I’m amazed. The word amazed and all the various forms of it, may be the words I overuse the most—the words that a professional impressionist would use, over and over and over again if they were to mimic me.

Amazing—with emphasis on all three syllables, to be used interchangeably with “No kidding”, “You’re joking”, and even “Can’t you pass the peanut butter?”

I use it as an expletive meaning, “I don’t believe it!” and since I don’t believe much of anything anymore, everything is amazing.

I’m amazed at today’s newspaper that used to be an upstanding piece of journalism. My kids could read it—secure in the fact the newspaper edits most of the garbage out, or alludes to it tastefully. We are, after all, living in the country’s navel, right under the Bible’s belt buckle.
That distinction no longer affords any protection. We’re being pierced by indecency even here. The daily paper used the word witch with a “b” and put it in 36 point bold as the show-stopping headline of the lifestyle section (the part that has the comics).

Witch with a “B” is a filthy word with disgusting derogatory connotations. I phrase it that way because I expect my kids will read this sometime—not that my kids don’t know this word. They are aware of my struggle with not using it because it’s not okay! And I’m not going to let it become commonplace.

I’m a prude! I’m so not cool. I’m “square” just like my parents. Because that’s what I am now—a parent! I didn’t realize what that word "parent" entailed when I volunteered for the position, but I’m ready to stop trying to be cool, stop trying to be “cutting edge” and start trying to be a better example.

I understand that it is difficult to conform—to realize that happiness to a child means secure and predictable.

To: piquecritique@wig.out
It’s from watching all that rebellion—all those years of people against the system in the 60’s! I told you it would backfire! Peace and Love, T

I’m not going to pretend any more. I’m appalled at the degradation of society through the media and up until last night, I thought I was stuck with it. Like most of typical America, (I say that, because I am a typical American in every way) I thought if I said, “I’m sick to death of stuff going too far,” I assumed the media response would be, “Then, turn it off.”

Until last night, when I read in my expletive-laden newspaper, about one of the new criminal reality shows. The producers of the show admitted that there was so much gratuitous gore that even the actors were sickened, but, they countered, “Nobody has complained.”

Amazing! It’s an epiphany! I can complain and it makes a difference? My opinion matters! Of the billions of people milling about the world, my opinion matters? Amazing! Who do I call? What is their address? Will it ever get there? Amazing! I don’t believe it, but it’s nice to dream about. My opinion… it matters! With that much power, what could I do… and say? Amazing! Watch out for all that power, it could go to my head.

To: piquecritique@wig.out
I’m doing it! I’m complaining! I’m going to give my children something to complain about now and brag about later. I’m the reason they’ll sob to their therapist, “I had a miserable childhood. I had to be responsible, and grow up with a social conscience.
My parents loved me!” T

I’m complaining. The paper wouldn’t use the “N” word because the world and African Americans would revolt and rightly so. So, don’t use the “B” word, because I’m revolted.


Insurance v Assurance

…insurance vs. assurance

I’m spared the task of figuring out what I’m responsible for because there are lawyers. (Lawyers prefer the word attorney. What word is next after that term is sullied too?)[1]

In this world, abject contrition is not enough. Nobody ever forgives. We want payment! Sue! This is a difficult theory for my children to disabuse. Their immediate response to any wrongdoing is, “Mom, we should sue!”

An attorney will also tell you that it’s also the only way to effectively force changes in the big corporate-run world. Hit them where it hurts, in the pocketbook. I have yet to ever see change effected by suits. That’s why businesses retain corporate lawyers.

Insurance is supposed to cover human fallibility. We make mistakes, have accidents and when we do, sometimes the victim needs help. Insurance grants peace of mind… in times of crisis… in a catastrophe. Had a disaster lately? Statistics say most of us haven’t, and won’t and there wouldn’t be enough insurance money to pay claims if everybody did.

To: thewholefamily@wig.out
I explained car insurance to my driver-to-be and she said, “So, it’s gambling. It banks on luck. You only have to be luckier than everybody else because insurance only works if nobody else uses it.” Isn’t she quick? Just like her momma. T.

If you are even thinking about placing a claim, don’t. Don’t even call to ask! These companies have ESP and a mere call will increase your rates[2]. Is insurance necessary? I’m paying a huge amount of insurance to cover the uninsured. Maybe I should be the uninsured?

To: thewholefamily@wig.out
I have this great idea! Maybe I can pay the insurance money directly into a victim’s (lawyer’s retainer) fund that guarantees I won’t ever get sued for anything, and then I could skip the insurance company all together. [3]
If the doctors paid malpractice money directly into a legal (lawyer’s retainer) fund that pays lawyers an automatic 10% not to sue. That might work too!
The lawyers could set aside a small stipend (real money) for the injured parties and all the problems would be solved!

by Ternia my nom-de-plume

[1]Can I blame that one on Mark Twain?
[2] True story. I saw it on the epitome of truth and honor called television.
[3] My idea is not original? It was started as this thing called insurance?

Check in the Mail

…check in the mail

If you make a mistake, somebody will sue you. But don’t worry, that’s why we have lawyers and insurance—to make everything all better. (Remind me to put one on retainer after I finish this.)

To: thewholefamily@wig.out
I found myself trying to explain the Trail of Tears to my son, but stopped myself when I called the protagonists, we.
We did not do that. Just because I happen to have European ancestors, doesn’t mean I am automatically responsible for every sin against mankind!

I’ve got to get over the guilt! How can I beg forgiveness for something I didn’t do? How much of what happened before I was born am I still responsible for? Whew! I didn’t enslave anybody: I don’t own a gas chamber. I never riot and I feel really bad about prison camps. I wasn’t here when Columbus came—I’m not even Italian. The pizza man will have to take the blame for that one.

I won’t forget and I’ll do my part to avoid repeating history, but I’m not taking the blame anymore. I had ancestors that were stripped of their livelihoods, their homes ransacked and burned, forced to leave not one, not two, but three different cities. They had every hardship perpetrated by the governing officials, and I’d like reparation. Nope, didn’t think so.

To: thewholefamily@wig.out
“Where are my reparations?” Woops, some political action group beat me to this and the second anything becomes politicized, it’s ruined. Forget that idea. My insults are equal opportunity!

I can’t exact revenge on the dead nor can I apologize for them. It’s even more difficult to pay reparations to them, but I’ll be glad to write a post-dated check and they can come after my progeny to collect.

Reality Bite: Maybe everybody just wants somebody, somewhere to say, “I’m sorry that happened and I’ll try to never let it happen again.” That, I can do, (with prejudice.) (That means in legalize, that it can never be brought up again.)

Stop the Buck Right Here

…stop the buck, right here

My preferred learning style is not visual nor auditory but realistic. I learn when knowledge slaps me up-side the head. And even then, I still get it wrong. I am poised and ready at any moment, to beg forgiveness from my children, their teachers or my neighbors for another of my misadventures.

Excuse me, pardon me, I make mistakes! I thought it was part of being human. Accidents happen. I admit it and take responsibility!

To: thewholefamily@wig.out
Don’t worry that you forgot my birthday. I like your bad memory because then you won’t remember my mistakes. Join me in a life full of foul-ups, one after another, on top of each other, piled onto the rest. It’s the simple life! T.

I’m observing a trend in avoiding responsibility. Doctors can’t afford to be human, neither can politicians. At one time, our nation’s president had a sign on his desk, “The buck stops here,” but no more. Instead our new national motto is C.Y.A., cover your assets. It’s the business acronym for assuring that the golden parachute has no frays weakening the chute line to the money. The CEO, the surgeon, and the tax attorney are paid for services only, not to take the blame. That’s extra.

I can admit it. I make mistakes, humans do and that’s what I teach my children, “Accidents happen. Everybody makes mistakes. The key is to tell the truth and admit you did it. Fix your mistake, learn from it and move on.”

To: thewholefamily@wig.out
I attempt to pull into traffic yesterday, in a merging lane, ahead of vehicle one. I signal and drop back to edge in between vehicle one and two. Vehicle two would not allow the merge and honked vehemently. I jerked back and merged behind vehicle two, who then gestured through the back window the universal, “I am King of this road and don’t you ever forget it,” signal.

I continued to follow His Majesty’s car for two more blocks then it moved to the center turn lane and I pulled up beside it.
As I looked over at the driver, a beanie-wearing insurance risk, I caught his eye and he repeated the insulting gesture as I mouthed, “I’m sorry.”
I repeated it three more times while he sat there, glancing over most miserably, until he deigned a nod to the lowly peasant. T

Reality Bite: (and she’s off again onto another rant!) Whew, Tell me how you really feel!