Monday, January 20, 1997

Yubin Kyoku Wa Doko Desu

In the wake of celebrating a very special anniversary by bowling our brains out, consider this- I've been able to boil my life down to three essentials elements this winter: shoveling, shivering and a third "s" verb which I now forget. Kutsu o migaite kudasai. Back when I was a kid we used to have to walk five miles to school in bare feet, with a refrigerator strapped to our back (we were too poor to afford the latest fashionable, every kid must have 'em lunch box). I remember we used to huddle by a heating vent in the mornings trying to stay warm, just waiting for our Pop Tarts to finish toasting to get us through another frigid morning. Now days the governor deems it necessary to close all the schools when the temperature drops a degree or two below the freezing point. No wonder character building is getting thrown aside like rock salt.

As my nephews and nieces might testify at my competency hearing one of these days, one of my latest raps/rants is that to begin to fix the ills that plague our society we first must start with the impressionable minds of the next generation. This means that these all too common three day school weeks have to be thrown out of the equation. Why the heck do these kids need so much time off? Isn't it time to stop celebrating every nickel and dime excuse of a holiday and start hitting those books again? Ebonics, schbonics, it ain't the language that needs fixin'- rather it's the growing inability of our youth to anaylze what is inside as a reaction to what is outside and then to demonstrate that they have a shred of ability to express themselves effectively.

It's a cruel cold world out there according to more than just the professional pundits who'll kick you in the groin faster than Dennis Rodman. Faster than you can mutter that your stairs are crumbling underneath all the ice and frigid air, another storm appears on the horizon. But the current focus is on regulating what the kids can see, limiting them to even less than now with measures like a TV ratings system rather than trying to expand their vision beyond. It's more than just a PG-13 world out there and to try to deny it doesn't do us any good. Kami o tsunde kudasai.

And once we straighten out these kids's educational system what do we do? We build a new baseball stadium. If we allow the Twins to leave this state (and they will leave the state if the proposed stadium doesn't get built), we will become either the predicted "cold Omaha" or its equal, a warm Ontario. Since the current proposal is to pay for said palace by taxing cigarettes another ten percent (and still not allowing smokers to light up in the new stadium), we need to start our kids smoking sooner. Perhaps we can even enlist those two "kid" spokesmen, Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury, to be the leading advocates in getting our youth to light up before it's too late. And it all goes for a good cause!

So with a little tweaking here and there innovations do happen. As an example, who was the genius that developed the new and improved, quarter sized paper towel sheets? I was in the midst of cleaning up yet another one of my all too frequent kitchen messes when I yanked off a sheet from my recently purchased roll and discovered it was half the size of the normal bountiful surface I have become used to. At the moment it was inconvenient having to learn to clean a man's size mess with half the material, but upon reflection I discovered I now get twice the use out of roll of paper towels than I used to get. What an important money saving discovery! Back about a year ago when I was scrimping and scrounging to meet the closing costs on my house, one of the authorized cutbacks in purchases was in the area of Kleenex, toilet paper, and paper towels. I somehow learned to get by with one to meet the needs of all three. So whoever came up with the idea that is now so conveniently saving me money on every roll I buy, I salute ya!

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