one day, I was somewhat irritated at their slowness to line up and settle down. “When I blow the whistle, you need to get in line and Hold. Your. Balls!” I firmly ordered.
The entire class dissolved into hysterical laughter.
So, two “taboo” words got no reaction. But I use one normal everyday word in a very appropriate context, and everyone’s minds go to the gutter.
I’m tired of words being labelled offensive. As long as no one is flinging them at me as a direct insult, I don’t see why we have to be so sensitive. The people who get so worked up about strings of letters that they empowered in the first place should try channelling some of that energy toward curbing people’s offensive actions and Donald Trump’s ridiculous hairstyle instead.