Little Workshop of Horrors
Ha. Kidding. I got that from The Devil Wears Prada.
You know who else wears Prada? The Pope. Funny, isn’t it?
Imagine a movie in which this young woman goes to work as the Pope’s assistant. When she first gets there, she’s a slim stylish young lady in heels, a bit snotty. But every time the Pope sees her, he blesses her, and she begins to change, and before long she’s wearing a habit and taking vows. No?
I don’t wear Prada because I am poor. I am finally certified (in TWO subjects, mind you) to teach in this state (well, not in THIS state actually, like state of inebriation, I mean, but in the state in which I live, as in one of the 50), but just for this year, I have to take a job that doesn’t pay very well and is farther away than I really care to drive. It’s got other benefits, though, that will be of use to me down the road. Next year, I plan to have a much better paying job, and I’m on track for that. Brighter days ahead, and if you, too, practice The Secret, then, you, too, will have brighter days ahead.
So, yesterday, I was required to attend a workshop all about protecting children from sexual abuse (like, I’m going to be a teacher, not a priest. Duh). First, we saw a film, a very disturbing film featuring people who had been abused and two convicted abusers. Afterwards, the “facilitator” asked how we felt about the film. Well…, if you want to bring some child molesters in here right now, I’ll strangle them one by one with my purse strap in front of God and everybody? And then we can all go home? No?
The first person to speak up said it made her feel anger, which I figured was akin to my purse strap reaction. Others agreed. Then other people offered up other responses, such as sadness, dismay, lots of sympathy, etc.
Then, there’s the big DOOFUS. You know him. He’s in EVERY audience at these sorts of events. He sits right behind you, which sucks because you are not the type to speak in such a forum, and you try to look invisible as much as possible, but that’s hard when the DOOFUS is sitting behind you, flapping his yap, and everybody is staring in your direction. They’re probably too busy thinking what a doofus the DOOFUS is (or if they’re doofusses –doofi?—too, they might be admiring his brilliance) to notice you, really, but you squirm anyway. And then you have to keep a straight face while the DOOFUS says his doofus crap. Sometimes that’s very hard, especially if you’re prone to suddenly laughing out loud. (A trait that Obi-wan has apparently inherited from me. I remember his first grade teacher saying, “He laughs at things no one else thinks is funny.” Well, so does my entire family, lady. And who says those things aren’t really funny?)
“I felt sympathy for the abusers, too,” DOOFUS said, and I could hear the smug, politically correct self-righteousness in his voice. The bountiful, compassionate, understanding DOOFUS. Now I consider myself, at this point in time, somewhere between moderate and liberal politically and ideologically (and I’ll define myself, thank you so much), but those ultra-liberals who are always trying to out-liberal everybody set my teeth on edge. They’re as bad as those on the far right who want to force us all into conformity with their particular religious views. It’s the same effing thing, but….
Really, DOOFUS? Which one did you feel sorrier for? The one that thinks he probably molested over 500 children? Or the one who knows he molested exactly 34 over a 26 year period?
FIVE. HUNDRED. CHILDREN.
TWENTY. SIX. YEARS.
Somewhere along the way, they had to have gotten an inkling of the idea that this behavior isn’t acceptable in our society. Then they had to come to terms with it morally. Then they had to decide whether to resist the urge or give in. At some point, they made the decision to sacrifice the children for their own convenience. Some people think it’s a mental illness. No one really knows what the fvck it is or why people do it. But there are ways to resist that urge. You could:
Stab yourself in the eye with a fork
If you’re male, smash your man parts between two bricks
Hang yourself with a purse strap
Shoot yourself in the head with a nail gun
Jump off the St. Louis Arch
(And if you ever need any help with any of that, let me know. Except the Arch thing. You’re on your own there.)
Then later, the same DOOFUS suggested a terrific approach for parents to protect their children who go to spend the night at a friend’s house: “Call up the other parents and ask if they have any issues with pedophilia in their house.”
Oh, yeah, the dumb fvck really said it.
Because all pedophiles are Vulcans, and hence, cannot tell a lie. That would be illogical.
“Yes, my husband is, indeed, a pedophile, but he only feels the urge every 7 years. Do you require any other information about our family? In that case, live long and prosper.”
And the way he said it, “do you have any issues with pedophilia in your house?” Well, YEAH, now that you mention it. I have some big issues with pedophilia. In fact, they’re huge. In fact, don’t be bringing that sh1t around here.
But the facilitator made a great save. She said something like, “Many of us chuckled when he said that, but if you did call someone and said that, don’t you think it would make them think twice about victimizing your child?”
During the workshop, I realized so many of the stories seemed to take place at sleepovers.
Anakin’s best friend had a sleepover this year. They’re in first grade. Anakin was really annoyed with me that I wouldn’t let him stay all night. He got to stay until bedtime, and then his dad picked him up. I’m scared of public restrooms, too. I mean, I have an unreasonable fear of them because the Jedi are boys, and I am not (but don’t think I won’t come in there if I have to). Obi-wan is getting too tall to go into the women’s restroom. Fortunately, many places now have those “family bathrooms,” but many don’t, and then I tell Obi-wan and Anakin to go in, look around, and come right back out and tell me if anyone is in there. Then I bang on the door every few minutes and tell them to hurry their asses up. Then I yell out, “If you need me, just yell, and I’ll be right in there with my UZI.” And, you know, with the big bag craze, we women could be carrying AK-47’s and M-16’s these days. Don’t think I haven’t considered it.
I am a person with lots of phobias and fears, especially when it comes to the Jedi. Could I call up a parent and ask if they had any pedophiles lurking around the house? Maybe. But once you start down that road, god knows where it would end….
“Hi, Sally? This is Scarlet, Anakin’s mom. You son invited him over to play? Yes, well, do you mind if I ask a couple of questions? Do you have any of the following or do you plan to have any of the following in the near future in your house: pedophiles, guns, rags with dried gasoline on them sitting too close to the hot water heater, open containers of poisonous substances, animals that bite, children that bite, knives lying around in the playroom, carbon monoxide leaking, matches or lighters within the reach of children, pornography lying around, loose carpeting on the stairways, unsecured bookshelves, cigarette smoke, cigar smoke, pipe smoke, other smoke, sharp corners on furniture, electrical outlets with no safety plugs, ungrounded major electrical appliances, open fireplaces, peeling lead paint, a water heater thermostat set above 120 degrees, unlighted walkways or outdoor stairways, rusty or splintering swing sets, radon, black mold…?
I’ll tell you what, Sally, why don’t you just let your son come over here?”
I am just the kind of person who will be freaked out for days, my phobias maxed out, my paranoia on red alert, by this Little Workshop of Horrors.
And if this is what’s in store for me at these educational workshops, they’re going to have to start serving hard liquor.