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The Ugly That Makes Us Human

Did you ever have one of those weeks where everything seems to go wrong, like your dogs eat a full bottle of anti-inflammatories you got because one started limping really badly, so you had to induce double vomiting to figure out who ate most? Then you had to take them to the emergency room for charcoal treatment and subcutaneous hydration leaving them looking like two little hunchbacks, one of which doesn’t even limp anymore?

Or did you ever have a seventeen year old diabetic cat who eats prescription food that comes in a shrink wrapped case of twenty-four cans? Were you ever in such a hurry that you just put it up on top of the stove until you got back, but the recuperating dogs figured out how to pull it down and tear open cans with their bleeding gums leaving shards of aluminum shimmering like the ripples on water during the last hour of sleep you just lost over the weekend? What about when you got your partner teacher a rabbit for the classroom and it chose to show only your friend his love and desire by spraying her clothing and not that of the other 38 people in the room so you had to dish out a couple hundred bucks to have it neutered or she'd give it away?

Yeah, it’s been one of those. I have a feeling the presidential candidates can understand. All three of them have been sent to the yoga mats to contemplate the repercussions that outside events and beings can have on one's life. I’ve tried to watch each one and figure out how they handle it when weeks like this come by, yank off the flag pins and poke them in the eyes with them.

What’s good about days like this? Ironically enough they can be unlikely equalizers. They remind us of how similar and vulnerable we are. Kids have days like these too. They get blamed for something a friend does, or maybe the whole class has to stay in from recess because somebody belched real loud on purpose and everyone started laughing but no one admitted doing it. It’s very hard to peel the layers efficiently to get to the truth of the matter, so a one-size-fits-not-fair-to-all judgment is made and administered. Punishing someone for the misdeeds of others is time effective and less complicating than getting to the facts can be.

Just as we, kids have days when nothing seems to goes right, when anger begets anger, when everyone else is dumb and when no one loves or understands them. On the same, only older hand, It’s not the rare employee who gravels up the voice, declares a well child ill or has a spouse reluctantly call in their sickness. We know when we’ve had enough of the real world.

I would say before you get to the point where you are even metaphorically downing vials of dog pills, ripping open cans with your teeth, saying stupid things to the press, or in front of a microphone, stop and do everyone a favor. As Pat Buchanan said so naturally to a fellow pundit twenty-four hours after he should have stayed home for a mental health day, “Just shut up.”

No matter how much we teachers complain about kids being absent, I’m all for a filter day once in a while. One day of peace and uncluttered thought can do wonders for the next days‘ replies. Kids in school are expected to behave well, participate, engage, volunteer, cooperate, self-control and accomplish all day every day. Adults have to drive the high road, measure words, edit, be professional, parental, measured and mature. Now tell me who in the hell can do that all the time. That’s just crazy thinking! Besides, show me one person on earth who wouldn’t lie, cheat or steal their way to personal gain all the while trying to convince people they are grown ups or congressmen, past attorneys general or even state governors. And kids? They are all a bunch of little liars just like we are only better. They play us like keyboards and we fall for it every time. They swear they aren’t tired and they are. They say they have to go to the bathroom and they don’t or that they don‘t and they did. They scream they hate us and they don‘t. No, not really. I could go on for pages, no make that volumes.

Whoa...someone needs a sick day.

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