There's an old joke about the only two reasons you can be fired from a teaching job -- being caught with a live boy or a dead girl in your bed. (Okay, there are a few addendums to this which include sending obscene cell phone video messages to your court-restricted ex-student of yourself dancing around in your underpants.) This is one of the few jokes I remember (I mostly loathe jokes and joke-telling with some exceptions). The other joke I recall caught fire with a friend of mine around an especially depressing holiday season (are there any other kind?) -- what do you give a blind, deaf, mute orphan for Christmas? Cancer. When she told it, she'd laugh hysterically while others either laughed with her or cringed. I suppose the fact that these are the only jokes I know says more about me than it does anything else.
The news story that has me riveted these days isn't the picture of Tom and Katie's baby (yawn -- another nut had a baby, big whoop) or whether Katie Couric looked fat as a news anchor. Steve Irwin's death is too sad to think about for long (in our deeply sarcastic lonely age, we need more people like him that aren't afraid to be happy and passionate), so I turn to the horror show that is the new Stockholm Syndrome example, the Austrian girl locked in a dungeon by some whackjob for eight years. She has an incredible maturity and perspective on everything, the kind of strange disturbing poise that people who don't have much of a childhood often exhibit. I suppose she's amazed to be alive after having been thought dead for so many years. She's told interviewers that she still can't laugh -- she's mourning the death of her captor who killed himself after she broke free. Someone once told me if you can figure out what's funny about something, you're cured of it. I suspect that the comics will have their day with this story soon, but the day the dead/live girl laughs again, that will be something special indeed.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"You can't learn everything you need to know legally."
John Irving, Trying to Save Piggy Sneed
Drinking Reading Suggestion: "Three Popes Walk Into A Bar" Amy Hempel
Benedictions and Maledictions
In answer to Bonnie's question about guns -- I'm in favor of all you mentioned, but prefer a handgun like a Saturday Night Special for household use. The shotguns should be stored away for hunting, but are fun to have.