and chris preaches the past

I have been swamped in a crapload of work. I’m still trying to get through it and won’t be done until sometime tomorrow maybe, so this will be short and then I’m handing things over to Chris today because he’s good like that and helps me out when I’m too busy recapping the hour-long final episode of Popstars.

First of all, I want to thank everyone that sent in advice about my humpy horny cat. It’s good to know I’m not alone and that everyone gets creeped out by cat sex.

But you can stop worrying. Turns out Cal wasn’t humping anything after all. He was merely wiping his ass on my back. Yes, that’s all. Cal’s got tapeworms. I had no idea because I’ve never had a pet have worms before. They don’t go outside. L.A. fleas are a bit tougher, I guess and somehow these cats got them and then got the worms.

I normally wouldn’t have believed it, but the vet showed me. Without warning, I might add. I’ll never be right again. He just shoved a stick into Cal’s ass and the next thing I knew the vet was holding a piece of Cal poo on a stick with this tiny white wiggly worm dancing on top of it all, “Hi. I live in your cat’s ass! I’m a worm! Check out my poo dance!”

I’m still not right.

The vet cost so much money, people. I had to get acne medicine and deworming medicine and flea medicine and the cats were angry and my checkbook is furious and I’m so glad you only have to take your cats in for shots once a year.

In any event, it’s just tapeworms. Maybe now Cal won’t sing his sad itchy-ass song in the morning anymore. He’s been sleeping a lot more lately.

Back to work for me. Here’s Chris learning you something.

Hi. My name’s Chris. And I’m a history-oholic.

You heard right, missy, I love history. I really do. Can’t get enough of it. My idea of a perfect weekend would be to spend the day at a Civil War battle site, taking a bazillion pictures of cannons and stuff, followed by a book signing for the latest edition about the role of women in 19th century social organizations, and then cap off the evening with a bottle of wine and a couple hours of the History Channel.

I realize that this isn’t for everyone.

It isn’t for almost anyone, really. And the reason I know this is because of the following conversion that I have had with just about everyone that has asked about my master’s degree.

Interested Friend:
So you’re getting your M.A.


That’s great! In what?

Chris (hesitantly, knowing what is coming):

Really? Huh. So, um, you’re going to do what, exactly, with that? Teach?

Well, yeah.

I.F(in barely masked condescending tone).:
Well…Good for you!

I will skip over the various points I could make about education being viewed in Modern America as little more than job training or the lack of respect that teachers get these days. The question I really want to ask is: WHY IS THERE SO MUCH HISTORY HATING OUT THERE, PEOPLE?

I know the basic reason. It usually has something to do with the 104-year old widowed history teacher you had in high school who talked in a barely audible, monotone voice and made you memorize all the Presidents, and who would take off a whole letter grade if you forgot Chester Arthur (look it up.)

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. And it really isn’t the point of studying history. History is a kind of road map. It helps us figure out how we got to where we are as a nation, culture, etc..

WAIT! STOP! Don’t leave! I’m sorry. Kind of got into myself there for a second. Here’s the real point I want to make. History is important because by remembering what happened in the past we can avoid the SAME STUPID FUCKING MISTAKES WE MADE THE FIRST TIME. And I’m not talking about turning fire hoses on civil rights marchers or nuclear build up. I’m talking about good everyday applications. Don’t believe me? How about this:

Remember when you were about 16 and asked your Mom to borrow the car so you could drive all of your drunken friends to the Winger/Cinderella concert? And she said no? What did you do the next time? You asked Mom if you could borrow the car so you could go to the church’s youth group picnic, is what you did.

HISTORY, FOLKS! You remembered what happened in the past in order to affect the present.

Still don’t believe me? Here’s one more. One for the guys.

Think back to the first time you were getting intimate with that special person. Things were going well and you decided that maybe you might explore the idea of a little back door action? (Don’t lie to me. I know you did it.) You remember what happened? That’s right, she was out the door and in a cab in 5.6 seconds flat.

So the next time you were with her (if you managed to convince her to come back), did you try it again? I didn’t think so.

This is HISTORY at work here. Changing present behavior due to an unpleasant experience in the past.

Hopefully I have convinced you that history is more than boring facts about dead people and wars you can’t even remember happening, let alone care about. It has some practical uses. I’m convinced my life is better for having studied it.

Now get to work, there’s going to be a quiz on this material in 30 minutes.

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