Social Medium Humor

People say to me, Archon, Facebook is a good way to connect with old friends.
At my age, if I want to connect with old friends, I need a Ouija Board

***

My doctor gave me three days to give up drinking.  So I picked June the fifth, July 17, and October 9.
I enjoy a glass of wine each night for its health benefits.  The other ones are for my witty comebacks and smooth dance moves.  I’ve stopped drinking for good.  Now I only drink for evil.

***

Don’t bother walking a mile in my shoes; that would be boring.  Spend 30 seconds inside my head; that’ll freak you right out.

***

My wife left for work this morning, and almost immediately I got a call from my next door neighbour telling me to come around quick as she needed my help.

So, I knock on her door, and she opens the door in a robe and immediately drags me into the living room. She then drops the robe to reveal she is completely naked. As my mouth hangs open she says: “Everything you can see between my legs is yours”

Rubbing my hands in anticipation I drop to my knees and say: “Right, I’ll have your TV, Stereo, Coffee Table, sofa, fireplace…”

***

Heisenberg is pulled over by a Highway Patrolman

“Mister, do you know how fast you were going?” asks the cop.

“No,” replies Heisenberg.

“I clocked you at 87 miles per hour!” the cop exclaims.

Heisenberg sighs. “Great, now I don’t know where I am…”

***

A Canadian park ranger is giving some ramblers a warning about bears, “Brown bears are usually harmless. They avoid contact with humans so we suggest you attach small bells to your rucksacks and give the bears time to get out of your way. However, grizzly bears are extremely dangerous. If you see any grizzly-bear droppings leave the area immediately.”

“So how do we know if they’re grizzly bear droppings?” asks one of the ramblers.

“It’s easy,” replies the ranger. “They’re full of small bells.”

***

A 7 year old boy is sitting on a park bench, eating chocolate bars.
An old man next to him says, “Eating that much chocolate isn’t good for you.”
The boy replies, “My grandfather lived to 102.”
“Did he eat that much chocolate??”
“No! but he minded his own fucking business.”

***

A Hollywood producer calls his friend, another Hollywood producer, on the phone.

“Hey, how are you doing?” he asks.

“Well!” responds the friend. “I just sold a screenplay for $200,000. I also wrote a novel and got a $50,000 advance from the publisher. I have a new TV series airing next week, and everyone says it’s going to be a hit. I’m doing great! How are you?”

“OK,” says the first producer. “I’ll call you back when you’re alone.”

Just Say No To – Jail!

Poor Chastity Eugina Hopson was so worried about her possibly-tainted meth that she actually contacted the police about it. Officers at the Granite Shoals Police Department in Texas were trying to catch the county’s dumbest drug users when they posted a fake Facebook story about Ebola-tainted meth. The post said, “If you have recently purchased meth or heroin in Central Texas, please take it to the local police or sheriff department so it can be screened with a special device. DO NOT use it until it has been properly checked for possible Ebola contamination!””

Hopson, 29, saw the post and was understandably afraid that her meth could be… wait for it… dangerous. She responded to the department’s post on Facebook, and they gladly took her sample in for “testing.” Hobson was charged with possession of less than one gram of a controlled substance.

***

18 year old Ruben Zarate wanted to rob a muffler shop in Chicago and demanded money. Unfortunately it was mostly in the safe. Zarate decided that he would try again later. To save himself some time, he left his cell phone number with the store employees. That way, they could call him when the manager returned.

***

Police had an easy time tracking down Floridian Mack Yearwood, wanted in connection with an assault that took place over Labor Day weekend 2016, after he used his own wanted poster as his Facebook profile picture. One of Yearwood’s friends commented “Nice mug shot,” to which Yearwood responded “Thanks buddy!” Another friend expressed more concern: “Holy sh*t ding-dong, are you planning on getting this sh*t squared away? I’d like to see you again at least before they find you.”

Cops in Stuart, FL, north of Miami, used Yearwood’s FB to track him to his brother’s house, where he was arrested. According to the arresting officers, a bag of weed tumbled out of Yearwood’s pocket as he was cuffed, and he politely asked the cops not to charge him for possession.

Writing on the Stuart Police Department Facebook page, Cpl. Brian Bossio noted “Facebook is a great way to communicate and connect with old friends and family… If you are wanted by the police, it’s probably not a good idea to use the ‘Wanted of the Week’ poster of yourself as your profile pic.”

***

Demetrius Robinson, 28, wanted to rob a Golden Pantry store late one night, but he needed to pass the time as naturally as possible until he and the clerk were alone, so he decided to fill out a job application. Not a bad idea, except he left his real name on the application, along with his uncle’s phone number. After he robbed the store, it didn’t take long for police to track him down. He didn’t get the job.

***

Eoise Reaves stretched the limits of “to serve and protect” when she approached a policeman and asked him to help her get her money back for the poor-quality crack cocaine she’d just purchased. She showed him the crack, which she had tucked away in her mouth, and he placed her under arrest. How does one know when crack has gone bad?

***

Amateur criminal and professional dumb-dumb Christopher Kron made every mistake possible in robbery history when he tried to rob a restaurant after it closed one night. Not only did he trip the silent alarm, but when ADT called the restaurant after being notified, Kron answered the phone and gave them his REAL NAME. He returned to the restaurant the next day and was recognized by an employee who had seen the surveillance video. Kron was arrested on the spot.

***

A man in Stockholm, Sweden was a bit upset when the 13-year-old girl he’d been courting didn’t show up for an arranged sex meeting. When the teen stood him up, the man found her home phone number and called her father to demand a refund. Obviously things didn’t end well.

***

Two men arrested in Houston were accused of stealing an iPad and using it to take selfies that they unknowingly uploaded to the owner’s iCloud account. The men appeared in the photos displaying money they were also accused of taking from the victim.

Not For A Billion Dollars

Charles Ray Fuller, a Texas dumb-dumb, tried to cash a bogus check for $360 BILLION. To top it off, the check wasn’t even made out to him. He was arrested on forgery charges and sentenced to a million billion years in prison.

***

A West Palm Beach, FL man was arrested on a slew of charges, and was perhaps a bit too honest on his arrest report. He listed his occupation as “drug dealer” and was charged with being the most obvious criminal in the history of crime.

***

Things were looking up for Frank Singleton when he was released from jail. However, when he realized that he didn’t have a ride home, he walked straight into the prison parking lot and attempted to carjack a woman. He was foiled when he realized that he couldn’t drive a car with a stick shift. As he was re-arrested – this time, for felony carjacking – Singleton told police that he simply “didn’t feel like walking.” We’ve all been there.

***

Polish author Krystian Bala, might’ve gotten away with murder… if he hadn’t written about it in his book. His 2003 novel Amok became a bestseller in Poland, but he paid the price when police noticed that the details of a murder in the book eerily matched those of an unsolved case.

The similarities led the police to investigate further, discovering connections between Bala and the victim, including the fact that the victim was romantically involved with Bala’s ex-wife. Whether or not he was inspired by the OJ Simpson “novel” based on a similar subject is unknown. What is known that he received 25 years in prison.

***

The dumbest policeman in the world, who was making some extra cash with drugs and prostitution, was brought to justice after driving a $170,000 Ferrari to work. Osman Iqbal, an officer based in Birmingham England, was jailed for seven years for running a brothel.

***

John Pearce came to realize the hazards of daylight burglary when in the course of climbing through a window, his foot became caught, leaving him dangling upside-down in plain sight of pedestrians walking down the busy sidewalk. Onlookers proceeded to mock him mercilessly until police arrived.

***

A 22-year-old man in Mineral Wells, TX landed himself behind bars after allegedly posting on his Facebook page that he had more than a dozen warrants out for his arrest. The warrants ranged from traffic citations to petty theft and totaled more than $1,200 in fines.

***

Let it be known that you can now be arrested for ballin’ on a budget. William Anderson, 51, was arrested after attracting attention by applying for welfare while driving an H2 Hummer. Thinking it an odd sight, the local sheriff ran the plates, and the vehicle came up as stolen.

***

An Ohio man reportedly called 911 numerous times, threatening to harm himself, after he had downed an entire bottle of Everclear because his pet pig, Millie, had eaten all of his marijuana. He was charged with disorderly conduct and later said that he would keep his weed out of reach of his pot bellied pig.

***

A 56-year-old woman’s boldly idiotic defense in her trial for drunk driving was that the alcohol did not affect her because she kept one eye closed to avoid seeing double. She was sentenced to two months in prison. If she keeps her eye closed it could cut it down to one.

***

A Florida man and woman spent two days trapped in what they said they believed to be a locked closet – until police let them out and discovered that the door was actually never locked.

John Arwood and Amber Campbell claimed they were chased into a janitor’s closet at Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, FL, by unidentified assailants. They were charged with trespassing and Campbell was also charged with violating her probation.

’20 A To Z Challenge – N

Where’s a good old insult when you really need one, especially when there are a plethora of politicians who so richly deserve one??!

The quality of leaders in the developed world has seriously deteriorated.  At its inception, Canada had Sir John A. MacDonald.  He drank like life was one long frat-boy party.  He was only slightly less racist than his contemporaries, but he knit together a handful of disparate colonies into a Dominion that became what Canada is today.

William Lyon Mackenzie King was Canada’s longest serving Prime Minister.  He did it in two stretches.  He got voted out, then later got voted back in, from the end of the ‘30s to the end of the ‘40s.  He got us out of the Great Depression, though World War II, and put Canada – and the UK – back on its feet.

He was a Mama’s boy who frequented psychics and séances.  He thought that the Parliament Buildings were haunted.  More recently, two MPs were conversing near the elevator.  Neither had pushed the button, but down it came.  When the door opened, and there was no-one inside, one looked in and said, “Good day, Mister King.”

It all began to go bad with Pierre Trudeau.  He had – not one, but two – sons born on Christmas Day, so he always thought that he was one better than God.  Already famous for his Salmon Arm Salute, https://archonsden.wordpress.com/2020/05/11/20-a-to-z-challenge-c/ he violated protocol and photo-bombed Queen Elizabeth herself, by pirouetting behind her like a drunken – or gay – ballet dancer, at an official photo session.  Richard Nixon described him as “an asshole.”  His response was that he had been called worse things, by better men.  I’m sure that’s true – lots of them.

The Excited States has had the Emancipation Proclamation, Honest Abe Lincoln.  There was, We have nothing to fear but fear itself, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and The Buck stops here, Harry S Truman.  The middle ‘S’ is not an initial, but an entire name, honoring two grandfathers with ‘S’ names.  He once told a group of high-society garden club ladies, that the White House roses grew so well because his gardeners added lots of manure.  One of the snootier women complained to his wife about his use of the vulgar word manure.  Bess replied that it had taken her 20 years, just to get him to use that word.

It is hard for a Canadian to judge where and when America began slipping off the rails.  It might have been with I am not a crook Nixon.  I think that it was somewhere between the two Bushes – Sr. and Jr. – although Burning Bush Senior’s declaration that Atheists should not be allowed to be citizens or patriots, indicates that the rot had already set in.  Slick Willy Clinton’s presidency could have been a skit written by the Three Stooges.

This brings us to Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump, and (finally) the theme for this N post.  Even Bugs Bunny https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14KTu4i27j8 agrees that each of them is a

NINCOMPOOP

A fool or simpleton
From Latin: non compos mentis – not of sound mind; mentally incapable of managing one’s affairs.

Trudeau-Lite is such a nincompoop that even Trump doesn’t bother to call him an asshole.  Trump is not fit to manage his own affairs, much less the nation’s.  He believes conspiracy theories, thinks that we should drink drain cleaner to combat COVID, and has gone bankrupt more times than George W. Mission Accomplished Bush – and that’s a low bar.

Both these two – and others – are victims of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect#:~:text=In%20the%20field%20of%20psychology%2C%20the%20Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger%20effect,of%20people%20to%20recognize%20their%20lack%20of%20ability.  They are so dumb that they don’t realize how dumb they are.  Leaders used to be LEADERS – socially, politically, morally, intellectually, culturally.  Now, doofuses like this are Cult Leaders – a Cult of Personality.  They don’t so much get elected by the voters; they just win the most likes in a Twitter-storm, or a Facebook octagon match.

I would like to say that we deserve better, but if WE, as nations, vote these clowns into the positions of Chief Executive Nincompoop, we deserve the governments we get, and (collectively) we are the nincompoops.  Think carefully – I’ll settle for just think – before you vote.   👿

Flash Fiction #220

Nostalgia

THOSE WERE THE DAYS

The old man sat at his computer, longing for ‘The Good Old Days,’ knowing they weren’t really, what with polio, segregation and World Wars.

He tried to keep up, especially with the avalanche of technology – every month, new Smart Phones, tablets, readers, apps, games, Twitter, Facebook…. Sometimes progress could only be measured by how less quickly he was losing ground, running hard, just to stay in place.

He didn’t know how the young ones kept up. Some used methamphetamines. For the life of him, he couldn’t guess why. Surely their brains were already churning at the speed of light.

***

Click on Those Were The Days, if you’d like to hear Archie and Edith longing for the same nostalgia, then go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story

Friday Fictioneers

Challenge – Be Bored For A Week

office-worker

I tried to be bored, but the voices inside my head wouldn’t let me.

Bored

Actually, I really didn’t try, because there was only one voice inside my head – and it was mine.  I gave it a shot, but quickly found that any time I stopped thinking about everything/anything, I wound up back at my Gravatar description, researching something else that would do me no good at all, except as blog-fodder.

I tried some of that mindless Yoga contemplation – didn’t work!  As soon as I stopped thinking about blog-posts, and useless trivia, into my head popped Spring Byington.  She was a C-grade actress who only had one television series, called December Bride.  It ran from 1954 to 1959.

She played a middle-aged, divorced woman, living with her grown daughter, and everybody was trying to fix her up with another husband.  A (relatively) young Harry Morgan played the intrusive neighbor.  The gimmick was that, like Howard Wolowitz’s mother on The Big Bang Theory, his acerbic wife was often heard, but never seen.

***

In researching a trip to Detroit, MI, I found that there are several other Detroits in the US, including Detroit TX….which is near Oklahoma City….which reminded me of the Jim Croce song, Rapid Roy, where he sings about transporting illegal moonshine, “Runnin’ from the man in Oklahoma City, with a 500 gallon tank.”

How much would 500 gallons of white lightning weigh?  Hmmm – almost 4400 pounds!  Certainly not something to be carried in a stripped-down, hopped-up sedan, or even a pickup truck, and definitely not while trying to out-speed or out-maneuver State Police vehicles.

***

Almost as soon as electric rice cookers became available, the wife had to have one.  Six months later, they “New and Improved” them, by adding a tray in which you could steam things like the frozen dumplings that she likes to add to her homemade chicken soup.  Recently, on Facebitch, someone offered a new Black and Decker unit with the steamer tray, for $15.

When we went to pick it up, the irony was that it was offered for sale by a young Chinese-Canadian woman, still living with her barely-speak-English immigrant parents.  On the drive home I relaxed – and the voice in my head said ‘taffeta.’

There may be more than one of me inside, what I thought was, my empty head.  Almost immediately, the same/different voice said, ‘I’ll see you the taffeta, and raise you organdy and sateen.’  They’re all thin, bright, shiny fabrics, often used as decoration on women’s clothing.  Why would I even know that they exist, much less bring them up to myself during a car ride??!

It’s a wonder that I ever get any particular project completed, with all these odd thoughts and factoids caroming around at strange angles inside my brain, like a bumper car ride.  I’ve proved that I can’t bore myself.  I just hope that I haven’t bored you.  Stop back soon for a ham on rye post – something with a little more meat to it. 🙂

’18 A To Z Challenge – G

 

Challenge '18Letter G

For the letter G, I want to take you from Sheep to Socks, through

GADGETS

In my Rapunzel post, I told of my daughter, who is a spinster – literally a woman who spins yarns.  While she also does it with cotton, bamboo, milkweed silk, dog fur, angora, llama and other, more exotic fibers, she most often spins wool.  There’s a lot more to it than just spinning, so I thought I’d show you some of the gadgets necessary to get from a naked ewe, to a well-clad me.

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Most sheared fleece the daughter obtains, has already been washed.  If not, she has to soak it clean to remove dust, dirt, and the natural lanolin.  The above picture is of two hand carders.  Like giant, curved brushes, handfuls of the raw wool are placed on one of them, and then ‘combed,’ to align all the fibers.  Hand-carding is a long, tedious operation.  She also has a hand-cranked drum-carder, but needs the moved-away grandson, to run it.  Usually she just purchases ‘roving,’ which is a commercially produced, loose, fluffy rope of fiber, already for spinning.

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This is a drop-spindle.  Hung vertically, and brushed against the leg to rotate it, the yarn grows ‘up’ until it’s wound onto the spindle to hold it, and the process is repeated.  This one is fairly small, for producing delicate yarns.  Depending on the size, these can produce anything from the finest yarn, up to ships’ ropes.

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These are slightly larger drop-spindles for heavier yarns, one wound with thread the daughter has already produced.  These are all commercially made, but the daughter has several that she built herself from readily available household items.

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This is the smaller one of the daughter’s spinning wheels.  Her larger, better one has two foot treadles, to prevent a sore, tired leg from pumping with just one foot.  Through gear-ratio, the large wheel rotates the small spindle quite quickly, and the thread/yarn flows off as fast as the spinner can keep up.

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This little storage bobbin hangs off the side of the spinning wheel.  As the loose yarn accumulates, it can be temporarily wound on here, until the batch is finished.

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This is called a Knitty-Knotty.  The finished yarn is wound on from the bobbin, up-down, back and forth, then slipped off as a skein.  A loose skein of yarn is not handy to knit from.  The yarn can tangle, or it can fall to the floor.

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This gadget is known as a swift.  A skein can be held in the Vee of the center.  The shaft slides up and down to change its spread, and match the circumference of any skein.  You may notice that all these gadgets are made of wood.  Spinners and craftsmen developed and built their ancestors from wood, long before metal crafting became cheap and commonly possible, so there has been little reason to change what works in wood, into metal.  Steel/aluminum swifts are available, but they are not as inexpensive, tend to jam or tear yarn, and fall apart sooner.

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At this point, the daughter’s yarn reels off the wife’s swift, and goes onto her winder, to produce a small, firm, easy to find and control ball, that will sit on her lap, or drop into a knitting bag.  This is about the only gadget which has successfully been fabricated from plastic and metal.  Like a little sewing machine, the wire arm shuttles back and forth, to produce that round, even ball.

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The daughter knits a variety of things.  Her hand-spun yarns and knitted items can be viewed online at http://www.facebook.com/frogpondcollective .  In the past, the wife has also knitted a wide range of clothing items, but now concentrates on custom-fitted socks.  Non-elastic socks don’t ‘fit all.’  She makes them for the daughter, our son, the grandson and now his fiancée.  The above pair were lovingly crafted for me, when it became apparent that my aging body couldn’t pump enough blood to my feet at night to keep them warm enough so that I could sleep.

***

In last year’s A To Z Challenge – K I included information about Herbert, Lord Kitchener, for whom this city is now named.  While not a very nice man, he did accomplish one nice thing.  Hand-knit socks, the only kind available back then, were basically tubes.  The toes were sewn closed, leaving a protruding, rough ridge on the inside.

Kitchener found that, after marching his men for hundreds of miles, their toes were raw and bloody, and the men would refuse to march further, or be unable to manoeuvre when needed.  He went to some women who knitted socks, explained the problem, and asked if there was a solution.  At least one of them said that there was, and explained it to him (or his aide.)

Without being able to knit a stitch himself, he is given credit for “The Kitchener Stitch,” which is not really a stitch, but rather, a type of grafting, or weaving, which closes the ends of socks smoothly.  Of course, the wife knows all about it, and uses it on every pair she knits.

Th-th-that’s all folks – for this time.  I hope to see your electronic footprints back here soon.  They could even be in a special pair of socks if you play your cards right.  😀

HELP!

Spring

Help, I need somebody!
Help, not just anybody.
Help, you know I need someone.
Help!

I could have used some help with this week’s Flash Fiction. I went to Rochelle’s site and examined the photo prompt.  It looked like a couple of beef leg bones in a clear plastic public garbage bag.  The only thought I had was about some greasy-spoon diner that served overly large chicken wings.  You’re better off without that story.

I decided instead, to request aid and succor from my readers. This week, in several different places, I have seen a post of 15 questions given to 8 to 10-year-old children to find out if they are geniuses (genii).  I took the test myself.  I got the right answers to 13 out of the 15 questions, so I can probably outwit some students, before they enter Middle School.

For most of the questions, when the correct answer is revealed, it’s obvious. For three of the remaining four, when the answer is shown, a note pops up to explain why and how.  I got two of these right, and two of them wrong.  One of my errors was explained, but the other one wasn’t.

I was going to leave a comment/question, asking for clarification, but found that the test is based on Facebook, and I don’t have a Facebook account to access it. Have any of my readers seen this test?  Do you know what I’m referring to?  Do you know the answer?  Do you have a Facebook account?

Here’s the question that stumped me. I guess I’ll never grow up to be an insightful genius.

Bing is to Ding
as Hug is to….
Hit/Bug/Enemy/Friend

Transposing initial letters, and answering ‘Bug’, seemed a bit too simplistic for a question searching for geniuses, but it’s the one I eventually settled for.

The correct answer is ‘Friend!’  I see how the word Hug relates to Friend, but now I can’t divine a similar relationship between Bing and Ding.

A little help – please!   😳

Yenta

I’ve Got A Secret!

I’ve got a secret, and I’m not gonna tell you.  Nyah, nyah.

Gossip

I am not a gossip.
I do not betray a confidence.
I do not gossip.
I hate gossips!
I think they suffer from a character defect.
I feel they lack self-control, and moral and ethical standards.
I am not a gossip!

I recently discovered why I am not a gossip.  In my long, loner, loser life, no-one has felt me important enough to entrust me with information that I could pass on, or a confidence that I could betray.  It’s easy to not be a sinner, when you’ve never been tempted.  That changed recently.  Somebody told me something.
SOMEBODY!  TOLD!  ME!  SOMETHING!
HOLY SHIT!!

Steam ears

I always thought that cartoon characters with steam pouring from their ears were just a joke.  I’ve got lots of empty space inside my head to absorb an explosion.  Damn, I almost lost my eardrums.  I found one of my eyebrows under a footstool.  It’s a good thing I was sitting down.  I had an attack of the vapors. Everything got fuzzy, and swirled around.  I needed a mint julep to calm my nerves.

‘I need to set up a Twitter account!  I’ll have to open a Facebook page!  Is the computer turned on?  Hand me the cell phone!  Will the extension ladder reach the roof?  I have to get up there and shout this out!’

Easy boy!  Just stick your head in a bucket of ice cubes and water.

About a year ago, I thought I did a favor for a friend.  She didn’t provide all the necessary relevant information, and I recently found that, instead of being of assistance, I’d just been spinning my wheels.  When she fully briefed me, I was able to make an informed choice of a different option.  It’s still early days yet, but this time I think it’s going to take.

To ensure the greatest likelihood of success for another small favor, she filled me in with some background information.  It was like watching the movie Inception.  REALITY CHANGED.  Nothing was what it had seemed.

The information wasn’t down and dirty, or evil and perverted.  In fact, quite the opposite!  This news was happy, joyous, fulfilling, uplifting – just social and legal stuff that needed to be dealt with before the general public is allowed to know about it.

This is “Christ Is Risen” news.  I should be riding from village to village on a donkey, proclaiming the glorious story.  You should know me from afar by the golden radiant glow of the wondrous tale within me – and I can’t say a word.

The wife and son and daughter know the lady, and like her.  They’ve worried for a while because she seemed to be stressed, but now feel better because things seem to be going smoother.  They would approve of the information.  They would be ecstatic to know the full truth, but I cannot say a thing.  Don’t ask me.

Two people can keep a secret – if one of them is dead.  While I am sometimes tempted, I really don’t want to have to shoot a couple of them.  I’m just going to sit here with a knowing smile on my face, and bask in the warm glow of the trust I’ve been given.  In the fullness of time, this situation will resolve itself, and I will no longer be the only one who is permitted to be thrilled for my our friend.

In the meantime….I do not have a character defect.  I do possess self-control, as well as moral and ethical standards.  I am not a gossip!  I am happy that my friend will be happy, and she will be happy if I keep my mouth shut.  If only others could.

 #460

Intelligentsia

I have previously written about haunting a website called Dictionary.com.  Since I started blogging, I visit less often, but still stop in at least once a day, to do my on-line crossword.  I also use it to translate foreign words and phrases, sometimes to get an idea of the meanings of non-English names.  Johnny Carson commented one night about the awe and fascination Americans have for foreign names.  “There’s a fancy new restaurant in town, named La Fourchette.”  It’s a French fork!

I used to read a couple of articles a week about the development of the English language.  There were discussion threads under them for people to make comments, ask questions or disagree with the post.  I was amazed by a couple of things.  I would have thought that those coming to a dictionary site would already have a fairly good grasp of the language.  I was hugely disappointed to see grade six level usage by people who mentioned jobs.  Even a McJob these days requires decent language skills.

I also thought that only those interested in improving their English would show up, but read posts like, “im Amanda and im going to miss upshalls grade five math class at xyz elementary school.”  This isn’t Facebook chicky.  Take the time you spent formatting this non-message and study the word-of-the-day.

Another thing which perplexed me would be an interesting word usage discussion, followed by one or more yahoos posting things like, “you guys are dum who gives a shit”.  Obviously we do, but if you don’t, why are you hanging around an English site?  Why don’t you go to a NASCAR site, or watch a fishing show, Bubba?

Some of the comments showed real (illiterate) antipathy for anyone trying to improve themselves and their language skills.  I’m obviously not the only one to notice or comment on this phenomenon.  I read a post the other day where the writer said, “It is a seriously scary thought that there are sub-sets of American society that think being intellectual is a BAD thing!”

We sometimes blame teachers, or the education system, or even society, when Johnny can’t read.   Johnny’s immediate society may have something to do with it, because he’s obviously been raised with the intent not to learn – reading, or anything else.  In an article about food served to children at schools, the government had decreed that, for the purposes of nutrition, pizza was (contained) a vegetable.  The following is Bob Johnson’s considered opinion.

“i think that pizza being a veggy is hoped mostly because it only has a veggy dose not mean that checan pot pies should be a veggy!!!!  if pizzas a veggi then cows are envolpopes”

I only hope that Bob Johnson is a school student, and not the student’s father.  Actually, a real McJob doesn’t require you to read.  Some fast-food places have had to install cash registers with little pictures of the foods, so that geniuses like this push the right buttons.

There was a story that Webster’s Dictionary was removing 20 words from its smallest, abridged dictionary, to make room for new words and usages.  They based this decision on their counts of how often these words were accessed on their online dictionary.  The discussion thread was immediately full of comments from people who thought that these words were somehow being removed from the entire language.  One of the clearer thoughts on the subject was the following.

“why do people have to think that have to rid of these words when it it the people who chose to say what they say and half the time it is what they have grown up listening to”

I saw a suggestion today that people who are caught texting or talking while driving should have their cell-phones impounded, the way we impound cars for DUI, or racing.  I’ve been told that, despite the stupid abbreviations, texting actually improves teens’ spelling and composition skills.  Ladies and gentlemen, check your children’s language skills.  If your kid’s writing skills look like either of the above, confiscate the cell-phone and stick it up….where it will make them sit tall to study their English text.  Confiscate the game console and the TV in their bedroom too, and don’t give them back until they can submit a clearly written letter, requesting them.

Do school-kids even have English texts anymore?  In a conversation about language, I was asked, “Why do you study English?  We all speak it.”  And then the native-born Canadian asked the immigrant from Chile to help him fill in his production report.  Am I repeating myself from a previous post?  It bears repeating, and at least I’m doing so with correct construction and spelling.

I don’t know how to inspire our youth to study and learn our home and native language.  I don’t know how to change our schools and education system so that students actually acquire skills and knowledge.  I’d like to eliminate the feel-good, lib-left bureaucrats who design basket-weaving curricula and promote students who don’t know subjects.  I’d like to go back to solid rote-learning, and tough-love teachers who expect, nay demand, that students learn something, and can prove they did.

We’re on the slippery slope kids, and the bottom of the handbasket has been greased.  Something needs to be done.  Does anyone have any informed opinions?