Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Grumpy Old Val Says, "And that's the way it was, and we LIKED it!"

Some days, I feel like a wise old elder, spinning yarns around the campfire about the ways of our people in ancient times. Okay, maybe you should strike the wise part. And aren't all elders old, thus the name elders? I'm starting to sound like my mother talking about somebody having a new baby.

Every year, I get older, and the students get younger. I feel like Charlton Heston as Astronaut Taylor in the original Planet of the Apes, explaining to Dr. Zaius why a human doll found in the rubble has a voice box that says, "Mama."

Today I had to explain the concept of drawing straws.

It was during a scene in the sciency reward movie Deep Impact, when Tea Leoni gives up her seat on the rescue helicopter so Laura Innes and her movie daughter can live. Laura Innes, her ER Dr. Kerry Weaver karma catching up to her, draws the short straw. But selfless long-straw holder Tea, her cutthroat rival cable news anchor, lets Laura whisk her daughter away on the helicopter, rather than sitting on the sixteenth floor in the daycare room awaiting her doom, because her daughter, "...was always happy here."

I suppose nowadays kids do rock/paper/scissors. I've seen them at lunch, determining who takes back a stack of eight trays. And it's not like there would be any straws in a cafeteria. Are you kidding me? It's not like when you and I were in kindergarten, and they gave us those white paper straws to sip our half-pint of Foremost milk in the orange and white carton. Yeah. I know you're kidding me. Because now we don't have Foremost milk. We don't even have white milk. We have 1 percent chocolate or 1 percent strawberry milk. I doubt kids even know that milk comes out of a cow unflavored. I doubt kids even know that milk comes out of a cow.

Excuse me. I need to find more logs to stoke my fire.


  1. I can understand explaining it to children; I know adults who have no idea.

  2. Strawberry milk? Good grief. Your kids live high on the hog. What other delicacies do your students enjoy that we--in BigCityLand--are denied?

  3. No white milk??? My poor boy would die at that thought. That is the life blood and sustenance for that child. (I think the school keeps buying it just for him.) He drinks 2-3 little cartons a day! But we do have to order "white" milk when we are out on the town or he will always be brought chocolate. He would rather be parched in the Sahara than drink chocolate. Which is weird because he likes chocolate as a candy. But I guess he is a milk purist. He even judges milk and tells me when we have a good gallon and not to buy certain brands because they don't taste as good. And boy does he love whole milk!

  4. I never thought about it much, but kids today probably don't know about grabbing straws. I wonder what sayings they are currently using that we know nothing about.

  5. Linda,
    Good gracious! How do they decide who gets the good stuff? Do the meek simply let the squeaky wheels have it?

    I imagine you were denied super nachos today made with chicken that had an off taste. Not that I know from experience. I would never eat a school lunch during the last week.

    My boys refused to drink milk after infanthood. Not even chocolate. A colleague mentioned that her household goes through THREE GALLONS of milk PER WEEK. I think your boy should become a taste tester for milk. He could get paid for doing what he loves.

    My son is partial to "Nom nom nom!" I figured it out because he only does it when he's snatching food off my plate or out of my hand. So it must mean, "Look out, Mother, I'm about to claim your tasty treat as my own."