May 2012


There was a lot of stupid out there on my walk today. It is sometimes difficult not to weep for a society that has based their educational premise on “teaching people to think” and then seeing what it is they actually think. We might want to go back and start teaching people some actual facts.

A while ago, the City of North Charleston had a sign up scaring off potential home buyers by proclaiming we are a high crime area and one needs to be vigilant. This large flashing lighted sign was in addition to the smaller signs posted throughout the neighborhood proclaiming this same message although the smaller signs have a bonus of having one side in English and the other in Spanish.

What is the major crime here at Wescott? People leave their cars in the driveway unlocked and overnight, they are broken into. Most of the houses here have two car garages, although there are some with a one car garage. In the “slum” section where the dwellings are all duplexes, there are no garages.

People don’t put their cars in the garages because their garages are full of things they really don’t need but apparently just can’t seem to part with. So instead, they keep their worthless junk in the garage and let their expensive cars sit in the driveway, unlocked and full of electronics and sometimes even wallets. Critical thinking skills are taught in college, right?

Today for my walk, I took a different route. There was a new sign placed by the City of North Charleston. And it made me think that people in the State of South Carolina might want to consider taking some classes in “How to Think” or something.

Here is the first sign one sees after turning onto Wescott Blvd. The street starts at Dorchester Road and bisects this neighborhood into several different regions, some on the west and some on the east. This right turn only sign is pointing people to the small street where the local K-6 school is located.

This is a list of all the various neighborhoods within Wescott Plantation. Since this is right at the beginning of the street, all the various neighborhoods are still ahead of you.

Now is the sign to turn to find this school.

After crossing the street, we come upon a sign placed by the Rotary Club to help us all remember to watch for the saintly, darling children who live here at Wescott, since they are our future. You might notice that the bottom small sign is all bent out of shape. This sign has not been hit and the larger sign is not bent. One, or at least this one, would assume that some of the darling children have defaced the sign.

And now here is what the City of North Charleston has done. They have placed a nice little sign telling people how fast they are driving on Wescott Blvd. Did you notice any speed limit signs prior to this? I took pictures of every available signage between Dorchester and this sign. There is nothing, until you see the inset in the mechanical device that tells any driver how fast they CAN go. There is just this sign telling people how fast they are going.

This speed limit sign will be removed when the mechanical device goes away.

And it is parked smack in front of the sign that tells people where various neighborhoods are. This is shortly before the street where one would need to turn in order to get to a variety of these places. So not only is there nothing to tell you how fast you can go; they have blocked the sign telling unfamiliar people how to get where they are headed. Critical thinking is taught in school, right?

I thought I was done with The Dumb at this point, but I am in the South and there is always more opportunity for stupidity to rear its ugly ass.

Someone was having a garage sale. They must have had lots of really good stuff because there were many, many cars “parked” near the place. This is on a bend in the curvy road built to attempt to keep people from speeding in the area. The garage sale was three houses from where the street I live on Ts into the main street to get in and out of the neighborhood.

This is someone’s “parking” job. You just sorta get close and stop and put the car in park and voila, you have parked your car. Our streets are as narrow as legally allowed, which means that a fire engine will fit with enough space for another fire engine to pass in the opposite direction. There isn’t a lot of extra room and we aren’t supposed to park on the street.

But this event was such as success that there were cars parked on both sides of the street. Well, there were cars abandoned on both sides of the street. The goldish truck is actually trying to navigate the place and luckily, the SUV coming the other way was back far enough for everyone to pass.

I would love to be able to say that here in South Carolina, we are alert and ready to face each day. Unfortunately, we haven’t mastered the idea that one needs to think in order to navigate the perils of life.

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Thank you so much That Magazine. You just had to put that picture of a child breastfeeding on your cover. Everybody is talking about your cover and you probably sold many extra copies of the issue. Great marketing. Wonderful attention whoring. But disgusting.

First, let’s examine what this is going to mean for the kid on the cover. We are going to have to teach all his classmates not to bully him. Really. Who wouldn’t tease a kid who is able to eat steak and a baked potato but is on the cover of a magazine, attached to his mother with both of them looking so bored, forced, and fake that it makes you just want to slap them? When you do outrageous things, you get teased, which as I understand it is the now called bullying.

I don’t care if you breastfeed your offspring. I don’t want to see it – ever. I don’t want to see it when the baby is only a few weeks old. Really? You had to go out into the world right at feeding time? You couldn’t nurse the baby and then run your errands? How good is this for the baby in the situation? Isn’t this supposed to be a bonding experience? Why am I involved in your bonding at all?

As the kid gets older, there is less reason to nurse in public. They don’t eat that often. You can schedule your trips at times of the day when it isn’t the 20 minutes the baby just has to feed. I will give you a pass in the doctor’s office waiting room or the ER. Otherwise, plan better.

I know. It is natural and you should be permitted to do it anywhere. That’s what breasts are for and there is nothing shameful in the process. Of course there isn’t.

Shitting is natural, too, but we put doors on public bathrooms so we don’t have to see that, either. Picking your nose is natural and everybody does it. It doesn’t mean I want to walk down the street and see various people excavating. And certainly, by the time you know how to use a toilet and not pick your nose in public, I don’t have to watch you nurse.

There are many things that are natural that we don’t do in a public venue. You aren’t permitted to copulate in public, for instance, although it remains a popular pastime in the privacy of one’s own home. However, do it in public and may go to jail.

Somehow I managed to nurse my son until he weaned himself without everybody in the world having to witness, participate, or give me praise for the fact. I just did it and did it privately. I’m so happy for all the Earth Mothers out there, but really, you aren’t special, you are using your children for attention, and you need to realize that we may tolerate you because you have raised such a godawful fuss, but we really think you need to bond with your child in a more peaceful setting than the center of the mall.

There are those who will disagree with the above paragraph. Please let me know if you would like me to come to your open space and do a variety of natural things for you. I usually plan my day to do most of them without an audience, but if you really feel that being “natural” is all it takes to be acceptable in a public venue, I will try to help you out with that philosophy.

 

I walk in the quiet of the morning. The stillness is peaceful and gives me a chance to work out how I want to spend my day. I plan ahead while I walk. I also gaze at the scenery, Southeastern US foliage. The spring greens are beautiful.

I’m lucky that while I walk, I am surrounded by green space, luxurious plants, and sometimes wild life.

While it is possible to see the occasional alligator, I’m usually lucky enough to miss that type of encounter. I can see deer, wild turkey, geese, ducks, bunnies, and amazingly enough I believe I saw a unicorn.

I was walking where I didn’t belong – the golf course. But it was early morning before the first tee time. The verdant landscape was broken only by the cart path and the sand traps. There in the distance, over by a green, was a beautiful silver beast.

As I walked closer, she (I really don’t know if it was a boy or girl, but I’m going with the premise of a she) looked at me and I looked back.

The powerful build of the horse was noticeable, but what stuck out, literally and figuratively, was the horn. The swirled horn was at least a foot long. It was multicolored, too. The silver of the unicorn’s pelt, mane, and tail were in such stark contrast to the vibrant colors of the horn.

The horn itself started at the base as a deep violet and then went through the rainbow and the very tip was a soft pearly red. The colors spiraled up and blurred one into the next so I was unable to see where one color stopped and the next began.

I stood there awestruck, unable to move. Then the unicorn made a soft sound, not exactly like a horse’s whinny, less strident and lower in tone. She tossed her head and her mane rippled in the slight breeze. She made the sound again, looked at the tree line, looked back at me, and then slowly walked into the shadows of the trees.

I stood there looking at the now empty space and only at that moment did I remember that my phone was in my pocket. I missed the perfect picture. I’m not sure she would have allowed me to get off a shot. I’ve heard that unicorns are very secretive. She may have fled if I had gotten the phone out and started the process of taking a picture.

Instead, I got to share a moment with this magnificent beast and create a memory to carry with me for the rest of my life.

That was my adventure today, as I mused and walked, and began my day.