Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Raincoat Anyone?

Healthcare, Parenting, Popular Culture, Public Policy, Strange But True, Tosa Curling

I'm a little achy tonight.

I curled over at the Tosa Curling Club last night and tonight and I'm finally feeling it.  Getting in my groove.

For you non-curlers out there - it might be useful to know that when you watch curling during the upcoming Vancouver Olympics you are going to hear all sorts of strange lingo.

In-turns, out-turns, tee, hack, hogline, draw, guard, freeze, rink and take-out for instance.

If you deliver a rock and it's running just about right but your skip believes it needs some help it is not unusual to hear the command:  Hurry!  Hurry hard!

Loosely translated that means the two sweepers better get in front of that rock and sweep it!  And sweep it hard to keep it on course!  Keep sweeping until the skip yells the command:  Off!

There are different variations in different languages for different cultures - but the idea remains the same.

So tonight during dinner at the club there was some idle chit chat about Charlie Sykes and the brouhaha over the Milwaukee Public Schools thinking about distributing condoms to the children.  So-far, it hasn't actually happened.  And it may not in the end.  But by the time I heard it third or fourth hand it involved small children getting condoms for their twenty-four-year-old boyfriends so they could be raped.

I'm glad I work for a living and don't have so much excess time on my hands to be lulled into a trance over daytime angry radio.   But I digress.

I find it rather difficult to get lathered-up about much of anything anymore. 

It must come with age.

I just find it difficult to believe that some people get so worked-up over this stuff.  I have to tell you - it's probably going to take years off of their lives.

As a kid growing-up I was a really into scouting.  And our troop regularly held paper drives to raise money to fund our equipment purchases and activities.  Some of you that came of age in the '60s might also remember that if you were a scout you never missed a Saturday paper drive.

Because just like the blind pig that occasionally finds a truffle - even the lamest of scouts could occasionally snag an illicit Playboy or Penthouse magazine on a paper drive. 

Hubba Hubba.

And I have no recollection of our dads or moms getting all bent out of shape over this possibility.  I'm sure they knew about it since they certainly didn't recently fall off the turnip wagon - but they didn't sift through every last bundle of recyclables so as to shelter our delicate sensibilities.

And none of us grew-up to be perverts.

When I was an Explorer Scout we also knew where you could find a condom if you needed one.  Not that any of us really needed or had a use for one but they were fun to show-off.  So if you really needed one to maintain your status with the guys you got one from the gas station men's room and you carried it in your wallet until it finally disintegrated.

So I dunno. 

In my opinion we've got a problem today with a popular culture too caught-up with sexualizing too much stuff including music and other forms of popular entertainment.  The result is that you've got younger and younger people engaging in activities for which they're not emotionally or otherwise capable of handling the consequences. 

Compound that with the extensive problems of an impoverished urban school district.

The daytime angry radio audience gets all hot and bothered over it yet at the same time seems paralyzed to do anything about it.  To be fair - the audience is sometimes quite a few generations removed from today's sexual mores. 

But they also tend to dismiss the glaring reality that some of these righteous conservatives include a bunch of drug addicts, philanders, perverts and ne'er-do-wells.

Some of the loudest of them are poor role models.

Nonetheless, as a product of the Milwaukee Public Schools I'm a bit shocked over this as well.  And I'm no prude.

These decisions belong to families.  I am certain that nice, intact, financially comfortable families can have an intelligent discussion between mom or dad and child and encourage sensible decision-making.

In the absence of that there might even be a favorite uncle who might say to you - Here son.  Here's a couple of quarters.  Go down to the gas station and fetch yourself a raincoat.

But we're talking about a situation where there maybe isn't an intact family.  Little if any financial stability.  Other pressing matters.  And no favorite uncle.  Given the reality of the situation and the more serious consequences of doing nothing maybe an ounce of prevention isn't such a bad idea?

So Tom - what does any of this have to do with curling?

I was getting to that.

The November issue of Curling News that arrived on my doorstep just the other day had an eye-popping story on the front page.

Seems USA Curling and longtime sponsor Kodiak Technology Group have created a unique project to help continue the fight against AIDS/HIV through education, safety and awareness.

Catchy name dontcha think?  You can read about it here.

So take my advice - abstain from dangerous sexual activities.  If you're not capable of restraining yourself - at least use an ounce of prevention.

Good curling!

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