Down With Dumbells

July 16, 1999

Recently some football players at a prominent university obtained handicap parking placards in order to avoid paying the university’s $132 annual parking fee, and presumably to avoid the campus parking problems, some of which are caused by people who don’t even go to the trouble of passing themselves off as handicapped but park in reserved spaces anyway. What they did was unquestionably wrong, and I hope they’re all made to at least pay the $1000 fine. What worries me, though, is that some people are using this incident to claim that academics and sports are incompatible. I’ve never been much of an athlete, but I don’t think academics and sports are incompatible. I believe they’ve been made incompatible, because sports once might have been used to help universities raise money to pay for academic programs, but now it’s blatantly acknowledged that all they do is raise money to pay for better sports equipment, scholarships for illiterates, and bigger stadiums.

Okay, I’m exaggerating, but only slightly. In both early Eastern and Western philosophies of learning, there was a belief that keeping the body in shape was as important as keeping the brain in shape, and it’s not a bad idea. What we need is a new way of bringing athletics and academics together. Think of it this way: the teams represent opposing ideas, and the game is nothing more than a debate. Some ideas have their off-years, aren’t pursued as diligently by scholars, and don’t receive the same amount of funding as others. Ideas that are defeated in debate aren’t completely eliminated. Their supporters just go home a little more quietly and think up new strategies. I’m not suggesting professors give grades based on the results of last night’s basketball game, but building a discussion on the success or failure of the team by relating it to, say, Hamlet’s murder of Polonius, would remind the athletes why they’re really in school, and would make the more scholarly types pay a little more attention to the games.

Here’s an idea: divide the football team equally, and assign each side a position on whether it’s right or not to feign a handicap in order to get special benefits. Players should stick to their side regardless of what they believe because firm principles are sometimes based on an understanding of the contrary position. All money raised by this special game will fund the renovation of the ethics department.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

Advice Column On Pregnancy

Q. Am I more likely to get pregnant if my husband wears boxers rather than briefs?
A. Yes, but you’ll have an even better chance if he doesn’t wear anything at all.

Q. What is the easiest way to figure out exactly when I got pregnant?
A. Have sex once a year.

Q. What is the most common pregnancy craving?
A. For men to be the ones who get pregnant.

Q. My blood type is O-positive and my husband’s is A-negative. What if my baby is born, say, type AB-positive?
A. Then the jig is up.

Q. My husband and I are very attractive. I’m sure our baby will be beautiful enough for commercials. Whom should I contact about this?
A. Your therapist.

Q. I’m two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A. With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q. How will I know if my vomiting is morning sickness or the flu?
A. If it’s the flu, you’ll get better.

Q. My brother tells me that since my husband has a big nose, and genes for big noses are dominant, my baby will have a big nose as well. Is this true?
A. The odds are greater that your brother will have a fat lip.

Q. Since I became pregnant, My breasts, rear end, and even my feet have grown. Is there anything that gets smaller during pregnancy?
A. Yes, your bladder.

Q. Ever since I’ve been pregnant, I haven’t been able to go to bed at night without onion rings. Is this a normal craving?
A. Depends on what you’re doing with them.

Q. The more pregnant I get, the more often strangers smile at me. Why?
A. Cause you’re fatter then they are.

Q. My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she’s borderline irrational.
A. So what’s your question, dipshit?

Q. Will I love my dog less when the baby is born?
A. No, but your husband might get on your nerves.

Q. Under what circumstances can sex at the end of pregnancy bring on labor?
A. When the sex is between your husband and another woman.

Q. What’s the difference between a nine-months pregnant woman and a Playboy centerfold?
A. Nothing, if the pregnant woman’s husband knows what’s good for him.

Q. My childbirth instructor says it’s not pain I’ll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A. Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q. When is the best time to get an epidural?
A. Right after you find out you’re pregnant.

Q. Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A. Not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.

Q. I’m modest. Once I’m in the hospital to deliver, who will see me in that delicate position?
A. Authorized personnel only — doctors, nurses, oderlies, photographers, florists, cleaning crews, journalists, etc.

Q. Does labor cause hemorrhoids?
A. Labor causes anything you want to blame it for.

Q. Where is the best place to store breast milk?
A. In your breasts.

Q. Is there a safe alternative to breast pumps?
A. Yes, baby lips.

Q. What does it mean when a baby is born with teeth?
A. It means that the baby’s mother may want to rethink her plans to nurse.

Q. How does one sanitize nipples?
A. Bathe daily and wear a clean bra. It beats boiling them in a saucepan.

Q. What are the terrible twos?
A. Your breasts after baby stops nursing cold turkey.

Q. What is the best time to wean the baby from nursing?
A. When you see teeth marks.

Q. What is the grasp reflex?
A. The reaction of new fathers when they see a new mother’s breasts.

Q. Can a mother get pregnant while nursing?
A. Yes, but it’s much easier if she removes the baby from her breast and puts him to sleep first.

Q. What happens to disposable diapers after they’re thrown away?
A. They are stored in a silo in the Midwest, in the event of global chemical warfare.

Q. Do I have to have a baby shower?
A. Not if you change the baby’s diaper very quickly.

Q. What causes baby blues?
A. Tanned, hard-bodied bimbos.

Q. What is colic?
A. A reminder for new parents to use birth control.

Q. What are night terrors?
A. Frightening episodes in which the new mother dreams she’s pregnant again.

Q. Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A. When the kids are in college.

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