Time for another installment of "O Wise One Wednesday," my answer to that wordless nonsense we all know is just an excuse to sleep late in the middle of the week.
As I mentioned here, we had a couple of readers with dire inquiries about mountain climbing and why feeling good feels bad, which feels like pudding skin, which feels good again.
Hoo-boy, do I have opinions on that stuff! Er, I mean 'wisdom.' Truckloads of wisdom. All about, you know, whatever these gals were talking about.
"Remember the "Dream Killer" post?! Could you now help me explain to my 15 year old son why he cannot climb Mt. Everest for his senior project? Never mind the obvious facts: funding, experience, mission (see funding), college (see funding), death, blah, blah, blah. None of that works. I've tried. Hope you can help!! Thanks."
Well, Beka, I blame bad parenting.
Next, we have Rebecca's plea for that same kind of practical advice, and the assurance that she's doing just fine as a mother:
"I am so happy that spring break is over. Can you address how to break out of the mommy guilt cycle, O wise one?"
Dear, dear Rebecca. I've never felt guilty about anything. You must be doing something wrong. Have you considered adoption for your eight children?
And that's all the time -- what?? You want real answers? There are no real answers, people! There is, however, my laundry. Which I don't want to fold. So I will make up some answers instead.
Beka, why are you fighting this kid? I say, tell him he has your full and unconditional support. Go on, dude. Knock yourself out. Start small, like climbing DeNae's laundry pile, then work your way up to climbing the ladder and cleaning the gutters. Eventually you'll want to climb a mountain or two. There they are, buddy. Climb 'em all. I'll even stand on the roof and sing the entire score to "The Sound of Music" for you if that will help.
The dreams and ambitions of fifteen-year-olds last exactly as long as that first training hike, when altitude sickness has them barfing up meals they haven't even eaten yet. They bail, you win, life goes on.
If that doesn't work, mention that mountain climbing requires the use of "crampons," which sounds so much like a feminine hygiene product as well as a symptom he'll be mortified into giving up the whole scheme in favor of a less embarrassing project.
O-Wow! That was pretty good! Let's try another one:
Rebecca - you still there? Come on back to the computer! I have some awesome wisdom for you!
Kids are fun the way toys are fun. If we could just whip them off the shelf, dress them in groovy outfits and drive them around in their pink Mattel convertibles, and then feed them to the dog when Biggest Loser comes on, kids would be a great idea.
Unfortunately, they never stay on their shelves, they're born drooling this mysterious red goo which ruins all those cute Gymboree clothes, and they're as likely as not to feed the convertible to the dog, requiring emergency surgery which of course is not covered by Blue Cross because - stay with me here - he is a dog.
If you tried to market that toy, well, you would be a very, very dumb toy marketing person.
Add to that the fact that given enough unstructured time kids will fight over anything - and I mean anything, like whose booger is saltier, a disagreement they are likely to settle with their little brother and the words, "here, put on this blindfold" - and it's no wonder you're happy to send them to a publicly funded institution nine months out of the year.
It's them or you, baby. Them. Or. You.
Emily, shoe tattoos for the kid who spends eons tightening his real ones. Becca, a live grenade under the shed will solve your skunk problem. Donald, we would rather give communism a go than have that tree sloth you call a hairdo in the White House for four years. Steve Jobs, put 'send' at the top of the screen instead of next to the 'P' for crying out loud.
Come on, I'm on a roll! What else you got? Anyone? Anyone?
Well, drat. I guess I've got no choice, then, but to fold my laundry. Hope Beka's kid remembered his crampons.
Owl image by Danilo Rizzuti