Well, that was quite the week wasn't it? We talked about grouchy neighbours, a gun-related tragedy, and a bit of good 'ole National outrage when our main drug of choice was threatened. All this and we're already weary from battling crowds through half-empty racks of school supplies searching for the last "Frozen" pencil case. I ended our new-shoe-No.2 pencil-lined-paper-yet-another-new-water-bottle extravaganza by doing donuts in the mall parking lot singing "We Don't Need No Education" at full volume. My steely-eyed children sat silently in the backseat and together forged a secret deal to commit me to the lowest-ranked elder care home they could find once the time comes.
In other words, the last week of summer vacation is rarely the best for anyone, so it's not just you. We are in this together, parents.
On that note, let's close August up with some brevity, shall we?
Here's a funny video which captures one of life's most precious occasions — the moment you tell your other children there's another baby on the way. It can be a real bonding experience when all the family is in on the excitement. That's probably exactly what Shanee Gibson Hart of Washington was thinking when she decide to film her two children while giving them the "new baby" news. Hart's son, Tre, cannot contain his feelings and this emotional video gets right to the heart of it:
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I bet many adults have a similar internal dialogue when they found out "new baby" news.
My advice for Hart's son is to rest easy. From what I know about the "rule of "threes" — at least as it pertains to babies — he probably has nothing to worry about. Third children are generally laid-back and easily placated. Although he should keep in mind that this is purely conjecture on my part; I wasn't brave enough to make it past baby #2, or, as he was called in our family, "The Scream that Poops."
For those who still feel at the end of your rope this time of year — this "exasperating" time of the year — repeat after me: three more days... three more days... three more days...three mor...
Image Source: YouTube
A nine year-old girl shot her gun instructor with an Uzi semi-automatic machine gun at a military-style tourist gun range in Arizona this week, killing the man.
There are at least four things wrong with that sentence. In fact, this sentence should probably get picked up for use in an IQ test.
The child and her parents (none of whom have been named and one hopes this remains the case) were at the shooting range in Arizona, where it is legal for children aged 8-17 to shoot semi-automatic weapons. The range is open to the public and offers bachelorette and birthday parties, although the families motivation for the visit is unclear. Probably just burning off some back-to-school stress by blowing the shit out of some hay bales. We've all been there.
The girl was reportedly firing the weapon with the assistance of an instructor while her parents filmed the proceedings.
How was this was good idea, on any level? I’ll even knock expectations down a notch and ask how was this even an acceptable idea? Handing a nine-year-old child a lethal weapon — a loaded lethal weapon — ranks somewhere between “Wrestle a tiger after a steak bath” and “Have kids with Charlie Sheen" on the Scale of Completely Terrible Ideas.
CBC.ca reports "Instructor Charles Vacca, 39, was standing next to the girl Monday at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona, about 100 kilometres south of Las Vegas, when she squeezed the trigger. The recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, and Vacca was shot in the head."
This is just...well, it’s fucking terrible is what it is. "Last Stop" gun range owner Sam Scarmardo told press that all waivers had been signed by the parents. Oh! They signed waivers! Signatures and pens — perhaps from local banks — were involved! Well then.
Scarmardo also likens the incident to, you know, just a pesky mix up: "I wasn’t there at the time, I can’t point a finger at anybody. But unfortunately, an industrial accident is what's happened here," he said.
And here we are: One man is dead and a child’s life is ruined or at very least irrevocably altered. But as for the death being an “industrial accident,” well, one hopes the wording was a genuine error of semantics, because I’m not buying that explanation. I consider industrial accidents to generally take place at a work place involving adults. Children don’t normally figure into “Industrial Accidents” unless there’s a union of tween-age forklift driving children in size two work boots punching in at the Widget Factory I wasn’t aware of.
Personal gun-stance aside, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to at very least recommend that anyone under a certain age, weight, height and strength requirement is barred from using semi-automatic weapons. On average, nine-year-old girls have a body weight equivalent to four feathers in a gossamer sack. Many of them cannot even control their bladders overnight, and yet someone thought it was a good idea to hand over control of a veritable killing machine.
CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes said "To put an Uzi in the hands of a 9-year-old ... is extremely reckless.” Hey, Mr. Fuentes; you spelled “crazy” wrong.
Image source: WikiCommons
There are certain days you'll remember throughout your life; days which you can recall their significance in an instant. You'll remember what you wore, how your hair was styled, where you were and what you were doing. These days give weight to our existence because they hold down the minutiae of our lives. They're important. No one writes a book about all the time they spent comparison shopping for maxi pads or how they felt when they stood in line to renew their husband's car tags.
But we can recall instantly days such as those when our children came into our lives with a lusty cry or the scratch of a pen, or where we were when John Lennon was shot, or how we felt when we heard John Candy had died. Perhaps today will be one of those heavy days. Yes; today, when Miami-based Burger King Inc. confirmed its purchase of Canadian cultural icon coffee house/donut hole Tim Hortons Inc.
A nation wept today, friends. (But quietly; we're polite like that.)
We sat, frozen in our twisty beige pedestal chairs, and cried into reasonably-sized Canadian cups of hot magical liquid brew. No one yelled, or raised their fists to the sky in anger. No one demanded to know why a uniquely Canadian successful business needed to look elsewhere for love or validation. Are we not enough for Tim Hortons? It appears we may well not be, because the deal is done and it was a big one: a $12.5 billion dollar deal, or, according to my math, almost 14 billion Boston creme and an extra-large steeped tea.
Burger King may have valid business reasons for the merger (lower tax rate due to some highly-technical, highly-dull tax finagling loophole and/or money stuff wizardry) and Tim Hortons itself will certainly benefit from Burger King's worldwide brand recognition and the power they wield relating to that reach.
Perhaps sensing our hesitation to embrace the newly formed company, Burger King and Tim Hortons assured a weary and hesitant Canadian nation in a joint press release that nothing will change — at least not yet. Tim Hortons will continue to operate independently and any restructuring will likely be on the American side of the border.
So let me assuage your worries, Timmies lovers. Burger King is NOT like that American guy your cousin dated in second year of University who, as it turned out, was only interested in using her for a green card, and not so much her other "assets." No, Burger King really, genuinely likes Tim Hortons (and by extension us), because while we may be a slightly caffeine and donut-dependent people, we know coffee and donuts and run a mean business to prove it.
Who wouldn't want a piece of that pie?
Image Source: WikiCommons