Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Most Irritating Kid ... (Part 2)

December 31, 2016

It just occurred to me that I didn’t mention in “The Most Irritating Kid in the World” (December 27), that the kids I dealt with were preschoolers.

So I don’t actually know how school-age kids might act out—maybe they are shy and withdrawn, or maybe they’re irritating, or aggressive or something.

But if you’re a preschool or day-care teacher, or a parent, and have a super-irritating kid—consider that there might be abuse.

Sadly, no child is too young to be messed with.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Mix It Up

December 29, 2016

Thought for the Day:

The only thing worse than inefficiency

Is the repetitive motion injury you get from performing a task in the most efficient way possible.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Most Irritating Kid in the World

December 27, 2016

Did you ever meet a kid that seemed to go out of his or her way to irritate people? That made you want to tear your hair out, or throw up your hands in frustration and think, “What is WRONG with you??!!”

Well, I found out the hard way that sometimes those kids are being abused. I always thought of abused kids as being meek and quiet and afraid of their own shadows; but several of the super-irritating kids I encountered were, it transpired, being sexually abused.

This doesn’t mean that every irritating kid is being abused. But being aware of this symptom might make teachers and other people keep their eyes open for other signs; and if enough of them add up—send the kid to the school counselor.

I don’t know why I’m impelled to write this right now, but that “still, small voice” is telling me to go for it. Again, not every irritating kid is at risk, but keep your eyes open, OK? Thanks.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Covering All the Bases

December 23, 2016

“Hang your stockings and say your prayers…

“Let’s give thanks to the Lord above,
’Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.”

(From “Here Comes Santa Claus”)

I admire a song that covers all the bases.

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Tax Incentive That Might Make Sense

December 22, 2016

Since municipalities seem to want to hand out tax incentives to all and sundry, why don’t they give tax credits to businesses that let their employees go home early when bad weather looms?

Last Friday afternoon – early Saturday, Missouri Highway Patrol dealt with 400 crashes due to icy roads. Rush hour was, of course, a nightmare. And can anyone forget the Chicago blizzard of 2011, when hundreds of cars were abandoned on Lake Shore Drive because no one could get anywhere? There was plenty of warning that the bad weather was coming; it didn’t take anyone by surprise.

Maybe businesses could be encouraged to do the right thing by getting help in offsetting potential revenue loss. I would much rather see my tax dollars go there than to fund another sports stadium or a business expansion.
Business owners: If you’re afraid of losing revenue by letting people go home early for safety reasons, get your Disaster Plan up and running. A good plan has contingencies for working off-site, and minimizing revenue loss.

So get cracking.

The Music Pigeonhole

December 22, 2016

I think it’s funny that a radio station will play “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on an 80-degree day in November,

But not on a 15-degree day in January,

Because it’s considered a Christmas song.

Same with “Winter Wonderland”, “Jingle Bells”, “Frosty the Snowman” … Not a word about Christmas in any of them, but after December 25th, they disappear from the airwaves.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cooking Can Be Stressful, Huh?

December 18, 2016

Today’s Intriguing Headline:

You don’t have to drink to be a cook

No, but I’ll bet it helps.

(It was from the Post-Dispatch, but the article wasn’t nearly as fun as the headline makes it sound.)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Just in the Nick of Time

December 18, 2016

Henry Heimlich was 96 before he ever used the Heimlich Maneuver, a procedure that he helped develop
. It happened last May.

And none too soon.

Dr. Heimlich died yesterday. At least he got to use the procedure once.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Jingle All the Way

December 15, 2016

Do you ever feel guilty during the holidays? You give a Toy to a Tot; you put change in the Salvation Army bucket every time you come across one; you take a tag from the tree at church to provide a gift for the needy; and there are still tons of people asking for donations, until you’re just tapped out.

Then my church takes up a special collection for something or other, on top of the Nut and Candy Sale, and the Giving Tree. I thought, “Seriously? Because people aren’t already giving enough this season?”

To sum it all up I composed this ditty (with a very bad rhyme scheme):

The holidays are here,
I’m supposed to spread some cheer

All they need’s a small donation
All I want is a vacation

Salvation Army gets my vote,
The ringer’s cold, even with a coat

To Toys for Tots,
I’ve already given lots

The paper prints cases
With lots of sad faces

The church wants some extry;
the Giving Tree’s in the vestry

The food bank needs bread
To come out ahead

They all need my dough,
How can I say No?

I’m sorry, St. Jude,
I don’t mean to be rude

But my wallet’s multi-tasking,
So Please—stop asking!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ya Just Can't Win

December 15, 2016

Apparently the Post-Dispatch has changed the font size on its obituaries, making them easier to read. People are appreciative.

Well, mostly.

According to one reader, the new layout “doesn’t project the solemn dignity” that the old style did. She says that the obituaries now resemble classified ads.

(After she wrote that, I looked. They seemed fine to me. But I’m not a habitual reader, so what do I know?)

Anyway—I guess you really can’t please everyone.

Festival of Lights

December 10, 2016

I like driving around at Christmas time to see the lights in the neighborhood. The other night I saw a couple of contenders for Most Intriguing Display (Home Edition):

1.      The house whose entire display consists of a lighted Eiffel Tower. Is it a reminder of fond memories? Or just something that the homeowner liked?

2.      The house that has, among other things, an inflatable dragon, and a tree that looks like it came from “The Wizard of Oz”. (I’m told that it actually came from “Frozen.” So I get the winter theme, it just looks odd to the uninitiated.)

Hey, I’m not complaining. It’s all fun to look at.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Why Isn't Family Enough?

December 5, 2016

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been suckered into buying more presents than you could afford because somebody insisted on having the kind of Christmas gathering where everybody gets at least one present—on top of the presents they opened at home.

I keep hearing people talk about how much they have to buy, wrap, etc. They’re so stressed, it makes me want to weep for them.

Why isn’t being with family enough?

I’m not being sanctimonious—I like getting presents as much as anybody else. But I hate seeing people kill themselves all in the name of having a “good” Christmas.

Even if you’re staying with relatives for the holiday, can’t you just buy for your immediate family and throw in a hostess gift?

If you have people in the family who insist on buying for everybody, give them the present they crave the most: Attention.

Admire the beautifully-wrapped presents they’ve brought. Heap extravagant praise on the gift they brought you.

And if they get grumpy because you didn’t get them anything, remind them that it was supposed to be “No Gifts.” Then give them the nicely-wrapped $3 Christmas socks you brought along just for this purpose.

Repeat as many years as necessary.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Can You Plan for This?

Dear Tax Assessor:

Can you really call it an “unusually” high volume of calls

When you goof up peoples’ statements at this time every year?

The Compulsive Clappers

December 4, 2016

I went to a Christmas concert at a local university, and encountered the Compulsive Clappers.

You know how you’re supposed to clap when the conductor arrives, bows, leaves, come back; soloists play, stand, sit…Well, there are people who clap at everything, even on the rare occasions when you don’t actually need to. I’m pretty sure they would clap if somebody onstage sneezed and the conductor said, “Bless you.”

Well, in the middle of the concert we saw a video explaining why it would be so good for the choir to perform at Carnegie Hall; and why it would warm the cockles of our hearts to contribute to this venture.

At the close of the video, the Compulsive Clappers started to applaud; and I’m like, “Y’all know you’re clapping for the sales pitch, right?”

Even the people who automatically start clapping when the Compulsive Clappers do were thunderously silent for that one.

Ugly Sweaters Rule!

December 3, 2016

Ugly sweaters used to be winced at, hidden in closets, and, when enough of them had been donated to thrift stores, brought out and paraded around as jokes.

Now they have achieved cult status.

Not only can you buy a kit so can make your own Ugly Sweater; the other day I actually saw an Ugly-Sweater Cookie kit.

And all the ugly sweaters that have been hidden away for years are saying, “Finally! Vindication!”

(Or they’re plotting to take over the world. Who knows?)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

They're Missing the Point

November 30, 2016

Radio station KZQZ plays a rant by one of its personalities, who calls a local politician a “faggot”, and sneers at him for allegedly cross-dressing.

It’s a little jarring to hear the DJs at the station play this rant, and then immediately play a Christmas song.

Either the DJs have a well-developed sense of irony;

Or they forgot that Christmas was named for the guy who said, “Love thy neighbor.”