Friday January 29, 2010: You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

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More and more, it seems, I see news stories from around the world that make me wonder if the world is going collectively insane.  Actually, they confirm my opinion that it is.  On the other hand, maybe the fact that a good many of us recognize that these stories indicate a sort of lunacy is confirmation that collective insanity is, at least for the moment, confined to certain groups or, God help us, governments.

(Note: If you want a really good laugh, and don’t have time to read this whole post, just scroll down, look for the paragraph on “sea kittens,” and click on the link.  I’m saving the best for last.)

Recently governmental agencies in the United Kingdom seem to lead the pack when it comes to craziness.  But they’re only a little farther along the road than we are.  The UK and its increasingly invasive nanny state mentality should be warning signs of what’s to come for us, if we don’t start using some common sense.

Case in point:  in Thetford, England, a woman who runs a recruitment agency recently wrote a want ad, saying she was looking for “reliable” workers.  She took the ad to the local Job Centre, and was told that she could not run that ad because it discriminated against unreliable workers! Don’t believe me?  Take a look at this story from The Daily Mail (London.)

Of course we’re not immune to that sort of official wackiness on this side of the pond, either.  What would our founding fathers have thought (or, for that matter, just our own fathers) if they thought the country for whose freedoms they fought would ever even consider passing laws mandating tooth-brushing?  To be sure, it applies only to children, but in Massachusetts, there are now regulations requiring that children in daycare have their teeth brushed. Okay, it is, of course, a good idea to take care of their little teeth, but just because something is a good idea doesn’t mean it should be codified into law.  But see for yourself.  Read all about it here.

For years, though, I have been grateful to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) because I really enjoy a good laugh, and for that purpose, PETA is funnier than “comedian”  Bob Saget.  That’s probably an unfair comparison, though, because I think most minerals are funnier than Bob Saget.  Nonetheless, you wonder sometimes what they’re mixing with their organic, small farm, fair-trade coffee there at the PETA offices.  Next week, for instance, is Groundhog Day, a fine old tradition, if a bit silly. So this week, PETA decided that Punxsutawney Phil, the Official Groundhog, should be replaced with a robot groundhog.  Why?  Because PETA is insane.  That, and they decided that Phil was being cruelly treated.  Just look at what they have to say about it.

Now, I’ve spent some time in Punxsutawney.  I’ve been there on Groundhog Day.  I have never been so cold in my life as I was that day, but that’s a subject for another time.  Maybe on Groundhog Day.  I have met some of the folks from the Groundhog Day “Inner Circle.”  And I will tell you right now that replacing Phil with a robot groundhog just is not going to happen.  I would like to be cared for the way Phil is.  He has a nice, cozy home in the Punxy Library, he’s fed and pampered, and sleeps safely every night, not having to worry like his brethren (and… uh… sisteren?) do, about becoming a roadkill statistic.  Once a year, he gets to be the star of the show, and then goes back to sleep.  Sounds okay to me!

But wait!  There’s more!  For absolute, mind-blowing,  ga-ga, drooling, straight jacket-wearing lunacy , we turn again to PETA.   And before we proceed,  we must remind ourselves that these people are absolutely serious.  Last year, PETA decided that we’re just not being kind enough to fish.  What with catching them and eating them and all.  “Hmmm,” they thought.  “If we could re-brand fish, and get children to think of them as cute and cuddly instead of cold and slimy (or delicious for that matter,)  we could get the kids to grow up honoring fish instead of eating them.” So they did!  Now, according to PETA, fish are not fish, they are… wait for it… Sea Kittens! If you don’t click on any other link in this whole post, click on this one.  See what I mean?  A lot funnier than Bob Saget, isn’t it?

Yummy Fish -- or cuddly Sea Kittens?

Today’s Curiosities

  • If these people can write a book and get it published, why can’t you?  For your amusement, here’s a gallery of indisputably awful library books.
  • Here’s a video of a bad day at Disney’s Hall of Presidents:

Have a relaxing, joyful, fun-filled weekend!



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