Lying to the Young

All societies lie to their young. You sort of have to, for the same reason that translation is as the French have “betraying a little.”

I had to make my peace with that last while trying to tell mom something funny the kids had done, only it wasn’t funny in Portuguese, so I had to change it around.

For years I felt guilty over it, but it was the only way to communicate how very funny her grandkids were (and they were.)

And that was before we got into trying to explain to her how… you got jobs in the US, say, when Dan was unemployed, or why I had six novel contracts one year (not because I knew someone) or– All of it involved some level of “lying” so she would get what was going on, without my spending months on a graduate course on “how things work in the US.”

It’s kind of the same with kids. You can’t explain to your kid why this or that doesn’t work without lying a little. “No, you can’t ever fly, because you don’t have wings. You can only fly if you were born with wings.” Or “I can’t let you cook because it’s against the law to let your two year old turn on the gas stove.” (As opposed to “I don’t want you to burn down the house, kid,” which would lead to an argument for an hour. They still did it, and by four both were cooking for themselves, but it put it off another day.)

And there are the lies you tell them inadvertently, like the first time our 5 year old came to us crying his eyes out because the police were going to come arrest him. You see, the computer had performed and illegal operation and shut down and–

Or until 18 my older son thought it as illegal to park in front of houses not your own. We figured this out as he was driving all over creation in the maze of little streets in Denver named after presidents, and we were going “Son, the lecture was back three blocks.” “Yes, but I’m looking for a place to park that’s not illegal.” Us: “Er…. what?”

How he’d arrived to this conclusion: We lived in a downtown neighborhood, and only had space for two cars in the driveway. This meant our friends often parked alongside the house, so he figured that was okay. It belonged to us. However, we had an insane next door neighbor whose favorite pastime was to park ACROSS OUR DRIVEWAY. And in such a way that it blocked both of us coming out. Now, most of the time that didn’t matter on weekends, but sometimes we did have to drive somewhere, and then we’d ring their doorbell and if they didn’t answer, we’d call the police. (They weren’t being annoying on purpose. They were just stupid. They were renting the bottom half of the house, which meant that the driveway was taken up by the other renters. And they were AFRAID to park in front of our house, because they came home at night, and they’d heard someone had got stabbed on that corner. Which absolutely was right. Sometime in the seventies. When we lived there, you had a greater chance of having the next door dog run up for pets than of being stabbed.) So, he deduced “parking in front of other people’s houses was illegal.” Add to that times like when we went to see fireworks, and neighborhoods near the park were fully parked, except for the areas with yellow stripes, and Dan would go “I’d park there, but it’s illegal” and he got “oh, parking in front of other people’s houses is definitely illegal.” We only caught this two years into his driving himself around, and it made me wonder how many hikes that poor kid had gone on.

And sometimes the things they infer from what they were never told is life endangering. Like when we were driving back from Manitou, I think and the kid, at 15, was putting in his “drivers’ training” by driving with me in the passenger’s seat (let alone that it was nightfall and I couldn’t see very well. Still can’t. Night blind.) We get to an intersection downtown, and the light turns green, and the kid makes a left turn IN FRONT OF ONCOMING TRAFFIC.

After we got to the other side and I calmed my heart attack down, I was like “What on Earth possessed you?” And he was like “What? It was green and left has right of way.” (He’d gotten confused on protected and unprotected lefts. The fact I remember this 16 years later tells you just how terrifying it was. I think I put holes on the seat fabric. I still don’t understand how we didn’t get hit by the three lanes of oncoming cars. There was much tire squealing and I’m sure a lot of creative cursing, too.)

These things happen. You see, kids …. don’t have the life experience to interpret a lot of stuff. They are little aliens in the world, and everything is new. And they want to please you and be “real adults” so badly. It’s like an innate drive.

So they take not only what you tell them, but a lot of inferences about what you didn’t say. Like I remember being convinced the kids next door were evil. Were they? Oh, no. But they were poor and their parents were both alcoholics, so the kids were …. less than clean, in a place and time when bathing took time and effort and determination. (Heating the water, filling the tub pot by pot and afterwards dragging the tub out, emptying it, etc. Heck even washing in a basin with a sponge took time and effort (including heating the water so you didn’t hate every second of the experience) and it took buying soap instead of wine, now and then.) My parents were terrified I’d get lice. I had knee-long hair, (I have a picture of myself at ten, dressed in only my hair, and it’s not even mildly kiddy porn. Nothing showed. I often ran around — till I had it cut at 11 — in only panties and my hair, leading to my brother’s giving me the nickname “Lady G”) and it was heck to get rid of lice (I caught them twice, I think. I’m still terrified of them, and still recognize the signs in people’s hair. It was so unpleasant to get rid of them. And yes saw them a couple of years ago. A lady in the Denver Cathedral downtown. Not badly dressed, but looked profoundly depressed.) But I was a kid. My parents allowed me to play with other dirt-poor kids, including one that practically lived at our house and followed me around everywhere. So– The only reason they wouldn’t let them play with those other kids must be they were evil. My youngest cosmogony was composed of the “evil next door.” Because those poor kids were dirty and neglected.

Why is this important?

The left, all of them, collectively periodically lose their minds over the “we can’t teach about alternate genders to 5 year olds, and what if the kids that age feel isolated and get depressed because they aren’t standard boys/girls?” Or “Why can’t they read homosexual romance in middle school? Some of them are already gay. Isn’t that indoctrinating them into heterosexuality?” Or “Why can’t we teach them that the white race did all these evil things so they don’t grow up to do them again?”

And all of this would make some sense — not a ton, no. For instance, the reason Europe colonized the world and not the other way around had nothing to do with being evil, but with a bunch of …. accidents of industrial and civic development at the time. And they did no more evil than the other races when they conquered (For an eye full I recommend The Washing of the Spears about the Zulu conquest of Africa. They perpetrated landscape-changing slaughter unequaled till WWI) — if you buy into their premises. And what could it hurt to give kids the information to cope with perhaps a distressing situation?

Well… what it could hurt is that you’re lying to them, and they’re not lies that will make them more functional.

Look, I have gay friends. Yes, okay, my religion forbids it, and if I had the slightest chance of sinning that way, I would have tried to fight it. Since it holds no attraction for me, I find a ton of other ways to sin (TRUST ME. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. I laugh at the idea of sainthood, ever. I’m studying to the test and hoping to make it into purgatory.)

So, it’s a sin, but it’s not the worst sin. And we’re all sinners together. And some of my friends are much, much holier than I am despite that sin. (And consciously so. Yes, I have weird friends. Deal.)

I hate “gay activists” as I hate “Latin activists” or “Women activists” but that has nothing to do with the real people, just trying to live their lives.

I don’t think we shouldn’t write books with gay protagonists. Even books with YOUNG gay protagonists. (It would come nicely from me, considering what I’ve written already, and not counting the planned stuff. Including the half-finished book with a gay high school student. (Who to be fair is more worried about breakthroughs from the dungeon dimension.))

What I object to is having MOST books accessible to kids be about gay relationships. Or worse, most of the ASSIGNED books. Or having the teacher explain to kindergartners that they get to pick their own pronouns and that no one knows if they’re boys or girls. And that if they’re at all non-standard, they are the other sex and should do life-hampering changes at that age.

Because kids make inferences, in addition to the things you tell them. They are DESIGNED to try to infer things, so they fit into human society faster. Also, their brains are designed for human life about 10k years ago, when things were simpler. (Yeah, designed/evolved for. Deal. It’s a short-cut handle-word.)

So when you show them more examples of one thing than the other, they assume these things are NORMAL. And the other must be forbidden and looked down up. Being “cis-het” is definitely not what the teachers like, right? They are so encouraging to all the kids who say they are ‘really’ something completely different.

Then there is the white thing. All white people are evil, right? Look how they oppressed other people. And because they teach the Warts-only version of American history and other countries prettify theirs, the US must be the ONLY and MOST evil country on Earth. (Yeah. Then they hit the streets shouting “No America at all.” Unaware their rainbow persona would get them killed anywhere else in the world.)

… All societies lie to their kids. They usually lie to them in a way that will make the kids more functional/adapted.

Yes, that means if you don’t mention gay people at all, young gay people will have trouble coming to terms with their sexuality. And some, yes, might choose to live closeted their entire lives.


How is it better to convince kids, the vast majority of which will be straight, because yes, evolution, that they should be gay, and if they aren’t it’s something to lie about, or invent a new persona about, so you’re not that cis-het evil thing?

How does this benefit the new generation, growing up? You might as well run around telling them that left unprotected turns have the right of way.

Because here’s the thing: those kids are still going to be boys or girls. And the overwhelming majority of them are still going to be straight. WHY do you want them to go through life feeling guilty and hiding what they are?

AHAH! You say. But you want to do that to gay kids.

No. Not especially. But that’s a talk for parents or close-to-kids adults to have when they’re older. Now I know it varies with where you live, but it’s the 21st century and gay marriage is legal. I very much doubt that people don’t know someone who is gay and someone who is gay and married, at least in their extended cycle.

The conversation with the kids is best had under “Oh, yeah. Mike is married to Bill. Yeah, I know it’s not the average thing, but it happens sometimes. Some people just fall in love with the same sex they are.”

Note, no details on what goes on behind closed doors are needed, unless you are in the habit of telling your kids “Yes, Uncle Bob and Aunt Lucinda are married. That means at night, they get in bed and he–” Which I can’t imagine, even to eighteen year olds. Heck, I wouldn’t have that conversation with my kids now, and they are ADULTS.

Do they need extremely detailed descriptions, or as one YA book in the library that parents are objecting to: DRAWINGS? Seriously?

Trust me, as someone who grew up in a restricted culture, and whose parents would rather commit seppuku than give her “the talk”, I figured all the basics by eight, from listening and making inferences, and I was well into figuring out all the side avenues and possible perversions by 14. (No, not in practicality. Bless your heart. I didn’t even get kissed till 18. But– Well, it helped that I had access — in a friend’s house — to a beautiful, illustrated encyclopedia of Greek and Roman Myth. Or, as we call it around the house “perversions A-go-go. I’m still puzzled by the illustration of Ganymede and the Eagle. Given bird anatomy, I don’t think it would be po– Okay, never mind.)

And yeah, gay kids might feel like they stick out. Mostly because they do. The majority won’t be like them. That frankly doesn’t make them any different than kids who are too poor, too rich, too smart, too stupid, too creative, too autistic to be average.

Those cases have to be dealt with one on one, not by lying to all the kids at once, and making gay kids think they’re average, except the other kids still make fun of them, or hetero kids feel they’re wrong, except they’re still what they are, or–

Yes, that stuff should be dealt with, but it should be dealt with one on one, and with careful talks about how to live as an Odd in the normal world. (Admittedly everyone, even the most “normal” person needs this for something, even if it’s just loving anchovies on their pizza.)

Yeah, some of the kids won’t have anyone who can do that. And? Some of the kids are screwed no matter what you do. Fortunately they are a small minority, and a lot of those come to a good place too, eventually, after struggles.

I’m quite at home with my oddities now at almost sixty. And it wasn’t all h*ll along the way. And the lice-infested kids who used to live next door to me all got married and have decent (more decent than their parents lives) lives.

Schools are not instruments of mass-lying-to-kids. Other than “you should feel safe here” and teaching them the basics and what we know to be facts (which might or might not leave aside History until they’re MUCH older and can argue) they should leave the kids alone.

You shouldn’t lie to the young, of course. But you have to, to some extent, to simplify things so they get it.

What you shouldn’t do was pack the kids heads full of non-functional nonsense, and make them feel they “should be” things they aren’t, and things that frankly will make their lives harder.

Sometimes I feel school assignment lists are the losers of the previous generation trying to justify themselves. It would explain all the never end of the “The Vietnam war was wrong and I was totally correct in being a draft dodger” that my kids were forced to read in middle and high school (A lot of it outright lies.) It was like people who were starting to suspect they had done real evil and were trying to justify themselves to kids who didn’t know any better, so they had a sort of ideological bodyguard around them.

The current insanity might very well be the result of the free-love-never-have-kids generation trying to get over their own regrets.

I don’t care. The kids are not your wailing wall, or your confessional. They don’t exist to make you feel better or grant you absolution.

If you feel that bad, go to confession. The priest might be confused, but most of them will talk you through the mess in your head.

Just don’t pass your bolus of guilt and dysfunctional onto the kids and destroy the future with it.

284 thoughts on “Lying to the Young

  1. I’m reminded of how equity always seems to solve, say, height differences, by dogging holes for the taller people to stand in.

    Because if nobody can see, no-one is disadvantaged by being blind…

    1. Yep. These are the people who take “Harrison Bergeron” as a how-to rather than a horrible example.

      Reminds me of the church “elder” (in age, not in temperament) who proclaimed that our buying a new car was bad, because we should have bought one for the church. Presumably for the use of said elder… OTOH, this is in a town where if you don’t have to go to the food bank for groceries, “you’re rich”. On the gripping hand, most people in town gave said elder a wide berth. Locking the door for an evening bible study might have been a bit much, but understandable.

        1. I recall Niven and Pournelle’s Inferno and the resting place of K. Vonnegut.

          So it goes. /snerk

          1. I remember L. Ron Hubbard’s sarcophagus, but not Kurt Vonnegut’s situation.
            Benito: “He’s trapped in there, and you’re out here. Do you envy him?”

            1. I must have had that book in paperback; no longer in the library. IIRC, “So it goes” was a neon sign attached to the sarcophagus.

      1. Locking the door for an evening bible study might have been a bit much, but understandable.


        1. Something about how his interpretation (of his favorite translation–KJV) was The Only Way To Consider It.

          He was the clerk of the congregation for a while, when we were without a minister. Board meetings were, er, difficult. Eventually, I had to quit to stop the literal heart pains. AFIB and stress ain’t a good match.

        2. “I’m studying to the test and hoping to make it into purgatory.”

          So are most of us, I suspect. You might not have good company, but you’ll have plenty of it.

    2. In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. So we will put out the eyes of all we meet, and we will have no king. (Picture a blind mob going for your eyes as metaphor for both the menace and incompetence of our current elite)

      Procrustes for DEI coordinator.

        1. Eh, that’s a stretch, but I’ll allow it (don’t want to get cut off by the hostess).

            1. I still wonder if there’s not a mole or twenty somewhere in the org. There are entirely too many coincidences like that.

              Well. Either that, or Himself is gently prodding his people a bit. We know he’s not doing the flood thing anymore.

              1. Right. Next time will be fire. And note: apparently we recently dodged a major Coronal Mass Ejection event . . .

            2. That’s what they say, but Division, Iniquity, Exclusion is what they actually do.

                1. Get them drunk enough either on spirits or power and they will expound at great length as to how much healthier Mother Gaia would be if we could only rid her of 90% of the human infestation. And naturally their core belief system requires their unshakable belief that they are by rights in the remaining 10%.

                  1. Like so many things, this only proves that they do not truly hold the proposition that they demand you kowtow to. If they really believed it, they would show the strength of their faith by offing themselves. Would not such personal martyrdom show the world how right they are?

                  2. Does always seem to work that way, doesn’t it? My preference would be to get them drunk (et seq) on methanol; we get to stop hearing them and they get the population reduction they claim to want. A win-win!

      1. > “In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. So we will put out the eyes of all we meet, and we will have no king.”

        …And then there’s no one to warn you when you’re about to walk off a cliff.

  2. How hard is it to say, “You’re not a bird, so you can’t fly without mechanical assistance. Learning to use a flying machine is hard work, and dangerous. Even experienced aviators sometimes crash and die.”

    Or, “You have a lot to learn before you can use a stove safely. I don’t want you to get burned.”

    Or even, “Because I’m the mom and I said so. You’ll understand when you’re older.”
    Dayna: “Don’t you ever get tired of being right all the time?”
    Avon: “No, I get tired of other people being wrong.”

    1. Mostly I said the last. But the first is way too complex for a two year old.
      And the second/ you don’t want the sophistry that would follow. Older son would argue to the death over it.

        1. Imaginos, all I can say is that if you have a kid, he is NOT like older son, the Deputy of Disputation, the Seneschal of Speaking, the Lord of Lamentations.
          Trust me. I STILL don’t get “No, trust me on this” to work, even though he’s older and he KNOWS he should trust me on this.

          1. My number two son, Duke of Debate, Marquess of Moot, Count of Counterexample, Viscount verbosity, Baron Bicker,

            Number one son is an immovable object and my daughter an irresistible force in her own quiet, unrelenting way. just like her mum.

            1. Oh, Older son is the easy one. Younger son is my male clone, which means 90% mule. If you try pushing, instead of persuading, he puts all four hooves down and digs in.
              Against his stubbornness, the gods themselves strive in vain. But he doesn’t argue. He just STARES.

              1. I know a few parents who have stated that had their youngest been the first born the kid would have been an only child. Also proved that curse of “may you have one just like you” is prophecy for at least one of the parents (if not both).

                  1. Sometimes the prophecy isn’t noticeable until well past the adorable infant/toddler/early childhood years. Manifesting in the teen years. I might have apologized to mom a few hundred or thousand times.

                    1. My sister saw herself and me in my oldest Niece and Nephew (my sister’s oldest children).

                      When she said that my response was “poor guy” about my Nephew. 😉

                1. I think the younger son is BOTH of our punishments. That said, Dan works best with him. He has practice with me.
                  And I want to point out I LOVE HIM MADLY (Both of them.) We just are either on a rampage together, or we rub each other ALL the wrong ways.

                2. In my defense, I was told in no uncertain terms when child #1 was a year old that his birth was a miracle of nature and it was impossible for us to have another child. Period. Sad, but also a relief in many ways. He was a handful. Four hands full in fact.

                  11 months later his younger brother was born. “Ha!” I looked at baby brother resting peacefully in his bassinet in the hospital and thought, “So it IS him, and not me.

                  After that, and many other stupid pronouncements by the medical field, we decided to let God do His magic. Never regretted it.

                  Well not for more than a couple of years or so.

                  1. In my defense, I was told in no uncertain terms when child #1 was a year old that his birth was a miracle of nature and it was impossible for us to have another child. Period.

                    You and my sister. They were told her tubes are blocked. They tried IVF (this was 34 years ago, while there were successes, not common … their second child just had her first via IVF, first try). IVF for sister failed twice. They adopted (got off cheap by comparisons from someone else we know who adopted). Three years later their first biological child was born (BIL just said “cheaper than the first one”). Five total pregnancies, two miscarriage (tubal), resulting in 3 live births, in the 9 years after the adoption (all girls). Now they have two SIL, one SIL to be, and one significant other (not officially engaged, yet), and 4 grandchildren.

                    Us. One miracle. We weren’t granted additional ones. OTOH BC was cheap (didn’t bother).

              2. Hm… Now I know we’re not related, but that could very well have been me, gone thirty years ago. Or thirty minutes ago.

                There exist tales somewhere that I was at least a halfway biddable child for a brief period. I suspect these to be rose tinted goggles, going by what I remember and what I know.

                This being yet another reason not to have children. If kids are the curse upon the parents for their previous behavior, one of us would not survive. And I’m not entirely sure that that would be a joke…

                1. I would never be a good mother. Kids are like toys–I want to put them away when I’m done playing with them.

                  1. Your emotional reaction to your own might surprise you; it’s hardwired in most. But on the off chance that you’re correct avoidance might be advisable. Only you can decide.

                  2. Lauren, I highly recommend godparenting in that case. Because that’s pretty much what you do with godkids. You get to give them back when you’re done! Kind of like grandparenting, as I understand it.

                    I used to want kids, but past 39 is a bit too old to do it right, I think. Well, that and any kid of mine would be too much like me and we’d probably murder each other at some point.

                    1. Better–I get to be an AUNT. Perfect world. I can play with them, spoil them, teach them, then send them home. At 50 and single, chances of having any of my own are slim to none, and I’m fine with that.

                    2. At 50, single or not, you’re almost certainly right, so please ignore my previous comment. Parenting is not for anyone who’ll reach retirement age before the kid graduates HS.

                    3. Nonsense. I had my daughter at 44. An old friend of mine from back home had his first at 46.

                      Just make sure to get lots and lots of sleep during the pregnancy.

                    4. Nonsense. I had my daughter at 44. An old friend of mine from back home had his first at 46.

                      My obgyn and his wife were 42.

                      I gave birth once at just-barely-36 and once at 40 and I’m 42 now and wildly ambivalent over whether to try again.

                    5. Try. It’s better than to regret not trying.
                      I don’t even regret the miscarriages. I regret the “never tried” years (mostly because we were both working crazy hours.) I’d like to have had one… or ten more.

                    6. Assuming “retirement age” is the usual 65, you might note that none of those ages apply to my comment… 🙂

                  3. I’m not into kids or babies. But it was completely different with my own (and with my grandchildren, though I had to work at it a little; it didn’t come as naturally.) Love develops from taking care of your children.

    2. When one of our sons went to college, we bought him a cap that announced: Those of you who think you know everything are very annoying to those of us who do.
      He waited a semester, until he had established his bona fides, before wearing it.

    3. Sure, you can fly. I’ll teach you. Stand on the ground and flap your arms real hard. When you can get both feet off the ground at the same time and keep them there until I count to three. you’ll be ready for the next lesson. (For this purpose, knees and backside also count as feet…)

      1. Works until the kid realizes that they’ll have more airtime (and thus more time to reach a count of three) if they start from higher up…

        1. Covered that. There’s a reason the first lesson begins “stand on the ground” 8-). It won’t work if you skip to the second…

                  1. I’d rather they not kill themselves as a priority over experimentation.

                    They are already very natural hands at figuring things out, giving them the tools to survive doing so is important.

                    1. The benefits of increasing hang time are likely to be discouraging long before becoming fatal. Especially if there are penalties for violating flight safety regulations. (This is why parents traditionally impose lesser penalties when the natural ones are unacceptably severe…)

                    2. Or I just don’t give them instructions on “how to fly” that are known-bad, and instead teach them that when I say no, it is not time to argue.

                      Which incidentally also works for dealing with animals, traffic, and electricity.

              1. :laughing:

                K, this just happened, so I had to share as An Example.

                5 year old, with a little slinkie, walks up and is bouncing it. He wants me to see, so he starts hitting me with it.
                “Chief, do not hit me.”
                “K!” Turns, walks across room, straight at baby.
                “Do not hit your brother.”
                Makes slight course adjustment.
                Or your sisters.”
                Wanders off in a different direction again, still jiggling the slinkie…..

                1. You got pets? My bet is he’s headed there next 🙂 . Sonds like my younger daughter at about that age…

                    1. Cats will enforce things themselves. But the dog isn’t allowed to. She can warn, giving an adult a chance to intervene, move away, retreat into her safe place (kennel), but she can’t enforce. Not that we have little kids at home anymore. But we do have great-nieces and great-nephews around at holidays. Luckily their dogs are a lot larger than ours. They know proper dog interaction rules. It was interesting when 2nd oldest was less than one, and the first time our dog had been around an infant. They did great. Constant tag. Nose nudge, you are it, from dog. Head pat, you are it, from the crawling infant. All the adults had to do was make sure to not trip on either one. By the time everyone went home, exhausted infant, exhausted dog.

                    2. Our boys are brilliant about being nice when they enforce “I said no.”

                      We’ve had the three year old come over screaming because “I was bit!”
                      …the old cat soft-mouthed her, didn’t even scratch with his teeth, much less do a bite.

                      But it worked!

                    3. Our original pair of cats – acquired in Athens when my daughter was three and half were … curiously OK about being mauled by my daughter. They would just sit back and take it. The two, Bagheera and Patchie were just kittens when I found them – dumped by a guy in a car on the street. I took them home, of course, since I am a softie. Rigged up a bottle-feeding mechanism for them … and my daughter basically treated them as her living stuffed toys from them on. ” Sweetie, don’t treat them that way – they will scratch!”
                      Yeah, never did.
                      One of the pair got a feces mess all over it’s hindquarters, one day. Washed in the bathroom sink, carefully in warm water. I had scratches all over my wrists.
                      Caught the Daughter Unit with the other kitten, being plunged in ice-cold water in the same sink. Daughter: “Needs a bath too, Mommy!” Not a mark on her.
                      The kitten may have been simply stunned by cold water. But in any case, Patchie lived until my daughter graduated from Parris Island. A good cat, who lived in five different homes with us.

                    4. You probably did this, but anyone else trying to do this– run the warm water in another room, and bring the cat to the non-flowing water.

                    5. Indeed and a five year old should know well enough not to tangle in that fashion with a cat 🙂 ^.^ A dog I would be less certain of its response as its never clear where a dog thinks human puppies of the Alpha’s of the pack lie in the chain of command.

                    6. A good plan especially if the dog isn’t yours. Then YOU are not the alpha of the pack and how well the owner has trained the animal varies. Some people (especially with small dogs) do NOT enforce the fact that the human is always Alpha. So you get snippy ill behaved mop dogs because they are spoiled and think they run the joint.

                    7. Mom told a story about a neighbor with a cat that tended to bite and scratch. They couldn’t break the habit. Then the child’s mother is in the kitchen (Mom was apparently visiting, but since I didn’t experience it first hand I can’t say) and they hear a blood curdling scream from the living room. The cat comes tearing into the kitchen and straight through the screen door.

                      The neighbor runs into the living room and asks her daughter what happened to the kitty. The kid says “He bited me, and I bited him back.”

                      Apparently the cat never bit again…

                    8. My mother had a livestock guardian dog with all the LGD traits turned up to 11. She watched Mom’s reaction to 2-month-old kid on her first visit, promptly decided “The Puppy is the most important thing in the universe” and watched her like a hawk all weekend. After bedtime, she would lie down under the baby monitor and alert us if the baby so much as snuffled.

            1. Ah, but then you could point out that birds cheat. They get issued wings and feathers. So do bats, but they get wings, too. Nature is so unfair…

            1. Well, there’s the time I was looking for my three older boys in the yard. I could hear them but not see them. Finally looked up and they were on the roof, each with a bedsheet. They were going to parachute off the roof onto the concrete patio two stories below.

              They were my good bedsheets too.

              1. Everybody knows the good sheets make the best parachutes! 😀
                It’s dark here. You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  3. And, this same screwery is being done to older kids.

    Tertiary education has long had a few issues there, and seems to be having a much worse period.

    The education majors, having worked to ruin primary and secondary education, disparately ruining those clusters of individuals that the left has less contested access to, is trying to ‘fix’ the results by meddling at the tertiary level. With ‘evidence based’ modifications perhaps as sane as ‘evidence based medicine’.

    Considering everything, how enthusiastically the bastards are rolling this stuff out, I am pretty sure sure that there have been for years some lunatic believers in this stuff tucked in all corners of academia slowly working on destroying students. Crazies who would deliberately lie to white students, and male students, trying to convince them that they were not college material.

  4. One of the toughest things I learned as a parent is that sometimes you have to be a little bit hardhearted. In spite of heartrending wails and screams, for the good of the child, not to mention the whole family, you must say no and stick to it. Why? because reality is even tougher. My son hated to hear me say “You’re not the only pebble on the beach”. I kept saying it anyway, because it’s true. We live in a society and there are other people whose wants and needs have to be considered. “You will wear that seat belt. We aren’t going anywhere until you do.” Because I’m trying to spare you the much more painful consequences of getting thrown around if we do get in an accident. But he wasn’t old enough to understand or believe that, so “Because I’m your dad and I said so.” Because children understand size, strength, and authority long before they understand reason, and it’s pathetic to argue with a toddler and lose. And sometimes, “It’s part of my job to make rules to keep you safe until you’re big enough to do it yourself.”
    As far as gay sex, cold hard reality says that biologically, males cannot reproduce with males and females cannot reproduce with females. You may prefer the gratifying sensation of same-on-same but it won’t perpetuate the species, and it isn’t “just as good”, and anyone who says different is trying to sell you something. Whether you want even to perpetuate the species is another matter.
    Likewise, you can lop off parts and do irreversible damage, but you can’t swap ovaries (and all the associated plumbing) for testes (and associated plumbing). You can give hormone cocktails and treatments to give you the appearance of the opposite sex, but it won’t change the reality encoded in your cells and built from your brain and bones out, and again, anyone who says different is a liar. Screams, death threats, and persecution notwithstanding.
    And if you get someone in the public schools that is teaching these lies, and especially concealing it from parents, they have abused the trust that parents put in them. Such teachers need to be expelled forthwith, or the children should be pulled from the system, whichever is most expedient.

      1. No social structure survives that destroys itself.

        Geeze, I sound like the Department of Redundancy Department. That it even needs saying speaks to the silliness of our times…

    1. I have a carefully curated stock of cautionary tales. Seatbelts—well, there was the time we got rear-ended thirty feet out of the parking lot by an afternoon drunk.

      Some of the tales are darker and aren’t meant for kids, like the story of the family that died in the mountains last year. That one stays with the Hiking Merit Badge, because the “experienced hiker” father made one literally fatal mistake (not verifying the conditions of the trail) and three compounding errors, of which the worst was not turning back.

      But anyway. I’m not shy about pointing out the specific bad issues that happen if you don’t listen. And yeah, you still get the toddler grabbing the incandescent lightbulb. He never did anything like that again…

      1. $HOUSEMATE spent 17 years doing volunteer EMS/Paramedic (so I find it HILARIOUS when when idiots claim $HOUSEMATE thinks only of self…) and in all that time unbuckled a whopping grand total of THREE patients. Two were just too stunned to move, but physically fine or close. The third? Just barely alive. But ALIVE! [Cue Miracle max scene…]

        1. I once read an EMT’s article about why you should wear your seatbelt. Said EMT was from Maryland, where seatbelts are not the law, so he had multiple examples.

          He started off with “First the windshield removes your face,” and if I hadn’t been a dedicated seatbelt wearer before, that line alone would have done it.

          1. When I finally got pregnant naturally I’d heard all kinds of horror stories about pregnancy and seat belts. I asked my OBGYN. His answer: “Most pregnancies end in car accidents because the mother died because she wasn’t seat belted in.” I wore my seat belt.

            1. If you have it across your hips, UNDER your belly, then the force goes to your skeletal frame as it should and not the squishy parts of the body.

  5. I have to laugh, because the first third or so of the post reminded me how Mama Raptor once inadvertently traumatized me for YEARS with a simple, desperate admonition.

    I don’t remember where exactly we were (I want to say on vacation in Washington D.C.), but I was maybe 4-5 years old at the time. We were in a public place, in a crowd, and I saw a man with enormous ears walk by. Seriously, that guy would’ve put Dumbo the Elephant to shame.

    So, me being the young preschooler that I was, exclaimed in that they-heard-you-five-counties-over way that only young preschoolers can, “LOOK MOMMY! THAT MAN HAS BIG EARS!” Mama Raptor immediately informed the that, “You can’t say things like that!” And me, being somewhat snarky at that age, asked, “Why, will the police come and take me to jail?” And Mama Raptor, in a desperate bid to get me to stop talking, said, “YES!”

    What Mama Raptor didn’t realize was that I had mistaken her panicked desperation to get me to shut up before I continue the increasingly-embarrassing spectacle for genuine fear that the police would, in fact, swoop in and take me to jail.

    So I spent the next few years utterly convinced that the cops would come and arrest me for it. Every time I heard a police siren, I was certain that they’d found me and were coming for me. Eventually, I learned enough about the police and the law to realize that Mama Raptor had been lying, and I got over it.

    Finally shared the anecdote with the family a few years back. Mama Raptor didn’t remember it (No surprise since it’s pushing 30 years ago), but she agreed that it’s something she probably would’ve said to get me to please shut up! She was kind of mortified, but the rest of us had a good laugh about it.

    1. Giggle. Yes, you do these things to your kids, without meaning to.
      Look, some of the stuff I misunderstood I was fifty before I figured out it wasn’t true. Fortunately it wasn’t a big confusion.

      1. When I was, I think, four I somehow heard that certain diseases came from your genes.

        Didn’t wear denim for two years. Told nobody about it. Only learned better when I started taking biology classes in school.

  6. @ Sarah > “After we got to the other side and I calmed my heart attack down —”
    While not having exactly the same stories in our family of five boys (only one of whom even approaches neurotypical), we certainly have analogous ones (including about him).
    I could write a book…..

    1. Our most hilarious moment teaching older son to drive was when we were in Manitou Springs (those people in COLORADO a couple of decades ago, know exactly why it made it funnier) and came to an unmarked intersection at the bottom of a hill, at the same time as another car. My husband helpfully told older son “Wave to him.”
      And son did. Wave. In the “yoo-hoo sailor” kind of way.
      The poor guy looked completely confused, as Dan and I waved him through while laughing hard enough to choke.
      Son meanwhile was trying to explain, “You said WAVE!”

        1. C and I have established the convention that when we’re in the car, I never say “right” to mean “correct” or “exactly.”

          1. Yup when I was teaching Elder Daughter to drive she asked a question I said right and there was a fork shortly after of which she took the right arm. Being in general terror (early training and with a manual) I managed not to notice we had diverged from my intended course. After about 10-15 minutes I realized I did not know where we were. Had her pull over, took over the driving and and it was about 10 more minutes before I fished us out of the wilds of Boxford and Haverhill to a state route I recognized and knew where it went.

      1. I learned years ago NOT to wave. That’s giving traffic direction, and as I’m not a Law Enforcement Officer I’m not legally permitted to do so, and any bad results (say, someone coming behind me and going around as I’m stopped) are my liability.

        I’m really, really good at sitting at an intersection looking like a dumb trucker, still as a stone, until the other person gets out of my way. I’ve had too many people do stupid crap around me to not expect Ivanova’s BOOM!

        1. (say, someone coming behind me and going around as I’m stopped)

          Annndddd someone found out that passing on the left, single lane two way traffic, and there is an accident, the person doing the passing is in the wrong. Period. End of discussion. Not getting bullied by their insurance company. They took it arbitration, well, we forced it. 2% “our fault” because no one is “100% at fault”. (Wanna bet. Doesn’t matter, the other insurance paid and we weren’t assigned fault.) Hubby was turning left on a neighborhood street where both sides of the street had parked cars. Driver passed on left where a driveway kept someone from parking (duh) otherwise, there was no room to pass, or even room for meeting an oncoming car. (Technically turning left has to do so safely too. But the vehicle in front has the right of way. Problem major when at highway speeds. Less so when neighborhood < 20 mph speeds. Although the person hitting us was also speeding, technically, just not high speed.)

          But I do get your reasoning.

  7. I had the very valuable experience of having toddler and teens at the very same time. One day the toddler was having a screaming tantrum on the floor in the kitchen because I wouldn’t let him have a box of strike anywhere matches.

    Meanwhile, his 16 year old brother was in the living room hollering and rampaging around about how I was ruining his life because I wouldn’t let him go on a boy/girl overnight camping trip with his friends and had confiscated his keys.

    No. Just NO. Did I stutter? NOOOO.

    No point in trying to discuss anything with either one.

    1. If a kid is throwing a tantrum, I insist that the kid NOT SMILE.

      Did you hear me? No smiling! I’m serious! You are not to smile!

      When done properly, it all but guarantees that the kid will be smiling within a few minutes. The kid doesn’t want to smile
      The kid wants to throw a temper tantrum. But the smile and attitude change comes anyway.

      1. Kid in the grocery store last week, screaming bloody murder. I walk up and say “Can you hear that? Listen.” Kid stops crying, listening. “It stopped.” Dad chokes with suppressed laughter.

        1. During my kid’s very last temper tantrum, I complimented her on her back-arching skills. Cue preschool confusion. “Ooooh, that’s GOOD stomping. Can you stomp harder?” “Nice! But I bet you can’t stomp to the door.” “Let’s stomp to the car.”

          1. I stole Sarah’s trick of grading the tantrum. “Ooooh, very moist, nice tears and snot. But that floor pounding is distinctly subpar. You aren’t going to make it to the state tantruming finals like that.”

  8. I had the valuable experience of having a toddler and teens in my house at the same time. One day the toddler was having a screaming on the floor tantrum because I wouldn’t give him a box of strike anywhere matches.

    Meanwhile, in the living room, his 16 year old brother was rampaging around and hollering I was ruining his life because I wouldn’t let him go on a boy/girl camping trip with his friends and had confiscated his keys.

    No. Just no. Did I stutter? NOOOO!

    There was no point in trying to reason with either one of them.

  9. It’s possible to be right, and wrong at the same time.

    We were talking to our pre-teen kids after dinner, say about ‘balancing a checkbook’. This is a useful skill, well within the arithmetic capabilities they had, and an important bit of practical knowledge when you move out and live on your own. (Yes, that skill has been overtaken by events.)

    ‘move out and live on your own’ is not a thought ~12 and ~9 were ready to entertain. I think they were a bit broken for some years after. Once-9 is out and OK. Once-12 had to be pushed out of the nest, and is self-supporting and at no risk of jail, so really can’t complain these days.

    But I think a bit of lying by delay would have been in order.

    1. Mom would threaten to sell us to the circus. I don’t think I even knew what a circus was.

        1. My mother got so peeved at my dad and I bickering one day that she said she was leaving. She grabbed a small suitcase and headed out the door. I was in utter panic being about 5. I was in tears. Dad was trying to calm me down and we started to leave my parents bedroom when he looked out the window (which I was far to short to see out) and started laughing. I was even more outraged, did he not know this was serious. My mom had hidden out behind our garage. and he waved her back in. I was rather irate for several days thinking this was NOT funny.

      1. I’m old enough it was the Gypsies. Occasionally it was “You can’t sell children anymore, but there’s nothing about give away or long-term loan.”

        1. I did get sent off to aunt and uncles ranch, 3 summers in a row. But … Horses, so not sure it conveyed the intended message.

          1. No horses, but my uncle’s farm did have a zipline, and dirt bikes.

            Years later, a conversation between uncle and cousin:
            C: why does my son smell like diesel fuel?
            U: I am going to be in so much trouble when he learns to talk.

            1. To be fair. I think what my parents were trying to convey is that horses are a lot more work than fun. Message NOT received. I might have been a bit horse crazy in my youth. Still am, for that matter. As an adult, my problem is apparently didn’t want a horse bad enough to make the sacrifices we needed. Either we didn’t have the Money, or we didn’t have the Time. Also big animals tie one down. Now, with my knees I couldn’t ride if I wanted to.

          1. “Your mother is still young. We could have another one. This time we’ll them them what happened to the last one. With pictures and everything. You sure you want to become an object lesson to your future sibling? If so, we shall respect your sacrifice.”

        2. @ TXRed > “there’s nothing about give away or long-term loan.””

          My favorite come-back line to people who would ask, incredulously (outside Utah anyway): “Are all of those kids yours??”
          Me: “No, I checked them out of the library.”

          1. Our first were twins, boy and girl. Go into the store – “Are they twins” “No. we just found one in the parking lot and said, ‘Why not?’”

        3. My wife and I always joked 1-800 gogypsy was the number. There were times when elder daughter was an infant with colic we might almost have paid to have the Gypsys take her. Luckily for her (and for us) we endured

      2. Given US circuses today, that would be terrifying, but Ringling Brothers was still in business back then. (Supposedly will be back in 2023, but I’m no longer interested.)

        This was not an ‘or else’ conversation, just a casual ‘why it is useful’ comment, more than a little bit dramatically internalized as ‘I can’t live here forever????’ Oops. I still regret that.

        My sister (~7?) once asked how old my mother was. Being informed it was something like 45, she shrieked and ran to her room. After calming down, she sputtered “But who will take care of me when you die!?!?!”

  10. I wrote a piece for PJ Media back in 2014 called “Common Core Pornography,” where I argued (with many citations) that Common Core is designed to groom children for molestation and sexual abuse. (The article is no longer available, alas.) I wrote the article because of my son’s required reading that year. I appeared before my school board to argue that including the graphic description of a butt plug rape of a young man was not appropriate for my son. As you can probably figure, I was met with derision and scorn. Pity, even. Shut up, they explained.

    No one should put their children in public schools. No one. The cancer has metastasized and the entire rotten system is deadly. They aren’t doing this to include gay or trans children and make them feel welcomed. They’re doing this to take our children from us and abuse them.

    1. I can’t even wrap my brain around this; and I’m fearful that I didn’t keep track of what the school was making my kids read—although they’re OK, the die is cast.

    2. On one hand, I really don’t want that to be the case – I know teachers and others still doing good in the public schools. And I’ve worked with enough ‘at-risk youth’ to wonder what else is available to help them.

      On the other, though, given the destruction of trust that results from groomer closets, how could you ever trust that you’d fully vetted anyone who might have access to your kids?

      Enough is enough: End school shootings – close the schools

    3. Eliminate the DOE. Trapping as-yet uncivilized children in a building where they can’t get away from each other and the adults don’t care if they pick a scapegoat to abuse – in fact, the adults prefer it, it’s less work than keeping order – is abusive and corrosive to the very foundations of society.

      And that’s before you get the sex stuff. Ugh.

          1. The attitude that bullying is like the weather, Just Part Of Life, goes back at least to the 1940’s. My mother told vivid stories of various cruelties being visited upon her at the one-room school, including fresh-baked cookies from her lunch being grabbed thrown down a pit toilet — not as sympathy, but as This Is Just How It Is, So Get Over It.

            We’re talking about stuff that would be considered criminal acts if one adult did it to another, but as long as it’s children at school, it’s just Something That Happens. And I was told again and again that anything adults tried to do on my behalf would Only Make It Worse.

            No, it did not make me stronger, or a better person. It left me with some serious trust issues — and one of the earliest versions of the Sharp Wars saga, written back in the early 80’s when I was in high school, included a thinly veiled fictionalization of one of my constant bullies being beaten by the antihero in front of the protagonist.

            1. I was also told that I had to solve it myself.
              So I went to war. did it make me stronger? I don’t know. I ended up becoming the protector of the little, the sick and the odd on the playground.

              1. @ Sarah > “I was also told that I had to solve it myself.”

                Recurring theme, if not THE theme of “Ender’s Game” – yes?

                1. I got the variant of, “Since they’re going to (tease/bully/shun) me anyway, I might as well do what I want,”

                2. It was likely for the best that I did not encounter Ender’s Game earlier (not sure I could have) as his solution was perhaps Too Effective. And THAT would have been Very Appealing Indeed. Teachers would’ve wanted me to “manage” a problem, but I wanted it SOLVED. And Ender SOLVED it. NO recidivism! SOLVED!

            2. I don’t know if it made me stronger or not. One thing it did do though is give me a healthy dose of “I could not possibly care less.”, about the opinion of the Cool Kids or those in charge unless they have demonstrated actual concern for my well being.

              That’s been extremely helpful these last few years.

              1. I got a nice scar to show cousins who tried the “what about socialization” thing on us when they heard we’re homeschooling, so I could explain that I could do without my kids avoiding life-like debilitating injuries by sheer luck.

                (was more the teacher being too lazy to control the class than bullying, but that detail I’ll gladly gloss over since the root cause is the same– feral children and adults not doing their job)

            3. Lazy adults have been around for a long time.

              My great grandmother didn’t allow it, but she also had ZERO tolerance for adult men playing the fool, no matter what group he was in, girls and boys got no more rope from her.

            4. Not cookies, but I did have to rescue a beloved dinosaur once in kindergarten. It left me shaken, aware that anything I took to school might be deliberately taken away and wrecked, and no one else would do anything.

              Worse, the teachers would abet the little bleeps. “Well X needed your pencils/paper/homework/whatever.”

              The only reason I survived 7th-8th grade was by carrying a heavy dictionary around EVERYWHERE. Including gym. It gave me enough physical space that they couldn’t pull more subtle get-into-space-and-do harm, and in a pinch, well….

              1. in a pinch, well….

                “I tripped and it (VB dictionary) flew out of my hands and landed on his/her head” …

      1. “Eliminate the DOE”. Indeed. And if you ask whether the “E” is Education or Energy, the answer is “Yes”.

        1. Aye!

          “How many people work here.”
          “Oh, about half.”

 probably optimistic. BOTH in that likely far less than half work AND that at least they are NOT “Doing Something.”

          1. One of the circumstances (almost all involving government) where “Don’t do something; just stand there!” indicates the least harmful course…

    4. Oh. My. F**king. God.
      This reinforces my decision to home-school Jamie, the Wonder Grandson. Public schools – although I am pretty certain that those in rural Texas are still OK – for now. I can hope that the rot hasn’t spread to the schools where my daughter eventually wants to settle, assuming she can make a bomb in real estate. But He-double-toothpicks will become an ice-skating rink before I’ll let them get their filthy paws on my grandson.

  11. Not exactly pertinent to the topic, except that there will be possibly slightly less lying as a result…but Brian “Tater” Stelter, his show “Reliable Sources,” (pfft) and his entire staff, are all gone from CNN. One tiny point of light in the darkness, not that it means CNN is going to suddenly start telling the truth or anything. But, hey, any day where Ace can go ham mocking Tater is a good day.

    1. I guess they only have to take 7 bazillion hits to the ratings before they begin to wonder if they’re uncomfortable. The best part, though, were reports on many sources, Seth Dillon and Greg Gutfeld among them, that he was offered jobs at both the Babylon Bee and Fox News. 🙂

  12. Yes, that stuff should be dealt with, but it should be dealt with one on one, and with careful talks about how to live as an Odd in the normal world. (Admittedly everyone, even the most “normal” person needs this for something, even if it’s just loving anchovies on their pizza.)

    Yeah, some of the kids won’t have anyone who can do that. And? Some of the kids are screwed no matter what you do. Fortunately they are a small minority, and a lot of those come to a good place too, eventually, after struggles.

    Yeah! And don’t make laws for the edge cases; make exceptions for the edge case, if necessary.

  13. even the most “normal” person needs this for something, even if it’s just loving anchovies on their pizza

    Good use of scare-quotes. That’s not normal!

        1. Inversion here. Mushrooms are a basic pizza topping, for me. Seafood of any kind – never!

          (Don’t like pepperoni, either, mostly because I find it too greasy.)

      1. I’m used to hearing it as three Fs, the third being “no fruit.”

        When I could eat pizza I thought Canadian bacon and pineapple was really good. So that saying stuck with me because I disagreed with it!

        1. Though, technically, tomatoes are fruit… of course, nobody (well nobody sane) puts them in fruit salad. Though a Bloody Mary as a fruit smoothie might have some appeal… with a bit of spice, of course. Otherwise such just seems way too salty (to me).

          1. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash… admittedly I don’t see the last two on pizza, but you could make a pretty solid salad, I think?

              1. And the Pepperoni and Sausage pizza I ordered at the ‘Pizza Hut’ restaurant on Pattaya Beach was actually Pepperoni and Sausage – Vienna Sausage . . .

                  1. I was actually thinking of the Costco brand. And I have no idea whether it’s low-carb, I just assumed that cauliflower (~5 grams/cup) is considered low-carb, and that therefore pizza crust made from it would be, too. If we had carb issues I’d have better info.

                    1. That sounds…strange. I’ll have to check the Costco ones when we get some more (we tend to eat them fairly quickly 🙂 ).

      2. At some level I think Pizza is like the ginandtonic in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Every culture (or region in the US) has some edible it calls Pizza, but they’re all different (though usually at least cheese and some bread like item are involved) and you like the kind you grew up with. As for toppings I prefer NOT anchovies on my part. New Haven style white Clam pizzas are right out. In general I’m not fond of onions on a pizza unless carmelized, and to my taste pineapple does weird stuff to the cheese. If you MUST put ham on it it darned well better be prosciutto and you can keep it on the part with the Anchovies thank you. Otherwise I’m fairly omnivorous in my toppings selection and fairly indifferent to crust type. Chicago Style pizza isn’t really pizza, but done right it can be rather tasty. Detroit style isn’t pizza either to my taste, jury is still out on whether I think its edible. California stuff is just strange, thank you no.

        1. My favorite was the “New York Style Pizza” I saw in Germany. The thing that apparently made it “New York Style” was the egg cooked in the center.

          1. Oh heavens that’s terrifying. Like I said some local styles (e.g. New Haven) do weird things, white calm pizza, a plain pizza being crust, sauce and sprinkled parmesean. What NYC and Boston call a plain New Haven style calls cheese (although all the other pizzas with topping have cheese too, go figure).

            1. Sorry that’s a white (i.e. cheese ONLY no sauce) CLAM Pizza. Clamming and clams used to be plentiful in Long Island sound. I’m relatively certain all New Haven pizzas are calm. Never seen one act up anyways.

        2. College at U of Redacted had a couple of pan pizza places. (It also had a Little Caesars back when they did decent pizza, but that was over 50 years ago.) IIRC, they were called “Sicilian” at the original place. I think the newer place (not one of the chains) called it Chicago.

          Contrary to the Mexican taste, I prefer Italian spices, though Aidell’s Andouille sausage is my personal preference. We do a thickish gluten-free crust–it’s absurdly hard to get a thin crust out of that recipe, but it tastes a lot better than Bette Hagman’s thin crust alternative. (The thick crust is also a Hagman recipe.)

          Sausage, olive, red bell pepper, and mushroom, with the cheese either a mozzarella or a colby-jack calico. It works for us and is our go-to Sunday dinner project. I’m happy to be ignorant of how Amy’s GF pizza tastes.

          1. Oh lordy, that brings back memories of Pizza-K. Fast, cheap, hot, cheap, and the first thing you did was open the box, put some paper towels on top, and close the box. Five minutes later, removed the grease-soaked paper towels. Then ate the pizza.

          2. I found a great one – Linguica and pineapple. Go to Abby’s if at all possible for that – that’s where I had it the once and it stuck with me.

        3. We left the Detroit area long before pizza was common in the suburbs. Dare I ask what Detroit style is?

          1. It is fairly heavy on the crust, cheese used tends to have less or no Mozzarella. At least local versions have cheese and toppings under the sauce though this article, seems to argue the original is not done that way. Seems to be all the rage in the Boston area even though the New York/ New Haven/ Boston style is pretty darned good.

    1. I and older son love anchovies. The poor tyke, when the teacher wanted to reward the kindergartners with pizza and asked what they wanted on it. He didn’t know he was a freak….

      1. Pineapple and anchovy is the perfect pizza. Sweet, acid, salt, and cheese.

        Unfortunately, not everybody likes the delightful smell of pineapple anchovy pizza cooking. Including your pizza place. So asking for anchovies on the side is the better part of valor, sometimes.

          1. Sounds like it’d be perfect for the, what, one in four kids that will pick the toppings off of pizza and leave the bread…..

            1. That’s the low-carb/keto thing. Really, I thinkI OUGHT to be doing that. (I so dislike “thick* crust”… if I wanted BREAD,I’d have ordered/bought BREAD!)

              Thick as in thick. It need not be paper-thin, indecisively flashing in and out of existence as as some perverse quantum crust. But more than 0.25 inch is suspect.

              1. I love my loaded garlic bread pizzas– probably the best I’ve had is Papa Murphy’s double crust, which is about 1/3-1/2 inch thick pizza on top of another one, then curl the crusts into eachother like sealing a pie, although their deep dish is also yum at AT LEAST an inch thick….

                My husband goes more for the “just enough crust to protect your fingers” format, wants his bread sticks on the side. ^.^

                1. Those don’t sound much different from a calzone. (Which seems to be the Italian version of a savory empenada. Clever how styles move around the world.) One place in Palo Alto, (California, naturally 🙂 ) did theirs with a whole wheat crust. Haven’t had one in years; gluten free breads and crusts don’t lend themselves to doing such.

                  1. I have yet to see an empenada as big as a calzone. There’s a great Italian place here that makes calzone in a, 18″ pizza pan, then fold the pizza in half and call it a calzone. I’ve never dared to order one.

                    1. The ‘zones I’m familiar with serve one hungry person, or two ordinary people. (Remembers an empenada place owned by a Cuban ex-pat. Really good food. The barrio had bakeries that did sweet empenadas.)

                      The calzone I had in Flyover Falls started as a 10″ pizza, folded in half. The California variety had the fillings piled in the middle, then everything was scrunched together as a kind of a closed bag. I doubt it exists any more. IIRC, it was a hole-in-the-wall place near the Stanford campus (south of downtown).

                  2. It’s more of a double-decker, there’s exposed toppings, and it’s much easier to cut into slices.

                    I do think they got the idea from calzones, and went “Well, if the toppings can cook inside of that…what if we just pile two pizzas on top of each other?”

            2. My daughter eats the rest of it afterward — at least, now — but pepperoni used to get picked off and eaten first.

              Whereas I used to choose pepperoni pizza at seminars in grad school because it was plentiful, plain cheese was rarely ordered, and pepperoni was the easiest to pick off.

        1. Sun dried tomatoes and bacon makes for a good balance of sweet and salty to go with the cheese and crispy on the outside, chewy in the inside crust and tangy sauce.

      2. I used to live in the San Jose barrio, and the pizzeria there was decidedly Mexican. (I hadn’t heard of cumin as a pizza spice until I went there. Took a bit of getting used to.)

        If one ordered a pizza with anchovies, the resulting pie was covered in them. Not lightly sprinkled, brown from a complete covering. Another taste requiring getting used to.

        They did the same with jalapenos. Never tried to order a pizza with both… At least they were pickled peppers, and not stronger ones…

  14. Or “I can’t let you cook because it’s against the law to let your two year old turn on the gas stove.”

    Even that one is sort of true, from endangerment laws– you reasonably believe that such an action on your part would result in serious harm, thus….

    The concept of framing my answers in terms of information to which someone is entitled, and engaging questions in the spirit they are asked, has been very useful to me. 😀
    (And resulted in a lot less over-explaining.)

      1. Eh, that one I’d respond to as “no, you don’t know how to cook, and teaching you would take more time and resources than we have right now.”

        Then probably an attempt at redirection in a useful manner, such as “you need fine motor control before I can start teaching you to cook, work on this.”

    1. That last one got misplaced. “That’s a more grown up job and you need to wait and grow up a little bit more. Someday I can teach you, but not now.”

      1. I just guessed that, having reached “anchovies on pizza.”

        ….tell me it’s not completely accurate as to what a little kid would cook, though! ^.^

  15. Sorry about the double post.

    In my defense, The Complete World of Don Camillo came in the mail and I’m trying desperately to catch up and I was distracted.


    1. I thought you got the WP(delenda est) habit of delaying posts for a while. Many a duplicate post comes from that. (Yes, I have that t-shirt.)

    1. The Experimental Model, Mark I (who just turned six) is persuaded that the need for sleep is a design flaw, and the call to share the sun with people in Japan is “totally unfair!”.

      1. To be fair, that’s how I feel about sharing the sun with the southern hemisphere in winter.

  16. My dad would just say crazy stuff with a straight face, making it crazier and crazier, until we would finally catch on that he was joking with us. Since we were over-literal at times, this helped a lot.

    I have been known to tell strangers’ kids that they’re not allowed to fight in the store unless they can find the secret fighting arena of doom.

      1. Gentleman, you can’t fight in here this is the War Room.

        Clearly fighting is forbidden, likely by Executive Order, signed by President M. Muffley . As I look back at that its astounding that the democrat party hasn’t found a candidate with 10% of the intestinal fortitude of Merkin Muffley in my lifetime.

            1. I used to tell my kids “If I want your opinion, I’ll read your entrails.”
              Yeah, abusive mother, etc.
              Interestingly, they never showed the slightest fear. Sigh. I’m a failure as evil overlady.

              1. I wish I’d thought of that, and not just for kids; it would have been great to use on those constant complainers and nitpickers in program meetings.

                “People person? Me?!? Are you nuts?” 🙂

    1. The time I told a group of teachers that the reason the aviation department did night flight training was because lift is solar-powered . . .

  17. “I hate “gay activists” as I hate “Latin activists” or “Women activists” but that has nothing to do with the real people, just trying to live their lives.”

    I originally mistook the “Latin activists” to mean antiquarian activists, or perhaps Roman history buff activists. Sometimes I still have to remind myself that “gay” means homosexual, not innocently happy and joyful.

    I have enough problems understanding common English anyway. Do they have to keep messing with the bits of it that actually work? It’s all Marxist derived and often misunderstood (on both the original author AND the “activist’s” part).

      1. It still wouldn’t stop language change. Vulgar Latin developed under the Caesars. Just think of all those people who said “caballus” instead of “equus”! Or, later, “caballo” . . .

        1. On top of that the languages spoken in the area of Israel in 1 C. AD were Aramaic and Koine Greek. Latin was probably rare as most of the muckety mucks were local not from Rome.

  18. I forgot to mention an educational show!

    EWTN is doing its own version of “Meeting of MInds,” and has been since 2014. It’s called “Saints vs. Scoundrels,” and each episode features a couple of famous people from history discussing stuff with each other, in terms drawn from their actual historical sayings and writings.

    The guy hosting it is Benjamin Wiker, who has written a ton of stuff about why various “skeptical” or anti-religious philosophies and Bible interpretations have been supported through the last several centuries by governments or other powerful groups. And other weird historical facts that explain otherwise nonsensical behavior.

    I haven’t seen any episodes, because EWTN runs the show on Sunday nights when I’m working.

    But! The next couple weeks (August 28 at 5:30 PM Eastern, and September 4 at the same time), Saints Vs. Scoundrels will feature C.S. Lewis vs. Francis Bacon. So that should be fun.

      1. Bacon managed to live through political life under Elizabeth and James, and he was a friend of Essex until he dropped Essex… And wound up running the investigation.

        He also had a feud with English common law guy Sir Edward Coke, because they both wanted to marry a Cecil lady who was a Hatton widow. Coke won, but he got in trouble for getting married in a private house outside the legal morning hours for marriage, and had to be pardoned by James I.

  19. I was born legally blind, which means really bad vision, and then went blind. One of the two most common phrases I will utter is “I don’t understand, but continue.” The older I get the more the gap between sighted people
    and me becomes, regardless of mental faculties, but fortunately, as a child my mother would explain it as “Some people do X.” Whenever I had a question that wasn’t a ‘look it up’ which was a case of dictionary work would clarify matters, she would do her level best to explain it as “some people believe, do, say, x.” As a child I learned quickly there were things that didn’t make sense, because of visual issues, and issues related to the fact that a lot of the time people do things that don’t really make rational sense. Sometimes its custom that causes them to do certain things, or sometimes its a case of they’ve never thought about it, and sometimes its a case of an irrational assumption leads to a certain conclusion. Like the someone being stabbed .

    This brings us to another aspect of everyone’s life I think, or people notice it more with me, sometimes I have to really just go with an explanation, whether this is in America, or when dealing with old friends from elsewhere. A full explanation of things might take hours at best, and might never happen at worst, such as why you should never, ever tell a date her taste in perfumes matches her perfectly. Sometimes, sometimes with behaviors, conversations, in living, just run with it, even if the full explanation is beyond you, because sometimes a partial explanation, or understanding, is good enough. I think this was certainly one of the lessons my mother taught me, and it also meant she didn’t have to lie to me. Errors in judgement based on faulty assumptions are entirely my own.

    1. I did not lie to the kids as they got over, say 4? Before that it was a matter of trying to avoid very ODD arguments.
      My kids under about 4 or 5 had a weird idea of the world, but were VERY sure about it. Like, older at one point wanted something from the bakery, and when I told him I had no money with me, told me to use my power. To this day I DON’T know what power he thought I had.

      1. Like, older at one point wanted something from the bakery, and when I told him I had no money with me, told me to use my power.

        My son defined that “power”. He knew that no cash then the “card” could be used. At 3, then 4, until about age 5, we had to tell him that the “card” was not magic money. We still had to pay with real money. It is not magic.

          1. Late ex-SIL thought the same. The fact that she was bipolar as hell had something to do with it, though $BROTHER’s spending could make a drunken sailor blush. (Niece inherited the attitudes. Sigh.)

            1. Yes. Too many charge to CC’s then go “Oh. I have money in the bank!”

              Um. No. You do not.

  20. When you look at all of these idiots, the “g” word keeps showing up in my head.


    They want to drive kids crazy, so that they have their pick of the worst damaged ones for their own deviancies. This is not accidental, it’s not because they think of the future of these children. It’s because they are making new toys for them to break. And the people that are making bank off selling accessories for their destructive deviancy.

    (And, I have this occasional creepy smile when I think about what some of my characters would do to these people. “Even Tom Kratman thinks you went too far” sort of things.)

  21. My daughter was a good kid. She rarely got into any trouble and usually if I told her something was wrong or she shouldn’t do it she would believe me. She did try to stick a fork into an electric outlet, but only once! If you think about it, a fork and a two-prong plug have an amazing similarity – to a four-year-old. I didn’t witness this, but Mom caught her before great harm was done and she never tried to do it again, at least as far as we know.

  22. Three thoughts:

    1> As best as you can, explain to your kids from their earliest days WHY you are telling them to not do – or do – something. “Because I say so” does not build trust/credibility in your directives … but your explanations will not only build that trust and credibility; it will lead them to expect the same courtesy from others, even so-called authority figures, which makes them less susceptible to join in the two-legged lemming parades.

    2> Encourage the development of independent thinking in your kids – reinforce that they will endure the consequences, good or bad, of their decisions … and that they should not let others, no matter how “cool”, make their decisions for them. Following the crowd thoughtlessly is the parade route for two-legged lemmings.

    3> In the adult world, demand that those who govern make respect for/protection of life and liberty the Prime Directive, so they protect your own freedom to think independently – and demand a credible expression of WHY for every directive. Set the example for our children, and reduce the pressure upon on them to simply submit, by not submitting ourselves in cargo-cult worship of MUH INSTITUTIONZ! as the guarantors of life, liberty, intellect, and virtue as today’s Pedestaled Elite would have us do.

    1. Once again I think of the high school kid, set to go to college on scholarship, who fell in with a clique run by a charismatic/evil guy. He had a serious case of, “man, I want to be one of his guys,” and when the leader handed him a gun and told him to kill another young man….he did. Before witnesses, and despite a young woman in the group begging him not to. One life ended, one irrevocably changed for the worse because a kid wanted so badly to be one of the cool kids.
      (Story told by one of the best defense lawyers in Huntsville, AL).

      1. (shaking my head in despair and disgust, over lives wasted like that)

        Second most important thing my parents taught me … to think for myself and not follow the crowd, or the Cool Kids clique.

    2. At most 10% of the population is homosexual,
      and less than 5% exclusively so.* About .6% of the
      population is transgender/transsexual. 1.7% of
      the population is intersex.

      Discussion of how to protect the rights of gay (male
      and female), transgender, and intersex people that
      disregards these facts, such as people claim is occurring
      among the “woke” leads neither to the protection of
      LGBTQ rights nor increased respect for people’s dignity.
      What it will do is add to anger and persecution down the
      line of both straight and LGBTQ populations. Then again,
      anger, persecution, and resistance create circumstances
      favorable to the rise of dictators. One wonders if this is the goal.

      *Some researchers claim it is about 6.8%.

  23. I am fully expecting over the next 20 years or so an outbreak of lawsuits initiated by a host of poor crippled individuals against parents who permitted the surgical or chemical mutilation of their childrens’ bodies for no good purpose other than to appear “trendy”.
    From the more stable of those poor souls. Those pushed entirely off the edge from the realization that their parents had intentionally caused them to be permanently mutilated could very well assuage their anger in acts of murder/suicide.

  24. They are lying to us all.

    This quote sums up when people started recognizing it:
    “This is where people whose political identities have for decades been largely defined by a naive belief in what they learned in civics class began to see the outline of a Regime that crossed not only partisan, but all institutional boundaries. They’d been taught that America didn’t have Regimes, but what else was this thing they’d seen step out from the shadows to unite against their interloper president?”

    Read the whole thing.

    1. Interesting, what is that from? Slightly odd shaped kitty, but if anything cats are even harder to animate than humans because of how they almost flow.

  25. My daughter didn’t understand why her teacher marked her wrong for giving her opinion when the question started, “Why, in your opinion?” I had to explain to her – and later explained to all her younger siblings – that the question really means, “Why, in the teacher’s opinion?”

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