Posts Tagged ‘family’
Murphy, 37, forced his mouth into a thin smile before offering details of his wife’s goddamn perfect attitude. “She just shoved a load of unfolded laundry into my arms and said, ‘Here’s a little present,’ then stomped into the bedroom and closed the door,” he said, shaking his head. “Just goddamn perfect.”
The couple’s three children agreed with their father’s assessment. “Oh, yeah, Mom’s just greeeeat,” offered Ben, 16. “She’s just ALWAYS the sweetest, most supportive person. Like this morning, when I came downstairs for breakfast maybe thirty seconds later than I was supposed to because my sister had gone all prima ballerina in the bathroom as if she’s the only one who needs the place, and Mom’s all like, ‘Well, look who decided to join us! Alert the media!’ Yeah, I just LOVE that,” he added as he kicked the waste paper basket and scattered its contents across the den floor.
“So sweet of you to leave the rest of us to clean up your mess,” commented Lydia, 14. “Don’t mind us. We just live here too.”
As for her mother, Lydia praised Patricia’s habit of always making sure to include criticism of some sort in her remarks. “It’s simply wonderful to see my self-esteem and sense of security are paramount in Mom’s eyes,” she said with a saccharine smile. “I wouldn’t be the way I am without her comments complimenting my choice of wardrobe by remarking how strikingly similar it is to some primitive nudist tribal culture. Thanks, Mom.”
“Like you’re one to talk,” interjected Susie, 11. “Little Miss Backhanded Compliment here is complaining. That’s rich. As if you don’t specifically pick out clothes you know will upset her.”
“It’s so cute the way you call me little,” oozed Lydia. “I’ll remember that next time you’re begging to borrow my sweaters.”
Skip professed bemusement at his children’s tone. “I have no idea where they learned to talk like that,” he said with a smirk.
At press time, Patricia was wondering aloud who had the brilliant idea that their home would be a good place for a reporter and photojournalist to spend an afternoon asking intrusive questions.
Celeste Babarina, a member of the Lumbago clan of East Africa, has been carrying a fetus since January and displaying all the requisite symptoms of her condition, but familial and social mores dictate that no one is permitted to bring up the subject for fear of embarrassment. Her pregnancy lies at the root of myriad unusual interactions and their consequences, and the negative consequences cannot be adequately addressed without openly discussing Ms. Babarina’s pregnancy.
For example, the cow’s irritability has sparked at least four known feuds among members of the herd, confrontations that have had adverse impact on claiming and maintaining hold of prime watering holes and grazing grounds this season. Rival clans have made inroads into territory traditionally considered a Lumbago stronghold, and other species such as rhinoceros and ostrich have enjoyed unprecedented freedom to wallow in the mud and water previously off limits to them.
Normally, say elephants who declined to be identified for fear of retribution, Babarina’s friends and sisters would collectively enforce the ban on other wildlife, and would effectively bar other herds from encroaching. But the divisions that have grown out of refusal to discuss the elephant in the womb are causing a breakdown of the social hierarchy, and the rivals are exploiting that breakdown.
It remains unclear how much longer the herd will tolerate the situation, but with more than a year remaining in Babarina’s pregnancy, the herd will be hard pressed to maintain its integrity without a shift. When asked for an opinion for this article, the pregnant elephant declined to comment.
“Can’t talk now,” she said. “I gestate.”
Mahwah, New Jersey, March 27 – Researchers studying the population of one of the largest retail chains in the US were shocked today to discover the occurrence of a parent shopping there who was not interacting negatively with the children in tow.
Observing the customers at the Walmart here for a doctoral thesis, sociologists Mor Bidley-O’Beese and Trey Lertrache spotted a man in his thirties escorted by three children under the age of ten, each of whom seemed to be content. At first assuming that the lack of fighting, throwing, vandalism, running around/away, and whining was attributable to the children being medicated, the researchers soon realized, to their puzzlement, that in fact the group was inherently polite and well-behaved. Such a family grouping has not been previously documented at Walmart.
“The initial observation of the subject in question naturally led us to the conclusion that some pharmacological component was necessary to explain the behavior of the children,” said Lertrache. “We had no precedent for a non-dysfunctional dynamic in this environment.” It was only after they witnessed the non-ironic use of such terms as “please,” “may we?” and “here, you can use mine” that Lertrache and Bidley-O’Beese began to realize the anomaly they had encountered.
“We had been unaware that such a creature existed in this habitat,” said Bidley-O’beese. “No previous studies have found an intra-Walmart parent-child framework that was not riddled with passive or outright aggression; raised voices; snappy retorts; sarcastic remarks; verbal abuse; or borderline physical abuse.”
A further anomaly occurred when the family in question intentionally spent time in the dental and personal hygiene aisle. “In our experience, that’s generally a pass-through-it-to-get-to-the-snacks kind of aisle,” noted branch manager Iona Methlab. “It doesn’t get much in the way of people heading there to get an item on their shopping list.” She said others have stopped in that aisle before, especially seniors looking for denture cleaning materials, but certainly no families had headed there initially.
At press time, the family was waiting at the checkout line without berating the cashier and the people ahead of them not to take all day.
Berkeley, CA, February 5 – Investigators researching your family’s history have concluded that if not for your existence and behavior, your parents never would have divorced. The study’s outcome vindicates the sense of guilt that you have been carrying ever since their marriage began disintegrating four years ago.
A team of researchers looked at the events leading up to your parents’ estrangement, separation, and divorce, and found that none of the difficulties in the relationship existed in anything but potential until you arrived on the scene, several years into the marriage. Attending to your constant needs disrupted the intimacy that had existed between your parents until that point, and your evolving requirements for attention, affection, care, and support gradually sapped your parents’ relationship of the mutual attraction and supportiveness that had characterized it until then.
The conflict between your needs and the health of their marriage was accented by the initial infertility that marked your parents’ efforts to conceive you. Your mother’s reproductive system had very delicate calibration, and several times the fertilized egg was unable to implant. As a result, your mother felt a special sense of urgency in nurturing you, a sense that your father did not share as deeply because the problem did not lie with his physiology. He therefore viewed her attachment to you as a source of tension and jealousy despite his love for you, tension that confused him and further warped his experience of the marriage.
According to the study, as you grew you remained completely unaware of the havoc your neediness was wreaking on the marriage, to the point that, by the time you were a eight, you saw nothing wrong with refusing a babysitter so your parents could actually spend time alone, forcing them to spend all their together time in the context of household pressures and in the very location that was so fraught with complicated emotional associations.
Friends, therapists, and your parents themselves took great pains to reassure you that the disintegration of the marriage was not your fault, but you nonetheless developed searing guilt over the divorce. The new study conclusively demonstrates that your sense of shame and culpability are in fact perfectly justified.
Washington, DC (AP) – Responding to an alarming increase in the risk of parents actually having time to accomplish things, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan directed all schools receiving federal funding to allot more time for meetings with teachers.
Technology has allowed American parents to increase their efficiency, maintaining productive communication with associates, supervisors, and employees even while engaged in the mundane tasks of parenting a school-age child. Smart phones and other mobile devices help them stay in contact via text messages and other media even while they sit in a classroom as a teacher or principal drones on in cliché-ridden pronouncements about educational goals and parental involvement.
To combat this development, Duncan had his staff prepare a plan to restore the status quo ante from decades past, when parents had no choice but to sit idle, silently cursing themselves and their fates while being assaulted with hackneyed verbiage. The Taking the Initiative to Make Educational Sessions Unbearable in Conferences or with Kids (TIMESUCK) program makes it mandatory for all teachers to bar the use of mobile devices while parents are assembled for meetings with teachers.
Through TIMESUCK, the Department of Education seeks to keep parents in their rightful place: scrambling, frustrated, exhausted, confused, and as powerless as possible. “The mission of each cabinet department is to maximize the ways in which US citizens and residents are made to feel helpless and manipulated,” Duncan told reporters. “The Department of Education is charged with achieving that end through the school system.”
Traditionally, explained Duncan, the chief vehicle for cultivating and nurturing the persecution of parents has been post-secondary tuition fees and a program jointly sponsored with the CIA to maintain certain level of drug addiction in middle and high schools. Further support for these initiatives comes form the Department of Health, which has consistently managed to ensure that a disturbing percentage of female high school students become pregnant at least once by their junior years.
However, uneven distribution of income and parental involvement in children’s schooling has meant that while the goals of the Department were being met, even exceeded, in inner cities and areas hit with socioeconomic distress, middle- and upper-class school districts still had unacceptably high levels of parental satisfaction and engagement. TIMESUCK, says educational consultant Hugh Sunavobicz, will make great strides in equalizing the frustrations of parents across the socioeconomic spectrum.
“In recent years, parents of means could insulate themselves from the soul-sucking experience of parent-teacher conferences, but this measure levels the playing field. In many ways, it’s a back-door achievement to further the goals of the Democratic Party, which prides itself on equalizing the opportunities that the economically disadvantaged normally do not enjoy.” In this case, noted Sunavobicz, few resources are necessary to implement the initiative, a point that short-circuits some of the anticipated criticism from conservative quarters.
Republican Senator Mark Rubio confirms that analysis. “The Republican Party does not oppose granting people opportunity, but it must be done judiciously and non-profligately. TIMESUCK seems to answer to both requirements, but only time will tell.” He added that the GOP has consistently supported other measures to keep parental optimism in check, such as a series of wasteful foreign wars, a government that blatantly violated human rights and constitutional protections, and election campaigns that leave no room for hope in the future.
New York (AP) – Against the backdrop of civil wars and the constant threat of famine, the producers of the hit children’s TV show Sesame Street have decided to provide dozens of deprived African children with the protein-rich meat of that largest regular Sesame Street character, Big Bird.
The plan calls for Big Bird to be sent next month by boat to either Nigeria or Burkina-Faso, where he will be slaughtered and butchered. Refrigerated trucks would spread across the region to at least ten remote villages most adversely affected by privation, with the goal of reaching a minimum of one hundred children by the end of January.
Persistent unrest and unchecked disease have disrupted life for millions of Africans. Revolutions, ongoing ethnic conflicts, diamond wars, separatist rebellions, climatic upheaval, and rampant AIDS have made the continent one of the world’s most unpleasant regions, especially south of the Sahara. International aid efforts to distribute food and basic necessities are often stymied by political barriers and local warlords who seek to control access to resources as a means of exercising and consolidating power. Sesame Street Workshop intends to ship Big Bird meat to one of two West African ports, and from there to be distributed to hungry children in the Sub-Saharan region.
Sesame Workshop CEO H. Melvin Ming announced the donation this morning at the company’s headquarters at Lincoln Plaza in Manhattan, telling reporters that the effort will exploit the company’s connections in various African countries, connections forged over decades through international distribution, syndication, and licensing of the TV show for production and broadcast in more than 140 countries.
“The vision of Sesame Street from the very beginning has been one that brings together people from all over the world to help improve the quality of children’s lives,” said Ming. “But we fail at an essential level if we aim only at children’s hearts and minds, when those hearts and minds can only function if attention has first been given to their stomachs.” He added that the company had considered donating Mr. Snuffleupagus, Big Bird’s sometime companion, who would have provided even more meat, but that idea was dismissed because that would drive the species, whatever it is, to extinction.
In parallel with the shipment, slaughter, and distribution of Big Bird meat, Sesame Workshop will embark on a promotional effort to both raise awareness of the specific project and of the importance of self-sacrifice for the greater good. Big Bird will be memorialized on the show with a “plaque” that will appear in the opening and closing credits. A farewell episode will be broadcast at the end of December, in which the other characters will have a chance to say their goodbyes to Big Bird, and select letters from viewers will be read aloud on the air. The show will broadcast scenes from Big Bird’s grand final journey in subsequent episodes, leveraging the event to show children how slaughterhouses work.
Ming expects some of the show’s international partners to buy into the publicity, and several such “co-producers” have already signaled their readiness to carry the message of devotion to a greater good. The Iraq and Gaza Strip Sesame Street affiliates have announced that they will use the Big Bird self-sacrifice narrative to serve in recruitment of suicide bombers.