26 June 2007

Bad Directions?

Billy Currington's song, "Good Directions" is probably currently my favorite song. It tells one of those cutesie stories that Country songs are known for,
I was sittin’ there sellin’ turnips on a flatbed truck
Crunchin’ on a pork rind when she pulled up
She had to be thinkin’ “This is where the rednecks come from”
Currington has a masterful voice and funny, casual lyrics. And you can't help but smile when you hear
I told her way up yonder past the caution light
There’s a little country store with an old Coke sign
You gotta stop in and ask Miss Bell for some of her sweet tea
However, about the 20th time I listened to the song, I was struck by how quickly Currington falls in love with the girl. The only evidence that we have supporting his line 'Kickin’ myself for not catchin’ her name. I threw my hat and thought, “You fool, that coulda been love”', is
She had Hollywood written on her license plate
She was lost and lookin’ for the interstate
Needin’ directions and I was the man for the job
So Currington is this small town boy selling turnip greens when a girl from Hollywood strolls by looking for directions because she's lost in Georgia, probably scared out of her mind. In reality, Miss Bell probably gave Ms. Hollywood Bad Directions and now the poor rich girl is heading back for the redneck who considers her his dream girl after a short conversation about the quickest way to get out of this backwater town where the best landmark is the "caution light" up the street, surely cautioning drivers that they are approaching the downtown of no town.

I guess it's just funny that my favorite song is about a daydream occurrence with such a low probability of ending in "love" that its almost comical. I think I like it just for the way Currington says "turnip greens" in the last line of the song.

18 June 2007

As nature intends

On the island nation of Libertee Fornone newborns are openly mutilated. A few days after birth their tongues are stripped of taste buds in a procedure called rapalingua. The procedure is relatively quick, though quite painful, so doctors usually use anesthesia. Far less than 1% of newborns die as a result of complications from the procedure.

The island's doctors and religious leaders generally recommend the surgery. In fact, for years it has been the most common surgery on the island! The doctors recommend rapalingua mainly for its health benefits. Dr. Sise Sircome, a prominent doctor on the island explains it this way,
"If all food tastes the same, then there is no incentive to eat unhealthy food. Therefore, the surgery produces healthier, longer living kids."
But it's not just the doctors who advice parents to have the surgery performed. Rev. Verita Evita of the island's Order of the Bländ speaks of the spiritual aspect of the decision,
"We celebrate the child's rapalingua within our community of faith. It symbolizes the love the parents have for the child and the preparation and experience they will pass on to the child as he grows and develops."
It should be mentioned that rapalingua is only performed on males on the island. When asked why, both doctor and reverend alike were shocked, indeed almost offended at the question. Off the record, the doctor claimed women were not as susceptible to overeating. The reverend said, in soft tones, that women's tongues are "next-to-holy" and must be respected.

We caught up with Dablen Mikidselife and wife to be, Takinaway Mikiddisision, who are planning on having many children on Libertee Fornone. Asked if they would consider rapalingua for their kids, their response was automatic, "Of course! How could you say no to that?! Besides everybody does it; we wouldn't want our kids to feel different."