Thursday, December 15, 2005

Stupidity: Nurture Division

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. ~Albert Einstein

I have learned that, in order to actually maintain a blog with some semblance of regular posting, I have to prepare pieces when I think of something. If I sit down to specifically post a blog entry, my brain cramps up. Of course, the occasional reader of these contributions to the blogosphere might be convinced that brain cramping is a normal condition in my case, but no matter. The point is that I have a few posts “in the can” (quit snickering) so that I can maintain my semi-regular posting schedule.

All of that is lengthy preamble to my explanation that, having prepared my article about teaching, the instructor who inspired the article was felled by some stranger’s stupidity. By the time you read this, hopefully she will be healed up.

What happened is this: After our first class, our instructor, Lisa, went to a burger joint to have dinner. While she was there, a woman came in with four children in tow, one of whom was a two-year old who was just over the flu – or so this “good” mother thought. The reason Lisa knew all this is that the mother told her after the kid threw up all over Lisa. Better late than never, I guess.

Despite rushing back to her hotel, burning her clothes, showering at lobster-cooking temperatures with anti-bacterial astringents, in short doing everything short of drinking a bottle of Lysol, by 5 AM the next morning, Lisa was violently ill. So the class which had gotten off to such a great start had to be postponed for a month until a) she got better, and b) the facility would have a room available.

By the way, according to Lisa, you get much better service at those doc-in-a-box establishments if you puke in the waiting room. Not for the faint of heart, but you must admit it would have to be an effective way to get by Attila the Nurse at the reception desk.

Back to Typhoid Mother, though. My wife and I have raised a couple of kids. I have watched them go through fevers, sniffles, flu, chicken pox, measles, and various other forms of galloping crud. My wife handled these expertly, particularly the intestinal problems. She brought out the 7-Up, Jello water, saltines, and various other very light comestibles that had a reasonable chance of staying down. If they didn’t, they were mild enough not to be too horrific coming back up.

(Times change. My mother’s solution, which worked quite well, was garlic toast and hot, hot tea, accompanied by that staple of European health care, home made chicken soup. Upset stomachs never lasted long around my house.)

But, above all, Faye’s Rule One was that, just because the kid appears to be feeling better, you should not let your guard down. Kids live in the moment. If they’re not vomiting, coughing, or bleeding, kids tend to think everything is all right now. In the next moment, they’re candidates for the emergency room. Tough business being a parent.

Most assuredly, just because the kid gets through a meal, you don’t take them out to the grease burger joint and feed ‘em french fries. Believe me when I say that I have nothing against grease burgers. In fact, I can offer reasonably expert opinions on the best greasy burgers in Birmingham. But even a glutton like myself would not presume to have one right after recovering from stomach flu.

So what kind of noodle-brain was this woman anyway? Was she trying to convince the kid that she was okay? Was she trying to convince herself? Or was she trying to see how many people she could infect with the kids germs? I really don’t think that this woman was evil or abusive to her children. From all reports, the other three seemed happy and healthy. Of course, in her care, how long they’ll be healthy is an open question. Because basically, this woman is stupid.

With people like this around, I keep wondering how the world ever got populated with billions of people. If she doesn’t put her own kids in the hospital, she’ll put a few dozen other people in intensive care with cramps, nausea, and bazooka-barfing. In the Neolithic, the tribe would have sent her away to be eaten by wolves before she could do any more harm. Today, she’s a soccer mom. (NOTE: Not all soccer moms are stupid, and not all stupid people are soccer moms. The preceding was inserted for humorous effect. Don’t shoot the blogger. Besides the image of wolves chasing a Neolithic soccer mom is kind of funny all by itself.)

Every day, I see ads for wonder drugs (that will kill you, if you’re unlucky, but they’re still wonderful) and hear of miraculous new cures for diseases I never heard of. They’ve got shots to prevent small pox, polio, measles, and facial wrinkles. But everyone is worried about the coming plague, the one that will ravage mankind and destroy civilization as we know it. Supposedly scientists are constantly searching for a way to prevent this coming catastrophe, but I’m not confident they’re on the right track.

I haven’t heard a single report of anyone working on a vaccine to prevent terminal stupidity.

No comments:

Post a Comment