Thursday, August 04, 2005

Intelligent design meets the Hannukah lobster

Poor Mrs. Heimburger. What do you do when the smallest first grader in your class has the biggest mouth? She couldn't get it through my skull that she had twenty-three other kids to watch over (yeah, class sizes were that small back then). God bless her, she tried her best to let me be me: the constant center of attention. Come Christmas time, my big mouth got me into trouble. I told Mrs. Heimburger I was Jewish and didn't celebrate Christmas. She invited me to the front of the class to tell everyone the story of Hannukah. Uh-oh. I didn't know jack about Judaism, but she didn't know that. Like Odysseus, I was a man (well -- kid) who was never at a loss. I took the front of the classroom and for the next several minutes held forth on the miracle of the Hannukah lobster. (That's not a mound of spinach on his head; it's a yarmulkeh.) When those kids eventually learned the story of Hannukah, they must have realized I was talking out of my ass. I like to think I helped foster a healthy degree of skepticism in each and every one of them. That's why we should be teaching "intelligent design" in our schools. If we only teach the truth, how will kids ever recognize the lies? Worse still, they'll never perceive the lies which are commonly taught in the American classroom, such as: the Californian Missions helped Native Americans; Manifest Destiny was a good thing; the Civil War was fought to free the slaves. Here's an idea: let's teach critical thinking skills to our kids. And let's begin by teaching them the difference between tenets of faith and scientific hypotheses. Let's give them the tools they need to see "intelligent design" for what it is: a flabby attempt to dress up religious belief in scientific clothing. Class motto: Doubt Everything. Class mascot: the Hannukah lobster. D. PS: I'm not the only person who wants his crazed beliefs taught in the classroom. Thanks to Kate Rothwell's blog for pointing to the Flying Spaghetti Monster website. And this bloke is way ahead of me in marketing: check out his Cafe Press line of products, too.


Blogger Demented M said...

Oh my! The lobster--too funny.

You must've been a hoot as a kid!


8/05/2005 04:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Eugie Foster said...

Ooo! I want a Hannukah lobster! I'll hug him, and squeeze him, and name him Pinchie.

8/05/2005 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Uh-oh. I think I'll have to start marketing stuffed animals! And a lobster menorah, too.

8/05/2005 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Better still than Doubt Everything is my personal favourite motto: Think Again. Think you know all the answers? Think Again. Think that ketchup stain isn't noticeable? Think Again. Think gas prices will go down now that the War on Iraq™ is won®? Think Again. Think I'm done now? Think Again.

8/05/2005 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Also: A Hanukkah lobster? Did Mrs. Heimburger not call you on it? Or was she just sitting in the corner, red-faced, laughing silently so hard that tears were streaking her make-up?

8/05/2005 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Nope, she didn't call me on it. I still felt enough shame* to go home and demand my parents send me to Sunday School. Thanks to this episode, I eventually decided I wanted a Bar Mitzvah, too. My faith has been shaken, rattled, and rolled since then, but that's another can of spaghetti.


*I hadn't lost it yet.

8/05/2005 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Seems you've started to tell stories about giant and intelligent but strange fauna very early. ;)

BTW Your two sweeties, Lord Valor and Bare Rump, should get into the RITA award ceremony and scare/drink the beejuizes out of some of the panel people. Romance writers all over the world would love them for it. Or maybe Kirby could give a certain lady a good one, seems she hasn't had any fun in her life. :)

8/05/2005 11:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Stamper in LV said...

I don't remember that story...of course there's a lot I don't remember from those years. Funny...I laughed out loud.

8/05/2005 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger Demented M said...

Oh Doug---Gabriele's idea was truly inspired. You should have Bare Rump attend the RWA awards ceremony--that would be toooo funny.

I bet it would get at least a cease and desist letter from teh RWA.


8/06/2005 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Bare Rump certainly has a bitchy streak. I think she'd have a blast reporting on the festivities. I wonder if BR's favorite author, Bronwyn Webweaver, would like to attend, too?

8/06/2005 07:36:00 AM  

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