Dear Santa II

Christmas

Happy Christmas

Another Open Letter to Santa

Alleged Adult Can’t Stop Writing to Santa

The people where are work are Christmas decoration crazy. They have an annual competition among the departments to see who can decorate “better.” The department next to mine put out a box to collect letters to Santa. Why they believed working adults would take the time to submit letters that would obviously not make it to Santa was beyond me. But I felt bad for them when no one had put any letters in their box. So I wrote a letter to Santa and put it in their box. I hear they were moved. The letter appears below. Continue Reading…

Dear Santa

Kris Kringle

Santa (not to scale)

An Open Letter to Santa

Fully-Grown Adult Sends Letter to Santa; Authorities Alerted

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is for my nine year old son to believe in you forever.

I know it’s a lot to ask. I know he’s on the verge of losing his belief, if he hasn’t already. But this is what I want. I want him to believe in fun and whimsy and magic and goodness and giving and these are the qualities that you represent.

I fear his disappointment and disillusionment when he realizes that his parents have been lying to him for his whole life—that all of society has been lying to him.

If they lied to me about Santa, what else have they lied to me about?, he might think. And if all of society is lying about Santa, who can I trust? Continue Reading…

Faces of Death, Vol. 3

dead bicycle

The chalk outline of Junior’s dead bicycle in the aftermath of bicycle violence.

Keeping the Kids Alive

Boy Learns to Ride Bike and Almost Dies Riding Bike All in Same Day

If you’ve followed Volume 1 and Volume 2 of this short series on how easy it is to get your kid killed, you know that you can take all the precautions in the world to keep your child safe and still lose him to something stupid.

Junior resisted learning to ride a bike. The wife and I would take him out and try to teach him every summer from year 3 on. Our attempts usually ended in tears and screaming. Junior cried and screamed, too.

When he was six–SIX!–we were determined to get this boy on two wheels. He was resistant still, though he was zipping around our neighborhood on a Razor scooter and having no problem balancing on that.

This was a new year, he was unbelievably old for a non-bike rider, and we were going to make him learn on the first time out no matter if Family Services had to be called.

Much to our delight, he was riding in seconds. We spent another 45 minutes on the bike trail and Junior could not have been happier. The wife and I could not have been happier. Continue Reading…

Faces of Death, Vol. 2

fallen tree

If a tree falls near your son, does it make your heart pound so loud you can hear it?

It’s Hard to Keep Your Kids Alive

Boy, 5, Eludes Reach of Tree Trying to Kill Him

This is the second in a series of posts about how difficult it is to keep your kids alive. Read Faces of Death, Vol. 1 here.

Junior is five. I am a stay-at-home dad working in the kitchen on a late August afternoon. Junior asks if he can go play with the older boys from next door, as he has done many times. I say okay. There are no streets to cross. We know the neighbors and their boys well.

Junior leaves through our front door.

Thirty seconds later, I hear an incredibly loud cracking sound. I look out the window to see the next door neighbor’s massive oak tree, which stood in the middle of their front yard, hitting the ground.

“Wow,” I thought, then an instant later, outloud, “JUNIOR!” Continue Reading…

Political Correctness Out of Control

Political Correctness Gone Wild!

The Coddling of the American Mind

Political correctness is out of control. College students are out of control. My daughters are out of control.

Along the lines of my friend’s guest post a few weeks ago, the Atlantic has an article about the insanity of umbrage permeating our young people’s minds.

Check it out in The Coddling of the American Mind.

Faces of Death, Vol. 1

Father's Day vs. Mother's DayKeeping Your Kid Alive

Getting your kid to his first birthday is a feat to be celebrated. There are many ways for you to screw up and accidentally kill your kid. Babies are fragile. They have underdeveloped immune systems. They have underdeveloped every system because they’re babies. Getting them through the first year is an accomplishment.

Mortality rates go down after the first year, but they don’t disappear. For every cabinet you put a lock on, for every electrical outlet you put a plastic plugs in, for every baby gate you wedge in a doorway or at the top of a staircase, there are a million ways for your baby to die that can never imagine.

When Junior was three, we had our property re-landscaped, as our original builder groomed the property so as much water as possible would be funneled into our house. The landscaper used a big machine called a Ditch Witch to carve up the lawn to lay drain pipes.

We live on a steep street with no curbs or sidewalks. The landscaper and his wife/business partner parked their truck and trailer facing downhill adjacent to our property. Junior and I were outside watching the activities and playing.

The landscaper went to load the Ditch Witch back on his trailer, but he was having trouble getting it over the lip of the ramp. Junior had drifted down to the front corner of our property to watch the big machine move. Continue Reading…

Do Not Kneel Before ANY President…But Especially Not THAT One

lewinskied

What’s going on down there?

Where Did I Go Wrong?

Father’s Heart Rended by Historically Ignorant Daughter

My daughter, Principessa, recently had the opportunity to attend a free Katy Perry concert that was to be a fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton. How a free concert could be a fund-raiser is beyond my comprehension and the scope of this post.

Unaware that she was going to this, I fielded the frenetic phone call from the excited girl after the fact. Here is my recollection of my portion of the call: Continue Reading…

An Ode to Political Correctness

politically correct

Pere Marquette orders a Native American to make a U-turn.

I’m Offended! Stop doing that.

Man Loses His $#!% Because of Nickname

Principessa is receiving an uber-liberal education in college, and is unbelievably annoying in her insistence on political correctness. Thunderfoot holds the same views, which will probably be ramped up next Fall when she heads off to college.

Whenever I hear them talking their PC smack, I think of what my friend wrote when Marquette University decided to change their nickname from the Warriors to the Golden Eagles in the mid-90s after receiving exactly zero complaints, My buddy balked at this kowtowing to political correctness and wrote a letter to the editor of the school newspaper. The Marquette Tribune didn’t publish it, but my friend let me read it (or, I should say, he INSISTED I read it). For reasons that are not clear to me now, I kept a copy and recently unearthed it.

For my PC daughters, who I hope will never read it here, I reprint it (without my friend’s permission, but I’m sure he’ll be happy to learn it was finally published somewhere.). (Remember, this was written in the 90s…)

Marquette University has decided that its nickname, the Warriors, is insensitive to Native Americans. A warrior is not necessarily an Indian, but, in the view of the Marquette administration, the warrior symbol is so closely linked with Native Americans that to separate the two would be impossible. A committee (who else?) has decided that despite the fact that no complaints have been registered to date, the nickname must go.

I, for one, applaud this controversial position. Some might say that basketball is inexorably linked to the Marquette Warriors. Some might think that the Fighting Irish is a far more offensive nickname than Warriors. Or how about the Gamecocks of South Carolina? (I wonder what they call their women’s sports teams.) Some might think that a campaign of cultural blandness designed to guarantee that not a single person in the world is offended is ludicrous. But I am behind Marquette’s decision all the way.

In the words of M.U. president Albert J. DiUlio, S.J., “It is in no one’s interest to keep a symbol if it does not reflect the mission of the University.” That being the case, I’m sure the Marquette seal is next to go. How could it possibly reflect the mission of the university if nobody knows what it means? The seal depicts what appears to be two dogs changing a lightbulb, a barber pole, and a drawing of Pere Marquette telling an Indian oarsman that he’s paddling in the wrong direction. Above all that appears the words, “Numen Flumenque.”

First of all, what’s with the dogs? Is this an attempt to answer some twisted riddle? Q: How many dogs does it take to change a lightbulb? A: Two. One to change it, and one to make sure the Anti-Cruelty Society isn’t offended by a dog changing a lightbulb.

Then, there’s the barber pole. Who knows what they had in mind when they thought of this part of the seal. Maybe it’s actually representative of Cliffs’ Notes, which are so often used by university students in lieu of reading actual literary works. [Ed. note: I am being told that the barber pole is actually in honor seven heroes from the House of Onaz, the maternal side of St. Ignatius’ parentage, which distinguished itself in battle. Hmm…Let’s see…What else could we call heroes who distinguished themselves in battles? Perhaps, “warriors”?]

Next, what could be more offensive to Native Americans than a picture of Jacques Marquette ordering a subserviant Indian around? Jacques doesn’t even have the decency to look where he’s directing the Indian to paddle. If I were that Indian, I’d say, “Blow it out your ear, Frenchie. If you don’t like how I’m paddling, start swimming.” The name “Warrior” is a tremendous compliment compared with this unfortunate depiction of European dominance of Native Americans.

Finally, does anybody know what “Numen Flumenque” means? Is it French or Latin? It sounds like the latest flu strain, or a European dance craze. It might reflect the mission of the University if the mission were to revive dead languages. Here’s a hint: If you want a motto to mean something to people, put it in the language that the greatest number of those people speak. Just a thought.

It would make more sense to me to get rid of the offensive and obviously outdated seal before getting rid of the nickname, but as long as the all-knowing committee has made its irreversible decision, I’m willing to help choose a new nickname.

Coming up with a nonoffensive nickname is no easy task. Here are some of my suggestions:

Name Comment
the Maquette Genderless Beings Could be too long.
the Marquette Nondenominational, Nonracial, Noncalorie Persons of Unknown Origin Definitely too long
the Marquette People Probably won’t intimidate opponents
the Marquette Fog Promotes sameness, uniformity, and equality
the Marquette Bland Might be confused with the Marquette Band
the Marquette Variables Acknowledges differences while promoting our strong Chemistry and Mathematics programs.
the Marquette Blobs of Well-Organized Protoplasm All inclusive, nonoffensive, vague chemical reference
the Marquette Milquetoast French-looking, appropriate name for those afraid to rattle any cages or take a stand

For one reason or another, all the nonoffensive, politically sensitive names I considered were either too vague or incredibly dull. I then decided that I must pick a name from the animal kingdom. Animals may get offended by their portrayal in collegiate sports, but they don’t complain much. In picking an animal-based nickname, I wanted to pick an animal that was not currently being used by every other high school or college (i.e., Panthers, Wildcats, Lions, Tigers, Bears, Eagles, Banana Slugs, etc.). I also wished to pick an animal that possessed the qualities that Marquette would like to see its representatives engender. And by engender, I’m not referring to one gender or the other, but merely to gender in general. I apologize if I offend.

Anyway, here are some of my suggestions:

Name Qualities/Comments
the Ring-Tailed Lemurs live in large groups, work will with their hands
the Emus nobody knows what these things are

“M.U.” angle of Emus

the Three-Toed Sloths slow, lazy, hang upside down from trees; a really stupid suggestion; might offend the disabled
the Lemmings small rodents who follow the crowd; accurate name for the politically correct

After discarding all my attempts at a new nickname, and on the verge of despondency, (and when I say despondency, I don’t mean to disparage the despondent, and I apologize if I did) I was struck by a bolt of inspiration. The perfect nonoffensive, nonsexist, nongender specific, nonracial, noncarbonated, politically correct, sensitive-to-all nickname — the Marquette Barneys! Who could be more nonoffensive than Barney? He’s so nice, it’s maddening. Just think of what this image will do to our opponents. They will be so riled thinking about Barney’s overly considerate nature, and his nauseating good manners, that they won’t be able to concentrate on the game. All we need to do is change our colors to purple and green and change our fight song (and when I say fight song, I don’t mean to offend pacifists, and I apologize if I did).

 

I love you, you love me

kick it out and hit the three,

with a great big dunk

and a pass from me to you

won’t you say you love M.U.

 

And, we instantly have a new mascot and lovable sidekick. Plus, think of the marketing opportunities. Barney is everywhere. But now, Barney will be marketed wearing a Marquette jersey. Every parent whose kid owns Barney sheets, shoes, lunch boxes, clothes, etc., will now have to buy all new M.U. Barney stuff because the kid will just have to have it. Think of it!

Kids will grow up wanting to come to Marquette. Then, we can teach them all to be politically correct thinkers.   We’ll teach them that they should never express how they feel because someone might disagree with them, and that would be wrong. Individuality and creativity are fine, as long as we all do it together the way it’s always been done. They’ll learn how to thrive in an atmosphere of sameness and perfect equality. They’ll learn to please everyone all the time, and value superficial gestures over meaningful change. We’ll graduate more politicians than the entire Ivy League.

And maybe, if we’re not careful, they just might learn that in making sure you don’t offend anyone, in a way, you offend everyone.