Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Mother Told Me Never To Scratch In Public

I woke up this morning with the horrible thought that Mom gave me a lot of bad advice. One of the most popular bits was to always change my underwear and wash my face. On the surface it sounds like a reasonable request but now I read in the newspaper that too much washing has lowered the immune system and all the antibiotics has created super bugs. Fortunately, I managed to revert to my original state just in time so I’m pleased to report that while no one wants to associate with me for obvious reasons, I’m in good health because most bugs are smart enough to tackle an easier target. Anyway, what really jars my preserves is the fact that mom never told me to scratch in public. On the surface this doesn’t sound like a big deal does it? Well, it seems that life generally goes from the particular experience, such as my boyfriend / girlfriend gave me the shaft, to the general wave, every boyfriend / girlfriend will give me the shaft. In other words from small acorns mighty oaks grow. Mom always told me to shut my mouth and listen so I might learn something. Sounds simple?? Yeah, right!! My whole working career went down the toilet because of mom’s advice. It seems that most communication starts and ends with a motherhood statement such as "Work hard and you will be successful" and /or "Management has its’ eye on you." I also like the phrases " It will be good for you" and "You’ll learn something." or "It will be for the greater good." If I had learned to scratch the motherhood statement I would have known there was a Blarney Stone supporting the motherhood statement in all its’ glory. What fascinates me, is how the politicians / pundits drop certain phrases / words if there is too much psychological baggage or the phrases / words have reached the great unwashed to such a degree that it is impossible to explain it away with a straight face and a sincere demeanor . For instance "Time Portioning" for "We’re always too late." There are also code phrases that are used to disguise less that socially acceptable ideas if spoken plainly. For instance, the time honored phrase "Well, what can you expect??" I also enjoy watching some news stations that repeat some "facts" with a perfectly straight face and with the sincerity that no man of the cloth has ever surpassed even though the facts were proved incorrect long ago. It also helps the "belief index" if it is repeated ad nauseum. It’s a pity that such talent should go unrecognized. Perhaps we could have a rewards program for the media with categories such as "Most believable newscast based on nonsense" or " Best / most Clich├ęs in ten seconds or less."

3 comments:

The Mountain Girl News said...

Here, here! Bravo!

So, what does it mean when your spouse serves you something and says "clean your plate" AND "it's good for you"?

John B. said...

"Jars my preserves." Nice turn of phrase.
My dad was the advice-giver, in the sense you mean, when I was a child. Mom's style is more post-mortem in nature: "Next time, you'll know better." Though, now, I do recall one time, when she found I was jumping from the railing around the porch down to the ground (I was about 7 or 8, and the distance was easily 7 feet), she told me not to land on my knees, which was what I was doing.
Daddy gave good advice. "Get an education" was the one big one. He didn't promise success or riches (though he thought I'd make a good lawyer); though he didn't promise happiness, either, I think that's what was implicit in his advice. And he was right on the money about that.

Jane said...

This was excellent- very entertaining! I enjoyed,