By Mark David Blum, Esq.
The moment I have dreaded has come upon me. Everybody I talk to about this calls me shrill. They think I do it for my own thrill. I am called nuts, crazy, and out of touch.
A dear friend of mine and I are always debating whose wife can burp the loudest. I know; this is not how educated civilized adults converse. But over the years, my darling bride has earned her place as the second best belcher I have ever heard.
Owner of the title prize is a gentleman I worked with during my suspension. One day while en route to a job site in Skaneateles, he let out the longest most disgusting putrid loud burp I have ever heard in my entire life. What could I say but, “I dare you to do that again.” He did.
Hence, my bride owns the second place title.
But for the past couple of years, this friend of mine and I are always debating whose wife is louder. At times, it would sound like the horse/mule discussion from Fiddler on the Roof.
Time came to put an end to the debate. Last weekend was “game on”. En route, we stopped at the local market to buy a six pack of beer on the condition that my wife PROMISE me that she would NOT lose. She said, ‘I’ll try”. I quoted Yoda saying, “there is no try. There is do or don’t do.” Following that, I said “you CANT lose. Promise me you wont lose.”
As a general rule, we don’t drink. Perhaps a bottle of wine now and then or at a party (or when I spend Sunday mornings with a local high school football coach); for the most part however, ours is a mostly alcohol-free life. I do not oppose drinking it is just that at 48 years old, the pain and suffering of the aftermath just is not worth dancing naked on the tabletops anymore.
So anyway, while we are driving and discussing the evening’s festivities, the youngling starts to get upset. She does not want her mom to drink. Visibly afraid, she tells us of how alcohol will kill you and that she is afraid for her mother’s safety. She tells us that even one drink can hurt you and that if you lay down after drinking, you may never get up again.
Asking where this information comes from, she fights and resists but ultimately confesses that it was her teachers and po – school resource officer who told her these things. I have heard this before and I know where it is coming from. It is the prohibitionist argument about all things not moral will kill you as though scaring children will prevent them from trying something. Ask Steven Corsello how well that theory works.
It must suck to have a lawyer for a father because lawyers just cant make our point in two or three sentences. Why say in two words what you can say in two hundred.
With my kid, it was her fate to suffer me starting at the beginning.
Benjamin Franklin once said that “beer is proof that God loves mankind.” I told my child that human beings have been consuming alcohol and drugs for thousands of years. It is part of the human condition to want to alter their minds. Whether it is a runner’s high or a smoker’s high or a beer buzz, there is something about human beings … not all humans, but overall something innate to the human condition to desire to be stoned.
I told my kid to take a look around her … this community and every village, Middlesex, and farm she has ever visited. How many bars are there? Every market sells beer. Nearly every restaurant she will visit serves alcohol. The primary libation for any party is alcohol. Churches use alcohol in their celebrations. We drink champagne when we celebrate. Alcohol is a major part of our society.
She was then told that alcohol is also poisonous. I called it one of the most dangerous substances known to man. I explained that you have to wait until you are an adult to learn how much you can drink and how to handle it. If you do it wrong, you will indeed die. If you do it right, you can have a wonderful time.
I explained however, that one drink is not a drunk. Being drunk is not a death sentence. Handling alcohol takes practice and experience.
But I assured her and reassured her that drinking is safe and that her mom was safe and that the only real concern she should have is whether her Mom wins the contest.
The worst part of all this is how I had to tell her that her teachers lied to her. I had to explain that the po –school resource officer lied to her. I explained that they were trying to scare her because they felt that was the only way to stop her from trying alcohol. What they told her was not true.
I just wish teachers and educators could be honest. Now my child will have doubt and has lost a sense of trust she had with her school. Abstinence only education just does not work. Childhood innocence is moreso lost through abstinence-only policy than through reasoned enlightenment.
I call upon my kid’s teachers and upon the police to tell the truth … at least when talking to my child. Do you really want to raise an adult who mistrusts both institutions?
Oh yeah …
The boys went to play pingpong, the girls went to gab, and the kids went online.
The contest never materialized
Let the bickering continue ….