Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Please Don't Read This Blog, Blog

There is nothing like having a mirror thrust unexpectedly in front of your face to show you who you really are, warts and all. In this case, the mirror was held by Big Doofus, a reader in Indianapolis who writes a very funny blog. Big Doofus held a mirror in front of me when he picked out one line from my last blog, The Insane Are Running Bedlam, to use in a comment. He wrote:

“Did you steal this line…I was sitting at the computer last night, minding my own business, when I caught that light, fragrant whiff of excrement…from the beginning of a Charles Dickens book? It’s genius!”

I read his comment and laughed out loud. When I wrote my last blog, I did not think about that line apart from the entire story. It may be one of the worst lines of prose I’ve ever constructed, although it was funny and it certainly served its purpose to set the stage for the events of a few nights ago. So, I am indebted to Big Doofus for pointing out the fact that I may have a genuine Honorable Mention in the annual Bulwar-Lytton Fiction Contest. According to the contest website, “Since 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.” I was disappointed to learn that the deadline for entries in this year’s contest already passed. I will keep my eyes open for the announcement of next year’s contest, because I’ve got a winner here. Not just any blogger gets to put that award on their sidebar!

The comments section of my last post also revealed that I have a reader who uses the pen-name “Anonymous.” Generally, I do not respond to negative comments left on my blog, but they happen so rarely I cannot pass up the opportunity. Most readers who disagree with me on the variety of topics that I write about, or who find my writing insulting or unfunny, have the courtesy to exit my blog as quietly as they arrived. My writing is not for everyone, as is shown by the small but dedicated group of sick twisted freaks I've come to know and love, who read regularly, comment frequently, and always come back for more. But, I really must have gotten underneath Anonymous’ skin. Anonymous wrote:

“This is a great advertisement for homeschooling. Disgusting and not funny.”

I am so tickled by this comment that I am not certain where to begin my response. The post certainly bordered on disgusting, but I don’t think I crossed that line. But, not funny? Au contraire! It was very funny.

The Boss was truly annoyed by Anonymous. She didn’t want me to publish the comment. Since then she’s gone through various stages of “why didn’t she just…?” I’m simply curious about the underlying assumptions of her statement. Are all home schooling blogs advertisements for home schooling? Must all home schooling blogs only show life in its most pristine moments? Why can’t a home schooling parent simply write a blog about life, in all its glory? Lastly, are imaginative and innocent six-year-old public school students the only students who wad up balls of used toilet paper and toss them over their shoulders in the bathroom? If they are, Major Havoc didn’t get the memo!

I suspect that homeschooling and writing about homeschooling are not the issues at play here. I suspect that Anonymous is not only not a regular reader of Boarding in Bedlam, but they probably never read Arby’s Archives, either. If Anonymous ever read any of the Archives, he or she probably would not have stuck around long enough to be offended by my last entry. Let’s face it, my blog is the place for a blunt retelling of life with children named Mayhem, Havoc, and Chaos. So, completely unprepared for entry into a day inside Arby’s World, this reader stumbled in, stick up their butt and all, and then ran screaming from the room.

I’d like to tell Anonymous that I am sorry, but I can’t. I’m not sorry. Not one bit. I am not sorry because this is my blog. This is my space to sound my barbaric Yawp. This is my opportunity to vent about the highs and lows that come with each day that I am blessed to be a full-time, stay-at-home, homeschooling father of three children. I don’t make up the content of my blogs. I don’t need to. My children live their lives in all their innocent glory. I simply record the events as they unfold.

So, Anonymous, please don’t come back. Please don’t check back in and laugh along with me as I laugh at the events of my blessed life. While you’re at it, please pass the word to all of your family, friends, and regular readers. Tell them to never ever, no matter what they do, come read an entry at Boarding in Bedlam. There is nothing like a boycott to create a spike in readership, and my site meter could use a few more hits. And while you’re at it, please find a sense of humor. You might start by looking in the bathroom.


CrossView said...

I forgot to type in the code. So I'm guessing my other comment disappeared. I shall attempt to reconstruct it.

Anonymous made me laugh. I never had that particular problem at my house since we've been homeschooling. I did have similar problems while I was teaching in the public school system. Seems to me that it would be a "each kid is different" thing as opposed to a homeschooling thing. ROFL!

I wonder if it's the same "Anonymous" that came to visit my blog??!!

And I'm proud to be a sick twisted freak. Can I get the tee-shirt?

Kathleen said...

Who are you calling a sick twisted freak anyway? ;)

TeacherMommy said...

If being a commenter here means I'm sick and twisted, then bring it on!

And if Anonymous only SAW the bathrooms at the public schools, not to mention heard the stories about what happens there (at least in high school)...

Brownie said...

I'm sick and twisted?! yippee! I'd also like that t-shirt.

So anonymouse has a problem (and that's a deliberate misspelling if he/she reads it). I thought the line was very good, truly captured the essence of the experience ;)

Brownie said...

so what are you thinking about Watkins... that I'm crazy? lol.... or thinking about checking it out yourself?

I will tell you that I found them on ebay - there was a dealer that was selling them a bit cheaper.

Honestly I did not believe when my friend said they would make a difference. Red is still high energy but that frantic edge is gone. He is a more focused - so now when he disobeys I know it's disobedience and not wondering if he even heard me. We were at a family picnic and he was walking across a bridge - I yelled at him to come back. He stopped and came back to me! Such a simple little thing - but it wouldn't have happened before - he would have been GONE!

I generally don't "push" things - but this has made a difference to my little boy.

Anonymous said...

Wow, a whole post dedicated to me. And yes Crossview, it is the same anonymous. I will keep reading, don't you worry about that.