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Coming Out . . . The Genius of It All

2 Mar

coffee3

A few years back, our school newspaper published an article titled, “Sexuality loses meaning as it becomes career booster.” The title, in-and-of-itself, was an oxymoron. The very thing that enhances careers is indeed meaningful. In fact, the claim of “sexuality” at all has become and “enigmatic enhancement” of the first order. How’s THAT for an oxymoron?

But semantics aside, titles are meant to catch people’s attention. What is it about today’s culture, anyway? Everyone seems to be defining themselves by their sexuality. The stars in the media always have to come across as sexy. Clothes have to be sexy. Food has to be sexy. Then there are mouthwashes, toothpastes, cars, whatever! Sex sells, I guess. Being sexy-gay, and metro-sexual also sell in today’s culture. Even Facebook has caved to the pressures of sexual expression, called by progressives as “gender identity.”

In that issue of the school newspaper, comments by students were printed in response to others, who have chosen alternative lifestyles. Isn’t everyone’s lifestyle an alternative one? Titles really do not define us, and neither do nicknames. What they do, though, is capture attention. Consequently, if a person favors traditional marriage, he or she is labeled “anti-homosexual,” or a homophobe.” Attention pushes emotions and thus, fads are born. High school campuses are replete with fads. Sex is just one more fad. However, fads based on sexuality are just a bit different, in that people seem to think their sex and gender are who they are.

The Genius of It All

Here is an example. If I call myself a genius, a born genius, and I am someone who joins up with groups of geniuses—and even begin to wear the “attire of the genius” groups, use the language of geniuses, etc.–I am perceived by these actions as a genius. But am I truly a genius? Would a genius seek to be one so desperately that he must come out as one and join a group?

Taking things even farther, I could even have participated in a community parade of geniuses and protested people of ordinary intelligence, calling them all hater of geniuses, if they dared to speak of the ordinary in ways that validated their ordinary intelligence. All things considered, do any of these actions mean I am a genius? Participation in the actions that some equate with lifestyle does not necessarily equate to the conclusion that I am a genius. I could bear the title of GENIUS and not be one. What is more, I could claim to have been born a genius, only to arrive later in life at the realization that I am quite an “ordinary genius.” Talk about oxymorons?

We live in a heightened state of sexual identity today, media-driven to be sure! How else would high schoolers—or anyone for that matter—know their sexuality, absent the practice? In my opinion, the titles we ascribe to our identities are not the real points of identification. Just like one’s beliefs, names are just that—NAMES. It is the actual, continued practice that defines us, in my opinion. Attraction is not the main issue. In the same way no one can claim to be a potato because of one’s regular cravings, attractions–and even addiction–for french fries, no one can say they are heterosexual or homosexual merely by attraction, or sexual lust. I’ll return to this conclusion a bit later. One thing is certain: We are all born sexual.

In case no one has paid attention yet, allow me to open a door and reveal this truth. We, the human race, are sexual creatures. Did you hear me? WE ARE SEXUAL. Why should we have to go around labeling ourselves by culturally-spotlighted titles? Why should heterosexuals and homosexuals have to somehow be certain that their sexuality is front-and-center? Think about it. Why do we have “sexuality clubs” on school campus? The Gay and Straight Alliance (GSA) is a club titled after sexual orientation and practice? Is being “straight” a belief or a practice? Or is it a world-view? Or better yet is it an inalienable right to be homosexual, found somewhere in Jefferson’s Declaration, or Locke’s Natural Rights?

Considering Teenagers

How do teens ever know what they are, unless they practice something long enough to know? Are high schoolers even oriented yet? Their brains and bodies are changing daily. Do we expect that teens WILL inevitably experiment with sexuality to discover their orientation? I hope not. That is quite dangerous. So, what purpose does a “sexual-titled” club have? I’d love to hear of the celibate homosexual–talk about the ultimate in doublespeak!!!

Any Google search will produce the answers to the questions just raised. There are places all over the nation popping up that base their identity on sexuality—as far down as middle and elementary schools. However, instead of going Google, many young people are going “Gaga.” Here is one such recent example:

The Youth Empowerment Summit (YES)

YES took place at Everett Middle School, just one of dozens of locations in the past few years. YES remains a FREE conference, sponsored by GSA Network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, and straight ally youth dedicated to fostering safe schools and youth activism. The conference is open to all youth and allies, with a focus on middle school and high school. Adults and teachers are welcome. Under the guise of “bullying,” the homosexuality agenda has made its was into all the corners of our kids lives.

It is not a moot issue to ask why not have a BSC Club too (Bi-Sexual Curious club). What about a Transgender Club? Many GSAs include these other orientations and lifestyles as protectionary, for those choose to proclaim a different sexuality. If gays do not feel comfortable in places, based upon their sexuality, then bisexuals and transgenders will probably feel just as uncomfortable. Should all sexual expressions have their own club? I would like to know just what “alliance” is formed between students of different sexual expressions? What about the “teenagers with crushes on their teachers clubs”? I’ll stop there at the edge of absurdity.

Why can’t we just stick to clubs period, you know, those that enhance civic participation and not sexuality? Why does sexuality have to be the open door? I shudder to think that demonstrating sexual practice is somehow one’s civic duty. Does there have to be a heterosexual community service club and a homosexual service club? Could we ever envision a non-gender club? Hmmm. How about naming it the Interact Club, where everyone interacts? What about Rotary, or Lions Clubs?

What About the Celibates?

What I am pointing out in this article, and hopefully the reader is catching some of my sarcasm and facetious allusions, along the way, is that we are all sexual creatures– including celibates? Those folks are defined by their LACK of practice, or orientation. Are they born that way, or is it a choice? Do we have opportunities for them to be celibate, and are they offended by all of this intolerable sex-talk? Celibates are still male or female, therefore sexual. I would like to see the statistics on gay celibates–those who have never had sex before. I would enjoy a discussion to discover how celibates know they are gay. The norm never has to explain itself. It is pure silliness to think that just attraction and even physical lust makes one gay, yet these are the primary determinants of one’s “same-sex-ploration,” if you will, all pigeonholed by the phrase “born that way.”

We live in a society that is so afraid to discuss the gay-issue, for fear of being labeled a homophobe (fear of gays). Labels, Schmabels, Carling Black-Labels (Calm down; The latter is a beer). As a person, I dislike bashing of any kind. Bashing heterosexuals who speak out as activists against the gay-lifestyle, with labels of bigotry, is as bad as heterosexuals who bashing gays at every opportunity. I agree with my colleagues that bashing and sexual slurs have to stop. But, I will go one further. Defining oneself by their sexuality invites polarization, and that also has to stop, unless we are going to allow additional marginalization of Americans with whom they choose to love and with whom to have sex. I call that form of identification quite shallow. But we live in a culture of labels and shallowness, and it is as if people are so uncontrolled in their desires they cannot help themselves and have little choice in their actions. Additional labels are assigned when one finds heterosexuality, and comes out of the homosexual lifestyle. It seems that with sex, you can’t have it “both ways.”

Lost and Found?

Anyone who comes out of the closet to admit their sexuality is somehow viewed as a person who has found himself, or herself. When were they lost? Many gay-adults are people who had opposite-sex spouses and families, children, and were involved in mainstream American life and living. Suddenly some of these folks walk away from marriages, many of their responsibilities, and those they reared, in order to pursue themselves? That is quite the height of selfishness, if you ask me–another hallmark of the current culture.

Do I have to admit to being a heterosexual for the world to accept me? Am I intolerant if I have different set of beliefs about sexuality? Not at all in either case.

New Civil Rights?

I have heard it said that the gay rights issue of today is a new “race” issue, like unto what the blacks faced in earlier decades. I think that argument is a red herring. No one I know has chosen to leave the Asian, Black, or Caucasian races to join another. Slaves were property with no rights, no freedom of speech, etc. Gays have all of these constitutional rights and more, depending on the state–where the Constitution grants everyone the same basic rights. Your skin color and DNA are what they are. If just one person leaves homosexuality and lives a heterosexual life, then there goes the ALL GAYS ARE BORN THAT WAY.

If a person uses race as analogous to sexuality, in order to define or identify oneself, then a coming out of one race to realize he or she is not truly that race, would suffice. Many of us have heard about, or know gays and straights, that have chosen another lifestyle. Trust me on this. There is nothing Eminem, Madonna, or JT can do to be Timbaland, “no matta how day dress wiff dare cloves.” I know we are “One Nation,” but don’t ask the aforementioned to “Apologize” for their own identities. They did NOT choose them. I reiterate, if just one gay or straight has chosen the alternate lifestyle, then the “birth” argument needs to be reexamined. And believe me, it does need to be reexamined. There are many reasons for “being” homosexual, departing from the norm. Maybe I have it wrong. Maybe we are all born homosexual, and because of abuse, social conditioning, or gender identity maturity, we just come out as heterosexual–even though we say nothing about it. Are you shaking your head yet?

Today we have gay sports teams being sued by bisexual players for sexual discrimination. Homosexuals are demanding that marriage is a right, when it is clearly NOT a right. Government might grant a legal right, but it can never be “right.” Gays in Texas want to divorce there, even when they were not married in that state. They’ll try anything to get a state to recognize marriage. If states against gay-marriage grant divorces from OTHER states’ marriages, then they (1) would have to recognize the marriage for a divorce to be granted, and (2) “the full faith and credit clause” would be implied, opening the door to federal decisions to bring the “doctrine of incorporation” into the mix. Having said that, it is just a matter of time before homosexual marriage (notice, I did not say same-sex marriage) is brought to the Supreme Court. The trend is that soon, homosexual marriage will be a legally done deal, and incorporated into all 50 states. Then it will be like abortion–forever an issue that will raise anger and disgust for many.

Radicalism

We have proms being cancelled because lesbians and gay teenagers want to make it a point to being same-sex dates. Things are so out of control that there is little sense anymore. It’s all about the individual and not the common good. Soon there will be heterosexual proms, homosexual proms, bisexual proms, transgender proms, etc. There are already proms and graduation parties designated by race and ethnicity. I am starting to see some reasons why some Muslims of the radical sects want to destroy the western world. But they don’t have to do it. We are doing it to ourselves.

In closing, I reiterate, we are all born sexual, for that is what being male and female imply when you check the gender box. I know it is popular today for people to define gender and sex different ways. Expressing that reality with sexual practice, or not expressing that is mostly about one’s choice. Without the practice, who knows? We all have our feelings and passions. How does anyone really know what his preferences are, when they are based in experimentation? I would not trust a teenage mind to make a lifelong determination about sexuality.

Teenagers and Life-Altering Decisions

I would hate to define anybody by their feelings and passions—especially high-schoolers–whose brains and bodies are changing every day. Here’s the bottom line. Am I against gays, or somehow a homophobe? Nope. That would be silly. I can easily separate issues from people. What I am against is this notion that somehow we must accept that everyone’s individuality who is either born gay, straight, whatever–over and against the vast majority of others. I am against a group hijacking sexuality and calling those who speak out, all sorts of names. It is classical republicanism versus individual rights all over again. Common good for the majority, versus the individuality expression of one, or a group. This is a good struggle to have in a democracy, as long as the struggle is not enjoined by haters using media and politics to ruin dissenters.

Coming out of the closet is a choice. I repeat, coming out in a “choice.” So too, is coming out of, and entering a lifestyle. No one is so compelled and driven to practice a lifestyle, unless there are issues of abuse, self-control, or some other sociological or personal concerns, such as addictions. Does this mean that out of all homosexuals, NONE are born that way? Probably not. However, no one has discovered the “gay gene,” yet. But does that mean all are born as such? I would reject that notion, because humans are not so bound that they cannot un-choose, make new choices, or choose not to choose, at all.

Speaking of such concerns, I want to go on record and come out and state that I am a “caffeinexual.” I have been hiding this fact and been cavorting with tea drinkers. People think I actually am a “tea-drinker.” I feel highly empowered, after having written this piece. I also feel like a parade is “brewing.” Coffee drinkers unite! We are all born this way. I can now check the gender box as a caffeinexual. But I can both ways, honestly–and I have! Coffee or tea? I am attracted to both, depending on my moods and the days of the week. Come and join me in my classroom any morning in my new Coffee-Tea-Alliance, to celebrate my “phreshness,” as long as you have “grounds” to do so.

Ms. Construe Meets Ms. Interpretation

18 Feb

“He is a fool who thinks by force or skill to turn the current of a woman’s will.” (Thomas More)

I was sipping my coffee this morning and, in-between paying bills and prepping for the day, a bit of humor emerged from the midst of the mundane.  In other words, my brain was seeking its own entertainment.  Sorry people, my mind sometimes works to the chagrin of others and this blog will prove to be no exception.

The reader might very well consider most of what I write along the lines of “sigh”-chology.  Be that as it may (I love colloquialisms too), I am smiling at the possibility of the trouble I am going to get myself into this morning.  

Here is my first attempt at stirring up a bit of trouble:  I think women interpret things so very differently than men interpret things. Let me write it a different way.  Women have a higher tendency, or let us call it a gift, an intuition, to “read into things” much more deeply than we men read into things.

What could possibly result from this sort of “reading into things?”  Because of this intuitive “reading,” women may be more prone to misinterpretation.  Now, if you are interpreting what I just wrote, you missed the part where I said women MAY BE MORE PRONE.  Possibly emotions caused a bit of misreading.  For the record, men are also prone to shortcomings in this area!

Uh oh! I can hear it now. “What does he mean by that?”

See what I mean?

All the men are nodding their heads in agreement, folding their arms and loving that someone finally telling it like it is. The women are trying to figure out some elaborate and grand interpretation.

OK, stop. STOP!

Men are more apt to take things at face value.  We say, “I love you,” it is precisely what it means. If we say, “We love you,” we are not thinking compared to whom, or more than so-and-so, or she is better to love than Gertrude. When we love, we are not saying it to cause cognition, or interpretation, such as,“OK, what does he mean by this, and how much does he really love me?”

We are not trying to get something from you.  How shallow is that?  We mean it at face value.  Too often, men cease the use of words and favor “love-actions.” Actions speak louder than words, and are often less misconstrued.

Allow me to illustrate.  Women love diamonds.  They are told, “Diamonds are forever.”  Marilyn Monroe sang, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” We get it. We really get it.  Women love stuff. By contrast, man’s best friend is “dog.” We love our dogs.  We love our women.  Face value, ladies!  FACE VALUE.  We do not love our women as we love our dogs.  In addition, we do not treat our dogs as we treat our women.  (I can hear the mumbling and gossip now. “Yeah, they treat their dogs better.” See? You did it again)  Now, just pretend you understand and we will buy you a diamond ring, or a set of earrings.  There!  Is that better?

There is truth in the statement that sometimes men think you love them as you love your diamonds.  Thus, we believe that you conclude we love you as we love our dogs.  Speaking on behalf of most men (and I surveyed millions of men just this morning), we separate the things and people we love.  This is called compartmentalization.  We love stuff.  We love people.  These are different loves. Get it?  Cool!  You keep this up, and we are going to throw in a necklace with the ring and earrings.  Are you smiling yet?

Second point to be made is this:  Women see body language, and they interpret. Not only do they interpret body language, but women also interpret another woman’s interpretation of body language.  Nuances in words are interpreted.  Looks are interpreted, always-seeking-meaning, and even motivation does not escape subtle deciphering.  Mind if I ask just what language is being used to “interpret” these things?  For men, it seems foreign.

OK, play a little game with me this morning.

It is nearly spring. Some birds are chirping, trees are blooming (No allergies are allowed in my game), and you are young all over again.  A guy sees your gorgeous visage, closes his eyes and drinks in your perfume.  He is lost in the rapture of your voice, and you are both 17, once again.  You watch all of this.  Your heart is touched.  He opens his eyes, saunters on over to where you are seated. He smiles and says, “I think I’m in love.” Your eyes meet and you smile.

INTERPRET PLEASE!

For the guy, at that moment he thinks he is in love.  What do YOU think?  Is he is love with you?  Is the young man in love with someone else, something else? WHAT?

Do you hear wedding bells? Are you seeing something that he does not see?  Is he a keeper?  Is he even yours at all?  Do you size him up, like a pair of shoes?  Does he have the potential to be an excellent father and grandfather?  Is he going to be rich?  I am waiting for an answer.

“The so-called weaker sex is the stronger sex because of the weakness of the stronger sex for the weaker sex.” (Anonymous)

Women and men are different and that is the way it is supposed to be.  Our brains and hearts are wired differently to complement each other, and not just for the couple’s benefit, either.  Raising children is a chore done best with both male and female present.  No apologies for that.  Children in schools have female teachers so much more than they have male teachers.  Students are taught from female perspectives more than from male perspectives.  I wonder what to make of that (flipping the tables on you).  However, I will save that discussion for another time.  Play nice, men.  Promise to bring the earrings if she brings the remote.   

I am just lost at how Ms. Interpretation and Ms. Construe have become best friends–soul mates, as it were.  However, men should take a lesson.  A good place to start is in the kitchen. Consider the old Home-Economics teacher who “espoused” . . .

“Help your wife . . . When she washes the dishes, wash the dishes with her. When she mops the floor, mop the floor with her.”

Stop interpreting, ladies!  We mean well.  For once, just once, would you mind sitting up nice and tall, open your mouths, begin to pant as if our presence touches your existence, and look at us, as we are sovereigns?  We have diamonds!

Ms. Interpretation

24 May

“He is a fool who thinks by force or skill to turn the current of a woman’s will.”  (Thomas More)

I was sipping my coffee this morning and, in-between paying bills and prepping for the day, a bit of humor emerged from the midst of the mundane.  In other words, my brain was seeking its own entertainment.  Sorry guys, my mind sometimes works to the chagrin of others and this blog will prove to be no exception.  The reader might very well consider most of what I write along the lines of “sigh”-chology.  Be that as it may (I love colloquialisms too), I am smiling at the possibility of the trouble I am going to get myself into this morning.  Want to know why I say “trouble”?  I bet you do!

Well, hold on tightly.  Here is my first crack at trouble:  I think women interpret things so very differently than men interpret things.  In fact, women have a higher tendency, or let’s call it a gift, an intuition, to “read into things” much more deeply than we men read into things.  I think most readers know exactly to that which I am refer. 

As a result of this intuitive “reading,” women may be more prone to misinterpretation.  Now, if you are interpreting what I just wrote, you missed the part where I said women MAY BE MORE PRONE.  Make no mistake about it, women do not corner the market on misinterpretation.  Men are also prone toward this!

Uh oh!  I can hear it now.  “What does he mean by that?” 

See what I mean? 

All the men are nodding their heads in agreement, folding their arms and loving that someone finally told it like it is.   The women are trying to figure out some elaborate and grand interpretation. 

OK, stop.  STOP! 

Men are more apt to take things at face-value.  We say, “I love you,” it’s precisely what it means.   If we say “I love you,” we are not thinking compared to whom, or more than so-and-so, or she is better to love than Gertrude.  When we love we are not saying it to have you think, “OK, what does he mean by this, and how much does he love me?”  We are not trying to get something from you.  How shallow is that?  We mean it at face-value.  Too often, men cease using the words and resort to love-actions.  Actions speak louder than words, and are often less misinterpreted.

Allow me to illustrate.  Women love diamonds.  They are told that “Diamonds are forever.”  Marilyn Monroe sang, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”  We get it.  We really get it.  Women love stuff.  By contrast, man’s best friend is “dog.”  We love our dogs.  We love our women.  Face-value, ladies!  FACE-VALUE.  We don’t love our women like we love our dogs.  And we don’t treat our dogs like we treat our women.  (I can hear the mumbling and gossip now. “Yeah, they treat their dogs better.”  See?  You did it again)  Now, just pretend you understand and we’ll buy you a diamond ring, or a set of earrings.  There!  Is that better? 

There is truth in the statement that sometimes men think you love them as you love your diamonds.  Thus, we believe that you conclude we love you like we love our dogs.  Speaking on behalf of most men (and I surveyed millions of men just this morning), we separate the things and people we love.  This is called compartmentalization.  We love stuff.  We love people.  These are different loves.  Get it?  Cool!  You keep this up, and we are going to throw in a necklace with the ring and earrings.  Are you smiling yet?

Second point to be made is this:  Women see body language, and they interpret.  Not only do they interpret body language, but women interpret another woman’s interpretation of body language.  Nuances in words are interpreted.  Looks are interpreted always seeking meaning and even motivation.  Mind if I ask just what language is being used to “interpret” these things?  For men, it’s seems kind of foreign. 

OK, play a little game with me this morning. 

It’s spring.  The birds are chirping, trees are blooming (No allergies are allowed in my game), and you are young all over again.  A guy sees your gorgeous visage, closes his eyes and drinks in your perfume.  He is lost in the rapture of your voice, and you are both 17, once again.  You watch all of this.  Your heart is touched.  He opens his eyes, saunters on over to where you are seated.  He smiles and says, “I think I’m in love.”  Your eyes meet and you smile. 

INTERPRET PLEASE! 

For the guy, at that moment he thinks he is in love.  What do YOU think?  Is he is love with you?  Is the young man in love with someone else, something else?  WHAT?

Do you hear wedding bells?  Are you seeing something that he does not see?  Is he a keeper?  Is he even yours at all?  Do you size him up, like a pair of shoes?  Does he have the potential to be an excellent father and grandfather?  Is he going to be rich?  I am waiting for an answer.

“The so-called weaker sex is the stronger sex because of the weakness of the stronger sex for the weaker sex.” (Anonymous)

Women and men are different and that’s the way it is supposed to be.  Our brains and hearts are wired differently to complement each other, and not just for the couple’s benefit, either.  Raising children is a chore done best with both male and female present.  No apologies for that.  Children in schools have female teachers so much more than they have male teachers.  Students are taught from female perspectives more than from male perspectives.  I wonder what to make of that (flipping the tables on you).  But we’ll save that discussion for another time.  You bring the remote and we’ll bring the earrings. 

I am just lost this morning how Ms. Interpretation and Ms. Construe have become best friends–soul mates, as it were.  Men should take a lesson.  A good place to start is in the kitchen.  Consider the old Home-Economics teacher who “espoused” . . .

“Help your wife . . . When she washes the dishes, wash the dishes with her.  When she mops the floor, mop the floor with her.” 

Stop interpreting ladies!  We mean well.  For once, just once, would you mind sitting up nice and tall, open your mouths, begin to pant like our presence touches your existence, and look at us like we are sovereigns?  We have diamonds! 

Civic Duty

10 Feb

I recall one of my recent forays into the realm of civic duty.  I was never called to the jury box.  My friend and I were on the same panel and both of us were not called.  Exultations! Celebrations!  My students were probably not as happy as I.  But the jury is “out” on that one.

Teachers and correctional officers comprise the vast majority of potential jurors, as evidenced by the number of people both grading papers and willing to state as much in the “Voir dire” interview phase.

But I have some serious “beefs” with the system that pulls out educators from the very areas within which the state has lofty educational expectations.

RAISE THOSE TEST SCORES, but serve on this jury panel, ok?  What is wrong with these people who are accused of all these crimes, anyway?  Don’t they realize that their crimes are hurting our test scores?  By removing all these fine educators from the classroom, their civic duty is in the way of state test scores.  What is the world coming to?

The fewer days that teachers are in their classrooms, the less “real” education occurs.  Substitutes normally do not have the same impact–but that is not true for all of them.  I can assure you when my classes think a sub is cool, that person is not invited back to my room.  I need task-masters stepping in for me.  After all, I am off doing my civic duty.  The least the substitute can do is make me look good when I return.

All kidding aside, a moral equivalent to my more serious complaint would be to require groups of attorneys, judges, or politicians to attend my classroom for their “civic duties” and sit in my room until I have had ample time to interview them about some issues that affect MY clients–MY STUDENTS.

Imagine that.  Those folks get a pass on having to serve.  One goofy judge said to one teacher yesterday, “Well the state is paying you to be here so there should not be any problem.”  Tell that to the districts with lower socio-economics as major concerns, and lower test scores on standardized tests.  Do they understand our presence in the classroom one any given day might result in the students avoiding the very “system” which calls us to serve?  They just don’t get it.

Also, what is wrong with some of these attorneys?  How in the world did they pass the state bar exam?  Let me quickly state that a criminal on a recent docket trial was first degree, premeditated murder–with no capital punishment possibility.  Sheeesh, serious business that is.

The defense attorney asked questions of such a personal nature (and so did the judge), that if this defendant WAS a murderer, it would be scary to let him know ANYTHING about one’s family, employment, etc.  Weird part also is that his family and “skin-headed homies” were allowed to sit in and listen to the voir dire.  Yeah, THAT’S really safe.  Imagine we did that is schools?

I can see it now:

Judge:  “Dr. Zarra, you work at ‘this’ school, right?”

Attorney:  “Your spouse works at this school, right?”

Judge:  “Where are your children and what schools do they go to?”

Attorney:  “Have you, your family, or anyone close to you EVER been convicted of a crime, done drugs, been accused of this, been accused of that?”

Do lawyers and judges actually think that declarative statements with question marks are REALLY questions?  Here is an example of what I mean:  “You are stupid, right?”

I had already made up my mind–and told my friend–that if called, I was going to have some fun with the defense attorney.  He asked the dumbest questions.  Here is a hypothetical interview between us.

THE INTERVIEW

Attorney:  “Dr. Zarra, have you heard all the questions I have asked the other panelists and do you have anything to add to their answers?”

Zarra:   “Yes and no.  No, I have not heard all their answers.  Yes, I have things to add to their answers.”

Attorney:  “What question would you like to be asked?”

Zarra:  “That one.”

Attorney:  Sir, I perceive you are hostile to this process.”

Zarra:  “I feel strongly about hostilities.”

Attorney:  “Tell me more, please.”

Zarra:  “More.”

Attorney:  “Hahaha.  How do you feel about guns?”

Zarra:  “I feel with my heart and my hands.  Sometimes, these are in conflict.”

Attorney:  “If you had to vote right now on my client what would your verdict be?”

Zarra:  “What’s a verdict?  “And what’s he running for, ir is that ‘from’?”

Attorney:  “A verdict, sir–and for all prospective jurors–is a decision reached after weighing all the evidence in a trial.  So, what would YOURS be right now, sir?”

Zarra:  “Well, since there has been no evidence presented, and no trial to this point.  There can be no verdict.”

Attorney:  “My client must be viewed as not guilty, sir.  Without the prosecution meeting ANY burden of proof, he is innocent.  You do realize this.”

Zarra:  “A moment ago, you told me about what happens AFTER weighing evidence.  How can I do that which is required under law, and NOT do that which is required under law at the same time.  That’s called a hypothetical red herring, sir.  Besides, innocent is a moral conclusion.  Not guilty is a legal conclusion.  Which one are we aiming at again?”

Attorney:  “So, then how do you see my client?”

Zarra:  “I see him like the rest of us see him.  With my eyes.  But we were just talking about evidence a second ago, and I have not seen any of that.  He is wearing a nice tie, though.”

Attorney:  “Your honor, I am getting nowhere fast with this prospective juror.”

Judge:  “Yes, I can see that.  Sir, please answer the questions.”

Attorney:  “Mr. Zarra, would you please answer one more question?”

Zarra:  “It’s Dr. Zarra, sir.”

Attorney:  “Excuse me.”

Zarra:  “No problem.  I was hoping that same phrase would also be my reality in a few seconds, anyway.”

Panelists:  “HAHAHAHAHHAHAH”

Judge:  “Quiet please.”

Attorney:  “Dr. Zarra.  Do you feel you could put aside all preconceptions and give my client a fair trial?”

Zarra: “Sir, I am not giving anyone a trial.  That’s NOT my job.  Besides what do my ‘feelings’ have to do with weighing evidence?  To be honest with you, if your client ripped off his shirt, and showed me the large tattoo emblazoned across his back, I’d know exactly what local gang he was in, what their signs and colors are, and might have even had some of his “homies” in my classes.

How do I feel about drug use, murder, shooting someone at close range multiple times, and have seven prior arrests for similar actions?  How do I feel?  I’d be happy it was not me, my family, or someone I know.

Feelings aside, here is what I think.  I think he is presumed not morally culpable until the evidence so compels me beyond a reasonable doubt.  In all honesty, I applied this very principle to evaluate your skills in questioning this very day.  I must say, you are compelling, and there is definitely reasonable doubt, sir.”

Attorney:  “That’s enough, sir.”

Zarra:  “Am I free to go?”

Attorney:  “Yes, no further questions.”

Prosecutor:  “Pass for cause, your honor.”

Attorney:  “The defense would like to thank and excuse juror, 2, Mr. Zarra.”

Zarra:  “Dr. Zarra, sir.”

Attorney:  “Again, my apologies.”

Zarra:  “Mumbles . . . Tell that to your client after he is convicted by your shoddy defense.”

Attorney:  “What was that?”

Zarra:  “Oh, nothing . . . I was just singing, “Feelings, nothing more than feelings. . . . Feelings, whoa, whoa, whoa, feelings . . .”

Free at last, free at last, thank GOD ALMIGHTY, I am free at last.

We Are Funny People

30 Jan

We are absolutely hysterical and most times we do not mean to be. 

Let’s take a look at our morning-selves.  What’s up with that hair?  Some of us must sleep like we endure a night-long noogie–and the noogie won.  I don’t know about you, the reader, but my hair is greasy in the mornings.  I sort of resemble Ebenezer Scrooge, with it sticking out all over the place.   It is reminiscent of an enlarged kernel of popped corn.  Kind of smells like that too, so I am told.  But I wouldn’t know. 

When we had cats, they used to run and hide under the couch.  Poor things.  Looking back, now I know those guttural “meows” were for a reason.

I’d swear that “al’olio” was invented between the hours of 5:00 am and 7:00 am.  Why waste good oil!

We bite our nails to stubs.  Who cares about dirt.  We pick at our feet.  We slam plastics and wads of cotton in our ear canals, and sneeze like some creature about to enter extinction.  Since this is a family blog, I will keep it above-board.  But we are funny creatures. 

How many of us have relatives who eat noisily?  Grunts, heavy breaths, and moans that would make even the hungriest of dogs envious over gnawing their bones.  Then there are those who chew with the same sounds made by clothes-washers.  Those of us who talk with food in our mouths have not mastered the art of multi-tasking.  Burps and other-world nebulosities add smiles to our faces–but not to the faces of others.  And what the heck is “Hey, pull my finger,” anyway?  I had a grandfather whose gait was in step with the cadence of his flatulence.  I remember holding his hand while walking, and peeking behind us for the mouse that was supposedly following us.

Oh my goodness.  My dad used to tell the same jokes over-and-over again.  Do you know anyone who laughs at his own jokes?  Now I find myself doing the same thing.  I miss dad.  He sure could snore.  Mom talked in her sleep and dad snored like a buzz saw.  I won’t tell you which of these I do.  But add walking in my sleep to the mix, also.  Do you have anyone in the family that holds conversations in their sleep?  Nothing is sacred around this house. 

May I ask why older people scream into cell phones?  The party-lines and switchboards are all long-gone.  And who else takes all the soaps and shampoos, and even the shoe-shine kits from hotels?  Hmmmm?  We throw those suckers into our suitcases like we’re really getting away something.  Yeah, we are proud of ourselves.  We are so funny.

Men, why do we part our hair right above our ears, anyway?  Why not use our backhairs, or the long ear hairs to comb over the top?  That’s what God gave them to us for, isn’t it?  I have to think that women love long nose hairs, all dripping with morning dew.  Yep!  We are some weird creatures.  We pick our teeth, rub crust from our eyes, squeegee our ears, and shift, grab, and twist most everything else.  We cannot avoid looking in windows to catch our reflections.  As I write this, I am laughing out loud.  Yeah, I am one of the weirder ones–and proud of it.  I wear gym shorts and tee shorts in the winter.  I don’t wear those black sox and white shoes yet.  Holding onto those so I’ll have them when they come back into style. 

My students call me weird.  I say thanks for the compliment.  At my age any attention is good.  They stare.  I smile.  They shake their heads.  I dance and ask them to join me.  They run as if they’ve seen some creepy creature driving the local ice cream truck.  See what I mean? 

We lose everything we own.  Keys, glasses, papers, more keys, and we misplace mail.  Admit it.  You have asked where your glasses were, while they were on your head.  Come on!  ADMIT IT!  Women carry purses that qualify on carry-on baggage for United and American.  What the heck is in there?  No, never mind.  We do not want to know.  Save it for TSA and the evening news. 

Everything from our tastes in food, entertainment, clothing, body art and piercing, beliefs and practices, traditions and phrases–you name it!  We are just plain funny.  Our autos change even the most genteel into aggressive daredevils.  I was flipped-off by a lady I though was about 80 years old.  At least I though she flipped me the bird.  It might have been arthritis that froze her finger in the upright position.  I was too busy laughing to ask her. 

Then we have cutesy names for people.  We made up nicknames for animals too.  We even have names for body parts–those that still work and those that do not.  We suck in our bellies and throw out our chests, depending on gender.  Some of us have both enhanced, fixed, raised, lowered, you name it. 

You know what?  All things considered, I am all right with being human.  Sure, I have greasy hair in the mornings and breath that needs help.  Yeah, my body and face have changed over the years and I need masks every day now, instead of every three days.  But being human fits me well.  I find humor in most things in life.  When I get to thinking ill about myself, or get a bit down over this or that.  I just spend time looking at your pages.  I come away feeling much better about myself.  HAHHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA   Just kidding with you all.

The funniest thing about people is that we are people.  Can I get an Amen?

P.S.  God, I need to have a little talk with You one day.  What’s up with these bowed legs and varicosities?  And do you think the spiders might want their veins back?  I’ve had them long enough.

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