Brainwashing, Brits and Michigan

While banking at a local financial institution I was given the what-for. For what, you may be asking? For being an insensitive cretin. That wasn’t the worst of it, on April 7, I actually published the following:
This pampering of our children is going to make a generation of kids who won’t be able to handle anything hard or smelly. They’ll swill down tea from fine china versus a cup of Joe from a mug that says, ‘It Sucks To Be You.? They’ll watch croquet championships on TV instead of the Wide World of Wrestling. They’ll end up saying things like, ‘Cheerio, my good man? or ‘Smashing,? instead of ‘Way to go, dude,? or ‘Cool.? They’ll wear knickers and stockings instead of jeans and white socks.
Ahh, the humanity!
The horror of it all — why, they’ll become British! We must stop the madness. Have your kids pick up poop, today, tomorrow and forever. We thought we won the Revolution in 1783, but maybe it’s all been a ruse from across the Atlantic Ocean. Maybe the Brits are lulling us into a 221-year false sense of security before striking back for the monarchy.
I said I was sorry and blamed my lack of class on latent Irish genetics. I won’t mention her name, but I did give her the opportunity to write and give me a good shellacking.
* * *
A note to parents with kids who are not yet walking or talking.
I have some good new and some bad. First, the good. I am here to testify my brainwashing efforts are working quite nicely, thank you. My experiments in mind-molding Rush brothers Shamus, 6, and Sean, 4, continues on schedule. A strict regimen of old John Wayne movies and easy listening music has proven, to date, successful.
The other night first grader Shamus brought home his nightly reading assignment. It was a little book titled something like, Rappin? Rhythm of the Heart. Let me stop right here and state I am not just a proud parent saying my kid is smart, but Shamus is an advanced reader. When he brings home a reading assignment it gets done lickety-split. However, on this particular night as we gathered ’round the retro, red Formica kitchen table, Shamus stalled. He started reading the book just fine. The rappin? rhymes were working and then he stopped and put his head down — right on the book.
For the better part of 10 minutes I cajoled, coaxed, balked, squawked and did what I could to get him to finish. And, finally, with tears in his eyes he complied.
‘What is the matter, Shamus?? I asked. ‘What’s wrong??
‘I just don’t like rap music,? was his answer.
I immediately gave myself a mental high-five. Yeah! Hours of listening to Elvis Presley, Dean Martin and The Clancey Brothers was working!
That’s the good news, new parents. Your hard work can yield dividends. The bad news . . . well, it is short-lived. I asked some parents with older kids how long brainwashing lasts. Their answer was, ‘Until they get some friends in school who like rap music.?
I fully expect the smuggling of Snoop Doggy-Dog or Garf Catty-Cat into our home will soon begin. And, aside from breaking all music playing devices, I will have no power over peer-pressure and the modern world.
* * *
My uncle, Jim McDonald, sent me an e-mail about possible slogans for Michigan’s new state quarter.
n The one that looks like a mitten, you moron.
n We know the rules to euchre.
n Got fudge?
n Two Mystery Spots. No waiting.
n Yes, the Porcupines are real mountains.
n Soda? We say pop here, buddy.
n No riots since ?67.
n Sandy beaches without severe undertow.
n Happiness is a warm pasty.
n Imagine an island where horse manure still litters the streets.
n Water enough for any drought.
n Visit Hell, Paradise, Christmas and Climax.
n Gerald Ford slept here.
n It’s called snow. Get used to it.
n Not as flat as Indiana.
n Once a swamp unfit for habitation.
n Try eating corn-flakes without us.
n Hardly any annoying lizards or poisonous snakes.
n We moved American history to Dearborn.
n No toll roads and proud of it.
n Our biggest bridge makes yours look puny.
n Nearly went to war with Ohio once and will do it
again if they pull any funny stuff.
n We know a place where wooden shoes are always
in style.
n Speed limit back up to 70, so move it.
Coments for that brainwashing, insensitive Michiganian with latent Irishness, e-mail: