On Saturdays here, we get Bruce Cameron’s columns in our newspaper. This is a good thing. Like, right now it’s 8:00 a.m. and that bright Rocky Mountain sunshine has been working its magic since sunrise, and the thermometer out there has shot all the way up to 8. Yes, that’s eight degrees Farenheit. It would be minus thirteen degrees if we were located in a nation that has its weather in Celsius, which sounds even colder.
I have library books out that are due today, and not renewable, and library books on hold that are ready to pick up. The pantry and fridge are running low on the stuff I really consume, and I have some Christmas shopping to do. I hate really cold weather. This is not looking like a fun Saturday.
It is, as I was saying, a good thing on a cold Saturday morning, to have hot coffee and funny stuff to read – indoors. Bruce’s column today is about the zero-
common-sense-tolerance policies in some of our public and private institutions. It’s below the fold if that link doesn’t work and you can’t find it on Bruce’s website. If you go there, you must read his take on yoga. You’re welcome.
RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES
By W. Bruce Cameron
Over the years, I’ve pretty much convinced myself I can influence the outcome of a football game by yelling at the television. This tendency to hang on to a cherished notion despite hard evidence to the contrary comes from what most people would call “testosterone.”
I also use my testosterone on the newspapers, shouting comments at the headlines because, as everyone knows, the people in the articles can’t hear you if you speak quietly.
For example, this story caught my eye: “New York Man Arrested for Doing Nothing.” Apparently, a man named Matthew Jones was observed by police just “standing around talking” in Times Square, and please know I understand exactly why he was hauled off to jail. Any father who has repeatedly told his children to “meet me out in the yard, we’re going to rake leaves” and then returned to the house to find them sitting around doing nothing can certainly identify with the impulse to sic the cops on them.
But, as I shouted at the newspaper, we can’t arrest every teenager in the world just for being teenagers! I mean, can we?
How about this one: Malaysian cleric Nik Abdul Aziz Nik “I Need More Nik Names” Mat complained recently that the way women dress is “disturbing men’s sleep,” to which I shout: “Of course women are disturbing your sleep. That’s what they are for!” One of the best things that can happen to a man is when a woman keeps him awake at night, especially if she’s there at the time.
Let me tell you, I am not looking forward to getting to the age when my sleep is no longer disturbed by the way women dress — probably around then I’ll also lose interest in yelling at the newspaper. I’ll have no motivation and will wind up getting arrested for doing nothing.
I really felt like yelling when I read about a 7-year-old boy named Kyle McDevitt, who was suspended from second grade in Dennis Township, N.J., for drawing a stick-figure picture of a gun, thus violating the school’s zero-tolerance policy toward weapons and common sense.
The little boy also drew a picture of a Cyclops, which violates the school’s zero-tolerance policy toward one-eyed mythical monsters. The little boy claimed the gun was actually just a water pistol, but hey, fill a water pistol with acid and you could put a Cyclops’ eye out.
In a related story, James Harris of Tama, Iowa, was shot on the first day of pheasant season by his hunting dog, who clearly doesn’t agree with the whole zero-tolerance thing. The dog stepped on the gun while it was on the ground, proving that guns don’t kill people, dogs kill people.
Next time, James should probably play it safe and go hunting with a picture of a shotgun, which the school administrators of Dennis Township will tell you can be just as lethal. No word on whether, after this blatant attempt on his life, James Harris’ sleep is disturbed every time his dog gets up at night and opens the gun cabinet.
We do, however, know that the people of the Italian village of Canneto di Caronia are having trouble sleeping, because their refrigerators, coffee makers and cell phones keep bursting into flames. According to manufacturers, appliances are not supposed to do this — it is against the zero-tolerance policy toward spontaneous combustion. The Italian government investigated and, after a two-year study, concluded that the flames were probably caused by space aliens testing weapons.
Honest, that’s what they said.
Well, no space aliens could be reached for comment, but I’m sure they would just claim it wasn’t their fault, that the weapon went off when their dog stepped on it. “We weren’t doing anything,” they’d protest. “We were just standing around waiting to be arrested by the New York Police Department.”
In my opinion, if your cell phone bursts into flames, you should terminate the call. You might also consider dousing the fire with water, but don’t use a squirt gun or your education will stop at the second grade. You’d be better off just drawing a picture of a squirt gun and using that.
Or maybe just have your dog do it.
To write Bruce Cameron, visit his Website at http://www.wbrucecameron.com. To find out more about Bruce Cameron and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at http://www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2007 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.