Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for tradition. But some things just grow old and don’t work anymore no matter how hard we try to preserve them. I’ve spelled out a few of the things I think we need to address and update. Like stuff we’re teaching our children that we no longer believe in ourselves. Look down this list and I’m sure you’ll agree we need to get hopping on these important social issues.
The Tooth Fairy
The practice of parents rewarding their children for going through the somewhat unpleasant childhood ritual of shedding their baby teeth is probably a good one but we need to re-look at how we sell it to them. The Tooth Fairy … ah, come on! I’ve got a new twist on this old custom and fairy tale. In my updated world the new missing-tooth child will auction off his or her teeth on eBay to the highest bidder. The kid will get more money; the parents won’t have to get up in the middle of the night and, best of all, we won’t have to keep telling that totally implausible lie.
Timmy’s ad on eBay would look something like this:
The Easter Bunny
Did you ever believe that the Easter Bunny brought baskets filled with colored eggs and candy to your home the night before Easter? This weird bunny put his Easter baskets out where you could find them easily on Easter morning but that was only the beginning. Once you found your baskets the hunt was on because this damn sneaky rabbit hid eggs everywhere in the house and the garden including some really hard to find places. What a crock! Even when I was a tyke I never bought this story of an egg-hiding hare. With child obesity at near epidemic levels and after understanding the fat and cholesterol content of eggs how can we continue with this dumb tradition? Let’s face it, what this really is, is a treasure hunt for fattening and unhealthy food. Let’s make it a real treasure hunt. Not a treasure hunt for unhealthy food but for something like coupons. Coupons redeemable at some cool place like Chuck E. Cheese’s or The Home Depot.
Did your parents tell you that those frosty crystal patterns formed on your windows on cold mornings were the work of that invisible artist Jack Frost? A toddler might buy that story about a mysterious artist, but not for long. Here’s a case where we can actually tell the truth and not screw up any family traditions. The true story is that icy artwork forms on the windows when the temperature fluctuates around the freezing point. As slightly warmer air touches the chilled glass it drops it below its saturation point and deposits a layer of tiny crystals in an icy frosting. Then, as drafts of warmer air puffs onto the windows some of the crusty crystals melt and tiny trickles of moisture wander through the frosting. When a cold breeze arrives it freezes those moist trickles into groovy patterns. Several warm and cool spells add to the art-work and this network of trickling grooves grows and grows. Now that I’ve told you all of that, the Jack Frost story isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Our Cupid of St. Valentine’s Day
I don’t know about you but I don’t buy a chubby little uncircumcised baby with wings so ugly they could only have been the hallucination of some long-dead renaissance artist being our symbol of romantic love. And, we arm this fat little guy with a wimpy little bow and arrows. This is our symbol of courtship and romantic love? What’s up with that? We can do better than this. How about a younger, nude Pamela Anderson armed with a life buoy from Bay Watch? What do you think? I could get into that.
Uncle Sam is supposed to be the personification of the United States and the figurehead for our American government. Maybe he worked in 1812 when he was dreamt up but not now in 2010. First off he’s too old and crotchety and that goofy white goatee is not at all like what’s being worn today. A stovepipe hat, you’ve got to be kidding. And, we all quit wearing clothing made out of American flags when the hippy era died, sometime in the late 70s after we all sobered up. I don’t know what our modern Uncle Sam should look like but it’s not the guy we have now. Who wants this action item?
This is the dumbest holiday ever and I’m from Nebraska. The pioneers moved west from the lush forests in the east to the treeless plains with its endless meadows of tall grasses. The first thing the pioneers did was get rid of the grass by plowing it under and allowing their livestock to eat it all. After this they looked around and said, “This place needs some trees,” even though God didn’t see a need for any before they got there. These yoyos made this a holiday so we would plant trees on Arbor Day in places where trees don’t grow naturally. How about if we plant rainforest undergrowth out here in the desert? Makes just as much sense. Dumb!
I like Christmas as well as the next guy but this, our biggest of holidays, is hopelessly out of date. Let’s start with Santa himself, he’s too fat, has a boozer’s red nose and he smokes for damn sake. Is that the kind of image we want to project to our kids let alone his wearing of an animal fur trimmed outfit. It’s a wonder the PETA folks haven’t gone after him already. Okay, if we clean up Santa and make him politically correct we’ll have to deal with the hard-to-buy parts of this fairy tale like his living in the North Pole. Everyone knows nothing lives at the North Pole. I’d make Santa’s home a farm 40 miles or so north of Fargo, ND. That will fly even with most skeptical, bah humbug types. Next, it’s not politically correct to employ elves and only elves. Where’s the EEO enforcers when we really need them. Santa should employ a diverse workforce of big and little people including an elf of color thrown in here and there.
I never really bought that flying reindeer and sled malarkey and the sliding down chimneys story might have been plausible when everyone had a big chimney but how about the kid living in an apartment in Los Angles. He has no snow, no roof and no chimney. How can we expect him to go along with this fairy tale? How about Santa using the old transporter from Starship Enterprise? It worked well for Captain Kirk, Dr. Spock and Scotty. Santa could beam himself down from Fargo right into our living rooms without getting soot all over the place. Oh, before I forget, we’ve got to dump that milk and cookies idea. Santa is far too fat and his cholesterol levels can’t take all of that milk.
You know who I’m talking about. He’s the guy that sprinkles the sand into the eyes of young children at night to get them to fall asleep and he’s also responsible for the “sleep” in their eyes when they wake up in the morning. Is that a bunch of hooey or what? Why don’t we tell our little ones the truth? They either go to sleep or else and when they wake up they will have crust in the corner of their eyes from the tears they produced to keep their eyes moist and lubricated while they slept. These tears leaked out of the corners of their little eyes and dried causing the crusty “sleep”. Maybe that Sandman story ain’t that bad after all?
©2010 by Bob Rockwell