Thursday, August 26, 2010

Remembering the Great Depression

Okay, times are tough today, but we certainly have not yet reached the level of hardship endured during the Great Depression.

"Growing up during the Great Depression means a lot of change for Kit Kittredge...She has to start wearing dresses made from feed sacks to save money...But Kit is clever and resourceful, and she works hard to help her family make ends meet."

For instance, when her parents are overpowered by the seductive influences of mushy-brained kooks who convince them to buy her a $100 doll by which to remember their dire financial struggles during the Great Depression, she declines and instead makes one for herself. At least that is what should happen. Kit is an American Girl doll, and American Girl dolls are apparently made on the International Space Station, where labor is very pricy (even though all those astronauts are bored out of their minds floating around all day waiting for their replacements to come so they can stop inhaling their own urine when they miss the toilet.) In any case, I have it on good authority you can take your American Girl doll to an American Girl Palace and pay ridiculous amounts of money to have her hair done, to see a doctor, or to do other things an inanimate object is incapable of perceiving, let alone enjoying. Now, I can see this work for say a Britney Spears American Girl doll, but a Great Depression American Girl doll? Really? You should learn about how people lived during the Great Depression by buying over-priced dolls and treating them to doll spas? And who works at these little doll spas? I am not one to criticize people's work, because we all do what we have to so we can pay bills, but I am pretty sure making a living doing dolls' hair and working in a doll hospital makes about as much sense as...well, nothing I guess. I am actually at a loss here.

In any case, if you have an American Girl doll, or several American Girl dolls, I am not trying to criticize you. In fact, only someone with such a high degree of insight and economic foresight could appreciate the business opportunity I have. All you need to do is send me a check for $1000 to get started. For that low investment, I will send you loads of information about how you can make money convincing other people to give you money to learn how to convince other people to give them money to learn how to convince even more people to give even more money to convince other people to...It really is a no-fail way to make lots of money. So get started today!

For those of you wondering how it is I know anything at all about American Girl Dolls, let me tell you about aardwolves. Aardwolves you say? Yes, aardwolves. They are actually real, despite the tone of the column up to this point. They are part of the hyena family, which means they are quite unattractive even though they have hair, something they never fail to bring up when they encounter a silly little bald aardvark. Ah, so many funny little critters out there.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Episode 56: People Come From Michigan, in Cars

The other day we teetered perilously on the edge of the question with our four-year-old daughter. Wait, I mean The Question. You know, the dreaded question about the subject we obviously understand, what with the 3-foot tall evidence standing there waiting for some sort of answer. I thought we had just fallen off the edge when she asked, “Why do all parents have to have parents?”
I responded, “Well, how else would we get here?”

“We have a car.”

Now, I should have just left it at that, having so easily dodged the dreaded Where-do-babies-come-from bullet, but the communicator in me took over and I had to clarify what I was saying because I felt a disconnect. It was a happy accident that this turned out to be a very effective tactic for avoiding actually having to talk about the real question in question.

“No, I mean where would people come from?”


Well, how could I argue with that? Lots of people do actually come from Michigan. Tim Allen, Gillian Anderson, Lucille Ball, Bob Bell (a.k.a. Bozo the Clown), Rupert (of Survivor fame), Sonny Bono, Alice Cooper, Francis Ford Coppola, George Custer, Jeff Daniels, Eminem, Bob Eubanks, Gerald Ford, Henry Ford, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Hoffa, Magic Johnson, James Earl Jones, Casey Kasem, Kid Rock, Charles Lindbergh, Malcolm X, Tim Meadows, Michael, Moore, John Locke (not the philosopher, the guy who played John Locke in Lost, which ended very badly if you ask me, but I suggest you do not ask me because I will very likely rant for a very long time about how badly it ended after such a good run), Larry Page (one of the founders of Google), Rosa Parks, Smokey Robinson Jr, Diana Ross, Steven Seagal, and lots of other people come from Michigan. Wow, that got a little crazy, but it is actually pretty interesting to see all the famous people who came from Michigan. Who knew? A few people come from Alaska too, but you wouldn’t know any of them.

I don’t come from Michigan, so I am not sure where she came up with that, but I am going to stick with it when she revisits this topic at some other point in her life. I think we all need to stick together on this though, because I cannot have other people telling her something different. So, if anyone asks you where babies come from, just say Michigan. You won’t be lying. I just gave you a list of people who were, I assume, babies at one time that did in fact come from Michigan. Also, tell her she is not even allowed to think about going anywhere near Michigan until she is married…and 35. I am working on my “you are very likely to die a horrible death if you even know how to get to Michigan” look so I can use it on any guy she meets between now and then.