Some folks may have looked at the title of this post and had angry thoughts of burning me at the stake. It might be fun, but please don’t do that. I may be part of the White Not-So-Old Mens Club, but I am really a nice person, ask anybody. In fact, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I don’t like squirrels, male or female, but my wife is a woman and she is the single best thing in my life. She tells me so all the time. Anyway, if women want to knock themselves down a few notches to be equal to men, who am I to argue. So much for the disclaimer.
When it comes to women, I admit I subscribe to a rather Disneyesque version. Rapunzel is a good example, she gets locked away in a tower for eighteen years, yet is still able to kick everyone’s butt using only her hair and a frying pan. You’d think a long sword would win over a frying pan, or at least cut the hair, but not the way Rapunzel wields it. She carves a swath of destruction and happiness all over the kingdom, just to see some silly lanterns float away. OOPS I should have said SPOILER ALERT before all this. I know my wife would have. Anyway, Rapunzel proves herself to be the best, forces men to see her strengths, smiles the whole time, and does this in bare feet. Man, there must be some callouses on those toes. My point is, girls are great and you can have a happy ending as well.
You see to me it’s all about the happy ending. There are so many great movies about women in history with unhappy endings and I leave the theatre feeling sad. I hate feeling sad. I think reality needs to stay out of my entertainment. I have plenty of reality. Take my daughter for instance. Or as the comedian said, “Take my daughter, PLEASE”
Recently my daughter’s class was asked to do a project about the Rainforests, and raise money for preservation. They picked a creature or plant to promote and show why it needed saving. Various groups picked macaw’s, sloths, flowers, monkeys, and even teak trees. Not my little princess. Her and her friends, picked spiders; big hairy, ugly, scary, rainforest spiders. Yuck!
I know I’m stereotyping but you’d think three teen girls would pick unicorns or something pink. There are still unicorns in the rainforest, right? My female progeny answered me with, “The rosy tarantula is pink.” Not the pink I was thinking about. I tried to be supportive, but I also tried to change their minds to something a little more like butterflies. Even crocodiles would be better, at least you can see them coming before they kill you.
I don’t want you thinking I was trying to change their minds because they’re girls. I was, but I don’t want you thinking that. The issue is that I had been selected to check their research and help them put together the display board. So not only do I have to look at spiders, I have to immerse myself in them, so my princess gets a good grade. Well, I did and was very cooperative until Kari found a website that had dead preserved spiders for sale. What? You heard right.
I would have put the kibosh on this but Kari’s mother agreed to pay for the preserved monsters as long as they were shipped to my house. Imagine my surprise when I smilingly cut the tape, turned the flaps, then calmly had a heart attack as I looked into the seemingly innocent box, at a twelve-inch Bird Eating Tarantula. Upon being revived I was reminded of the overused TV sales pitch, “But That’s Not All”. No, there was a large Orb Spider and something I’ve never heard of called a Whip Spider, all beautifully mounted and framed, suitable for hanging in the haunted house of your choice.
At first, I felt I received these spooky specimens by mistake, then felt it was some kind of joke. That was until my daughter found me laying in a fetal position on the floor. She squealed with glee. “Oh Great! My spiders have arrived. These are sooo cool.” I should have known. Well, my heart was restarted and I vowed never to look at those horrid things again. Did I ever tell you just how wrong a person can be? Trust me, when dealing with a daughter, a man like me, can be so very wrong, it’s unbelievable.
You see we still had to go to the Zoo, set up in one of the buildings and earn money. Well, the day came far too soon and I drove the three girls to the zoo and helped them set up their horror show, with included monsters. It was a cloudy afternoon, and we had very little traffic. People were loving the Macaws and Sloths. The girls got bored as is wont to happen, and went to look at other displays. There I was trying to sell hairy beasts to the beautiful people at the zoo, and I am no George Clooney. Folks looked at me as if I was the metamorphosis of those spiders in the frames and avoided me completely.
Something I learned a long time ago is that our dear Lord loves his ugly little creatures, discounting me of course. It started to rain. As we were inside, people came flocking into our building, and even our little spider stand started making a little cash. This wasn’t enough for our Heavenly Maker who sent over a middle-aged man to look at our booth. He put ten bucks into our till and my eyes about flew out of my head.
When I asked why, he informed me that he was a zoologist and he knew the value of spiders in the world. Then he pulled some folks aside and gave an impromptu lecture about rainforest spiders. It was like a minstrel show, folks started donating to our booth right and left. I just sat and wondered if rain caused insanity.
Then the weird man, asked if he could buy the framed Bird Spider from us. The girls were still gone so I said sure. He put a fifty in our bag and walked away. A lady saw this and bought the Orb Spider the same way. Soon the event was over and the girls came back. As they were cleaning up, Mrs. Princeton, their teacher came by to count the cash to see who won the prize.
The girls who hadn’t been at their place for over an hour won the ice cream party. They begged me to keep quiet and I told my little girl she owed me something big. So, it came to pass that they ate Ice cream and they gave me the Whip Spider as a gift. It hangs over my desk. I don’t want it there, but it makes my princess feel so good that she sacrificed, and gave me something so beautiful.
No, I’m not going to tell her. Am I a good dad or what?
Thank you for laughing and Please read a little longer
Thank you all for laughing with me, but I need to be serious. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a genetic disease which rots the liver and lungs. There is no cure. The only help for people is to have a weekly infusion of proteins to stop the spread. For the next few months I will be taking all my proceeds and donating them to the Alpha-1 Foundation who are searching for a cure to this horrible malady. You can give here or for more information go to Alpha-1.org Thanks for supporting world laughter, and finding a cure. Laugh On