It’s Getting Better

July 21, 2000

A lot of people of my generation are, frighteningly enough, starting to sit up and say, "What’s wrong with these kids today?" I’m frightened by this because it wasn’t that long ago that members of my generation were the ones laughing at old fossils who used such expressions. It seems that, after a certain point, every generation looks to the happy, exuberant younger generation, and criticizes them. Well, I’m not going along with it.

The other day in a shopping mall I heard a young boy say something that gives me hope for the future. Now, I rarely go shopping, which is a good thing because, like most males, I hate it. Shopping itself isn’t bad. It’s really the salespeople I hate. They’re always women in bright, cheerful clothes with cheerful nametags that cheerfully say, "Hi, my name is INGRID." To these women, I have a tattoo on my forehead which only they can see, and it cheerfully says, "Shoplifter". Since they can’t throw me out on the basis of an invisible tattoo, they instead approach me with The Question: "May I help you?" What this means is, "I know you’re not going to buy that scented candle, so get out." Because I’m usually waiting for my wife who really is shopping, I try to ward them off with, "No, thank you, I’m just looking." What this means is, "Geez, this scented candle looks like it weighs fifty pounds. And it smells like that malodorous perfume one of your co-workers tried to spray directly into my eyes. Now please just go away and I’ll leave quietly in a few minutes."

Back to the young boy. Right after his older sisters crooned, "Ooh, mom, fifty-percent off sale!" he said, "Can we please go home now?" This young boy, not even old enough to dress himself (his clothes matched), already understood the fundamental fact that he was in an environment where he did not belong. I’m proud of him for reaching a high level of awareness at such an early age. Although now that I think about it, he addressed his mother politely and quietly. In my day, I would have chosen the more effective method of screaming loudly and rolling around on the floor. What’s wrong with these kids today?

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

"Dr. Laura" refers to the California radio talk show host who is ultraconservative and sort of like Pat Buchanan in Jewish drag (I realize that is not a pretty image but anything concerning Pat Buchanan isn’t).

Dear Dr. Laura,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s law. I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. I especially like that you don’t go for any of that namby-pamby stuff about forgiveness and loving one’s neighbor. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree.

Can you settle this?

Lev. 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

Rejected Childrens’ Books

  • Strangers Have the Best Candy

  • The Kids’ Guide to Hitchhiking

  • Pop Goes the Hamster…and Other Great Microwave Games

  • Testing Homemade Parachutes Using Only Your Household Pets

  • Curious George and the High Voltage Fence

  • The Pop-Up Book of Human Anatomy

  • What is That Dog Doing to That Other Dog?

  • Mr. Fork and Ms. Electrical Outlet Can Be Friends!

  • Bi-Curious George

  • Daddy Drinks Because You Cry

  • The Care Bears Maul Some Campers and Are Shot Dead

  • Babar Meets the Taxidermist

  • Things Rich Kids Have, But You Never Will

  • Controlling the Playground: Respect Through Fear

  • The Hardy Boys, The Barbie Twins, and The Vice Squad

  • The Boy Who Died From Eating All His Vegetables

  • You Are Different and That’s Bad

  • Where Would YOU Like to Be Buried?

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