Gruß vom Krampus (Greetings from the Krampus)

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Krampus knows who is naughty.  Oh, yes he does.

When it comes to holiday mythology, Krampus is a blast from the Bavarian past.  Those pagans had some pretty weird myths that persist even to this day.

Today the common wisdom is we don’t want to scare little Jimmy or Janie around the holidays, and heaven forbid we use anything involving Christmas gifts (or the absence thereof) to bribe children into good behavior.  We wouldn’t want to give the little critters nightmares or saddle them with performance anxiety, now would we?  We just want everyone to get his or her 12th place trophy, so nobody has to endure any of the humiliation that is rightfully deserved when one’s performance completely sucks.  That goes right along with that old standby,”Stay behind with the rest of the class,” and all of that happy PC horseshit that has put most of the American educational system squarely in the shitter.

homeschool-domination

Because a parent with the motivation to home school won’t take your shit, or your excuses, kids.  If I had to do it over again…I would not have subjected my son to public schools (even though they weren’t quite as bad then.)

Heaven forbid we do any damage to his or her precious little self-esteem- even if by sheltering children we consign them to a life of mediocrity and allow them to become habitual freeloaders and whiners and just plain people who suck.

Back in the dark ages (rural Ohio in the 1970s…) it was more than OK to hang the fear of no Christmas gifts over children’s heads.  You could scare kids in any way imaginable  to make them behave, as long as it didn’t leave any marks, bruises or bleeding that would be visible in public.

He knows when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake.

He knows when you’ve been bad or good…and he’s here for your soul to take!

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Ok, so I may have confused Krampus with Freddy Krueger (I did have quite a thing for 80’s slasher flicks back in the day) but it’s sort of the same concept.

I can agree that keeping a child in a constant state of terror has its disadvantages, especially when one factors in stress-induced illnesses, but as far as behavior control goes, you can’t beat fear.  I spent most of my childhood scared shitless of virtually everything, but the upside was, I was quiet and didn’t cause trouble.  I was mortally afraid to cause trouble, because in my world even cutting a popcorn fart would bring down the Wrath of God.   In my mother’s economy farting was considered a sin that you had to bring to Confession.  Really. Farting.

The bad thing was that I got in trouble even for doing things most parents would consider “right” – such as hiding in a corner reading and trying to remain invisible so I wouldn’t get the shit beat out of me by my sisters and the neighborhood kids.  Most parents would be delighted if their children were quiet and unobtrusive to the point of blending into the wall.

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I got really good at making myself scarce. It is a valuable skill even today.  Especially today.

Of course, as in all things, balance and moderation is the key.  It disturbs me that the message to kids today is that no matter what you do, we just luv, luv, you anyway, and we think you’re fantastic and excellent and perfect, even if your only skill is sucking up valuable oxygen.  Nobody ever dares to tell a child his or her performance sucks even when it clearly does. When parents and teachers purvey the 12th place awards and all that feel good nonsense, it sends a message loud and clear that ending up being 40+ wearing Hello Kitty jammies and playing video games in your parents’ basement is a perfectly viable path to pursue.

My parents took the opposite extreme.  They took the noblesse oblige narrative to a level unheard of today.  I got the constant covert message that, “You suck even when you excel, because you can do better.”  I got grounded and lost basic privileges for “B” grades, for instance.

obsessed

Most of the time this works out for me.  Unless someone wants me to do something I utterly hate, or anything late at night.

Please, Reattach Body Parts Should They Fall Off, and Other Things I Should Never Have to Request

I’ve been a sort-of fan of impressionist art. I can appreciate Van Gogh and Monet, but then I can also appreciate cats playing poker. I certainly wouldn’t call myself an art snob.  My tastes in art are varied and eclectic for what it’s worth.

 About the only “art” I draw the line on involves the use of bodily effluvia (snot, poo, pee, etc. are not artistic, sorry) and/or the portrayal of Elvis and/or Dale Earnhardt.

It seems that Jerry must have mistaken himself for Van Gogh last night.  He made another poor decision to go the hell hole to get hammered (what’s so unusual about that?) and managed to inflict bodily injury on himself (again.)  This time it was his ear lobe.  He didn’t come close to actually ripping it off but he fell into something and managed to get about  a 1/2″ cut in it.  It’s not a life threatening cut, and it’s not even in a place that can be stitched, but every time he so much as brushed against it this morning it would bleed.  The pillowcase looks like Freddy Krueger had actually gotten to him in his sleep from the amount of bloodstains on it.  Remember what they said about not going to sleep or Freddy will get you? (Man, I loved the 80’s slasher flicks back in the day…just couldn’t get enough of that slashtastic action.)   

I should have really freaked him out with that observation, but I was busy enough trying to get him to let me put a band-aid on it or something.  One would  have thought from the drama that Freddy really did come in and slash him last night.

I put a little note in his lunch for the guys to read.  Today’s should be very funny.

Dear Guys:

Please be extra nice to Jerry today.  Last night he was so confused and distraught he mistook himself for Vincent Van Gogh and tried to cut his ear off.  Should it actually fall off, please take him to the ER so it can be reattached.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

I thought it was weird when I had to leave messages with Steve-o’s sitter such as:

Please do not allow Stephan to eat all five boxes of Pop-Tarts I sent in one day.  He is permitted one package of two Pop-Tarts per day.  Thanks!  (This was actually a note to my mother, who for some reason thought it was OK to let a six year old free-forage in the kitchen.)

Please do not allow Stephan to eat more than two (2) Fig Newtons with any given meal.  Figs give him Montezuma’s Revenge.

Please do not allow Stephan to chew on your dog’s toys unless you sanitize them.  I wouldn’t want your dog getting any diseases.

Of course, I still think that my request directly to Steve-o to just put the dirty pants in the wash without sniffing the crotch as a “freshness” test, takes the prize.   I never imagined I would ever have to say this to a 17 year old.

I’ve had to request some strange things in my lifetime, but I’m used to it.  Not too many things shock me anymore. 

I’m sure I’ll think of some though.