Shots and Shots


The entire country is up in arms about the recent measles outbreak.  And for good reason, too!  This disease is a threat to the children of our country, and it can be easily prevented.

We are all absolutely (and justifiably) horrified to think that our fellow Americans would put their own perceived individual rights ahead of the safety of our children.  I mean, really! Who do these people think they are, insisting that they have the right to put our children at risk just because they choose to engage in dangerous behavior! ?

The vast majority of the politicians speaking out about this issue are adamant that a parent does NOT have the right to endanger their own children, much less the right to endanger the rest of society.  I’ve been watching CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS.  I’ve read the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Washington Post.  Everyone out there is shaking their head in dismissive agreement: if you want to take an action or engage in a behavior that puts people at risk, you should be isolated from the rest of us.  No public school for you!  No daycare!

Hillary Clinton spoke out loudly and clearly on this whole thing, did you see it? “The Earth is round, the sky is blue and vaccines work”


I get it.  Even though I actually had measles when I was little.  As well as rubella, chicken pox and mumps. I had ’em all.  They were not fun.  I didn’t die, but I know that I was lucky to walk away from all of those diseases unscathed.  And I know that these illnesses should no longer be a threat to our children.

So I say, “You go, media! You go, Hillary!  You go, politicians!”  Way to protect the average American from the threats of those who believe that their individual rights trump our rights to live our lives in relative safety.

Obviously the vast majority of Americans, the media and the political elite are ready to stand up and declare: “Your right to act like a selfish, self serving idiot, your right to behave in a way that is dangerous to the rest of us, is limited by the fact that you are a member of a society!  You have to help keep us ALL safe!”

I can’t wait to see them take on the NRA.

Time Travel

Wormhole_travel_as_envisioned_by_Les_Bossinas_for_NASAFor as long as I can remember, I have wished that I could travel through time.   I fell in love with “A Wrinkle in Time” when I was in the fifth grade, and the whole time travel idea has consumed me ever since.

Of course, I don’t have any real desire to travel into the future.  I mean, I’ll be dead by then. Why would I go there?

But I love history.  I would so love to go back in time! I’d love to see what my little town looked like 100 years ago.  I would love to visit my little New England town in the days of horse drawn carriages and small farms.

Sometimes, on lovely spring days, I drive to Concord and walk along the Battle Road, wishing that I could see it on the morning of April 19th, 1775.   Wouldn’t that be something?

So I guess I should be happy that so many of our political leaders are trying to do their best to bring us back into those days of yore.

If we go back in time, to where these politicians want to take us, we can once again enjoy the days where religion trumped science.

We can once again enjoy those happy, simple times, where children are born whether or not there is someone there to take care of them and whether or not they are wanted. We can enjoy the lovely days when children came down with measles and mothers were able to nurse them back to health, if they didn’t die.  If we are lucky, and the current trend continues, we may be able to once again delight in the pleasures of diphtheria.  Maybe we’ll even meet “dropsy” once again.

And I guess I’m going to be able to enjoy the days of the Old West, too, since it looks like pretty soon every American will own a gun. And will be able to carry that gun under his jacket and walk with it into the local school and library and office and state house.

What a thrill.

I don’t know how my children and grandchildren will feel about all this, but at least this history buff is going to get her time travel thrill!

Hammacher Schlemmer


Ah, those enticing words……”Hammacher Schlemmer”.

I hear them every year, right about this time….those enticing, alluring, enthralling words.  How they draw me in!  I mean, I am a middle aged teacher lady from Massachusetts.  What do I know of world culture?  It is only when I pick up my annual copy of the “Hammacher Schlemmer” catalogue that I am able to catch a glimpse of a richer, more sophisticated, more cultured world.

For years now, I have pictured two men, on German, one Swiss.  They wear coal gray three piece suits and have haircuts that cost more than my family’s annual income.  They sit in 80th floor offices, overlooking the Rhine, or the Danube or something. The post-modern furniture (what does that even mean?) seats ten comfortably.  Beautiful blonds secretaries wander in and out with Gevalia Kaffe and perfect chocolates.

Ah…..I can imagine it now……..

I have always assumed that “Hammacher Schlemmer” is a corporation formed by two Germanic families, long ago. I imagine that the original offerings included Swiss cowbells and lederhosen.  I have always pictured cold, crisp air and mountain scenes.

I guess I always thought that Heidi and her Grandfather once ordered a clock from the famed Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue (which at the time would have been handwritten on old newspaper).

So when our catalogue came this year, I was filled with nostalgic hope for a simpler time.  I opened the glossy pages to peruse the offerings.

Well, gee.

I found “The High Definition Camera Drone” for $299.95.       And “The Best Nose Hair Trimmer” for $19.95.

I also found “The Darth Vader Toaster”, which would allow me, (for a mere fifty dollars) to make my toast in a giant replica of Darth Vader’s Head. It would “transform my innocent slices of bread into sinister breakfast tokens of evil.” Yummy.

As I turned the pages of the glossy magazine, I was enticed by “The Nursery Rhyme Reciting Lamb” for $39.95, an item which I am sure any sane mother would want to drown within an hour of its delivery.  This was followed on the page by “The 12 Foot Inflatable Slumbering Santa”, an inflatable 7 foot santa with a motion activated belly that heaves up and down while he makes audible snoring sounds.  This is for people who don’t know what to do with $200 dollars.

I continued to flip through the pages, figuring that at any moment I’d come across something interesting, nostalgic, innocent and/or celebratory.


I found “The Hands Free Hair Rejuvenator”, an item that looked remarkably like the hat worn by Michael J. Fox in “Back to the Future.”  This little device sells for $699.95 from Hammacher Schlemmer.

I also found “The Biofeedback Posture Trainer” for $89.95 and “The Automatic Flameless Candles” at $39.95 for a set of four.

Huh.  Pretty sure that these are the exact same “Automatic Candles” that I got at Stop N’ Shop for 99 cents each.

As I continued to go through the catalogue, I came to an interesting realization.  Not that I mean to be a skeptic, but I am pretty damn sure at this point that “Hammacher” means “useless crap” and “Schlemmer” means “at exorbitant prices”.

Oh, those Germans.  They really think they can pull one over on us!