Saturday, September 25, 2010

Being Charlene

I’ll never forget the “Charlene” argument between Petunia and Prudence. We were living in Jefferson Hills at time. Petunia was probably eight and Prudence was six. Both girls were setting up for a game of imaginary play. But one issue of great moment had to be resolved before the play-story got underway: should Petunia be graced with the play-name of Charlene, or should this honor rest upon Prudence? Both girls discovered that currently they both had Charlene as their favorite name.

Petunia is an oldest sister, a leader, a red personality, and as a eight year old was used to having her own way. She could be unscrupulous in getting her own way too. Prudence never has liked contention and learned the art of compromise at an early age. Although, Prudence will only push so far before she digs here heels in and refuses to budge. Dynamite won’t move her when that happens. I was interested to find out who would get to be Charlene, or if play would completely break down because the question could not be resolved amicably.

Memory is hazy as to who ended up being named Charlene. I think it was Petunia for half the play and then Prudence became another sort of Charlene after a while. But play went on. Evidently, having some play time was more important than winning over the name.

It tickled my funny bone that both girls liked the name Charlene at that age. Sometimes, Kids are so funny about what they like. Did the girls like the name Charlene because we used to watch The Barbara Mandrell Show and one of the three Mandrell sisters was Charlene? What was it about that name that made it seem so pretty? The fascination with the name Charlene wore off years ago. I don’t have any granddaughter so named. I glad about that since I don’t care for the name much. But for a little while, it was fun to watch the girls have a distinct name preference. And it was fun watching them resolve the earth-shaking question of who got to be Charlene.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mom's Influence

Because of my Mom's influence:
1) I always wash my hands after petting the dog.
2) I firmly believe in the value of education.
3) I don't automatically assume that the doctor is right.
4) I like to save money making my own clothes.
5) I value good nutrition.
6) I don't have a subservient bone in my body.
7) I learned to pick my friends on the basis of what kind of people they are, not what religion they are. When I had a church calling serving with a woman from Utah who fussed and fumed about her kid's lack opportunity to make friends with other church members here, I have to admit to a certain amount of disgust. Growing up, I knew kids who were members that I wouldn't want to be friends with and kids who were nonmembers that were great friends. I found that this observation held true for my kids also.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Because of my Dad's influence:

1) I frequently preface my statements with the words, "Actually,...." or, "Well, actually..."

2) I love rocks: all kinds of rocks and fossils too.

3) I sometimes correct Wilbur. For example, Wilbur will say, "Last February 12." I will say,"Actually, it was the 11th of February at 4:27 p.m..." Wilbur will then say, "Thank you, Sid."

4) I always carry matches in my backpack, even for a day hike. This probably saved my life once.
5) Hunting something for its rack or horns just does not compute for me. When you hunt, it's because you need meat. You don't want the meat, you don't hunt. Period. Only a scumbag kills something if he doesn't need the meat.

6) I love to read.
7) I love high school football and basketball.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Line

TV has finally crossed the line. Last night I watched an episode of Psych on USA, a program I enjoy watching for the laughs. In last night's episode a character in the show swore, saying the word “Christ.” I won’t be watching Psych again. Period. I haven’t watched NBC, ABC, or CBS for years. In my youth, during the Cretaceous Period, these were only three networks available. These networks plotted a determined march to the sewer decades ago. Their gradual but steady normalization of casual, perverted sex, crudity, filthy language, blood, and violence left me queasy, so I pulled the plug on the big three networks. Now it seems that USA has joined the lemmings' marching to the latrine.

Every year or two, the networks introduce a few more filthy words and deeds. Apparently, networks can’t introduce too much of their repulsive agenda to their viewers too quickly. Like an offensive odor, the networks’ introduction of the crude,vulgar, and violent starts with a small whiff. As the viewing public becomes accustomed to the stink, the entertainment industry imperceptibly adds more and more filth to its programs. The stench increases so gradually that many people don’t realized how disgusting it has become. In the past couple of years, USA introduced “ass” to the mainstream viewer. I guess using the Savior’s title as a curse is this year’s step further into the septic tank. I predict the f-bomb will be introduced within the next couple of years and Heaven, or maybe Hell, only knows where TV will go from there. I won’t know because I won’t be watching.

I see clearly what the entertainment industry is doing. What puzzles me is WHY it does it. I’m fairly certain there is no positive correlation between how crude, crass, violent and disgusting a program is and its rating. WHY is the entertainment industry so determined to pursue its repulsive course? Here are two of my thoughts on the reasons:

1) The entertainment industry is so full of filthy acting scumbags and low-lifes that it believes it is portraying the ordinary world.

2) The industry wants to sink the nation to its level. I’ve noticed slime-balls feel much more justified in their behavior the more they can get others to participate in the behavior too.


Most people in this country are relatively decent. I know this fact is disappointing for you, and you are working on changing it. If you succeed, the results will not be as fortuitous for you as you think. Have fun swimming in the cess pool. See where it gets you and your families. I’m grabbing some good old homemade soap, a clean towel that was dried in the sun on my clothesline, and hitting the showers.