Stupor Drones

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/04/09/holly-thompson-cant-shut-her-mouth-after-yawning-in-class/

I feel sorry for both parties in this story.  Holly Thompson and the Professor. Holly Thompson is the poor girl who gave in to a perfectly natural impulse during a fascinating political theory class, and could not close her mouth. She yawned.While the agony she experienced is no laughing matter, it opens up other venues of thought.

The perfect treatment for insomnia. If I were a doctor, I would treat patients coming in to see me for insomnia by prescribing a course credit with Professors whose tapes I have listened to, and create a soporific index to go along with the intensity of the problem.  I once had a Mathematics professor who made my jaw bones beg for respite. This: when I thought, you couldn’t really fall asleep while solving Math problems. This Prof used a soothing technique of 0.02% voice modulation coupled with a loving stroke of his extremely pregnant looking belly in a clockwise direction for 3 minutes, followed with the anti-clockwise pat-down for another 3 minutes. Just watching that was enough. Coupled with his tone, the man was Grade-A treatment for the most severe of insomniacs.

I feel sorry for the Professor too, who thankfully has not been named in the article. But, there are few things that are more consistent than stupor inducing lectures that unite the atmospheres of college and school – the unifying factor transcending geographical and ecological barriers. In the Hall of Infamy, this poor Professor will surely have a place for making a student’s jaw drop in his class!

Blessed as some people are with droning voices, I wonder why Scientists don’t tap this simple source for warfare. You know play the lectures of a stupor star non-stop over the Kazaksthan mountain range or to diffuse the tensions in Libya? Who feels like picking up a rifle and firing when sleepy?

And that is why I am not offered the post of Defence Minister or that of a qualified doctor…. Sigh!

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Do Tooth Fairies Have Baggage Restrictions?

We bolster independent decision making. I know … you think these are mere words? In our case we have proof. The television in our household has taken the philosophy straight to its heart . The television now decides for us when and for how long we get to watch television. The one thing it lacks is finesse. When cutting off our viewing, it does so rather abruptly and rudely. It just goes BLEEP accompanied by similar cursing from the viewers and sits there smirking at you.

This behavior on the part of the television has been viewed as base treachery by the husband, who regards the TV with a fond affection, having spent many fruitless hours in its company. He simply cannot believe that when it has received so much attention, it should flip out in this uncouth manner. When simple things did not work, the husband resorted to the one thing software engineers are comfortable doing to televisions. He gave it a well aimed whack on its backside. He claims to have seen the mechanic in his locality as a boy doing the same to radios and tape recorders with amazing results. I personally think the first one was delivered in frustration and passed off as scientific nudging.

Anyway, that seemed to work for a while, but the TV now seems blaise about even this and refuses to start up again till it finds a time convenient for it.

In other news, there has been considerable excitement about a tooth fairy visiting the house. The daughter exclaimed loudly and bursting with excitement that the tooth fairy gave her EXACTLY what she wished for. I must mention that the tooth fairy from Amazon.com has been hiding in the closet for more than a month now waiting to give the gift.  The daughter’s tooth shook and shook, till it finally fell off one day. The historic event happened in her school and they were sweet enough to give her a tooth case with the precious tooth to place under her pillow for the tooth fairy.

Since tooth fairies are this intuitive and give you exactly what you wish for these days and considering the husband seems rather forlorn with the television’s continued apathy towards his state; it may be good idea to knock out one of his teeth one of these days just to see what he’d get. There is one problem though, the tooth fairy seems rather petite and bringing in a TV might not be possible. Wonder if they have any baggage restrictions. Hmm….

Man barks at Dog & Software Engineering

Man barks at dog .. gets arrested for animal harrassment

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20051029-504083.html

This news item snuck straight through to the part of my brain where the memories of my college life reside. I don’t know if any of you have taken the subject titled ‘Software Engineering’. If you are considering this horrendous credit, please back off now. Pull yourself away like an arm near fire. The thing with subjects like this is that you can take an entire chapter or half a book and condense it into one diagram on half a page to prove you understood, but that would not get you marks. It was our firm belief that no examiner likes to see an answer script that runs to two pages (front-to-back) and credit you with understanding the subject. Plus you had to kill three hours in the exam hall and that can’t be done without filling your answer script with stories.

I was always okay with leaving after the first student took the brave step, but could never bring myself to leave first. It had something to do with the look that teachers reserved for you when you did this. Part disgusted, part wondering what this person would make of her life and part amused exasperation. So, I sat there prodding myself for ideas and non-existent explanations. Sometimes, inspiration would strike, and I would write ignoring the envious glances cast by my classmates and the reams of paper I was running through. It is all a performing art I tell you. The moment one bloke or blokess casts you an admiring glance to write through reams of paper, you want to surpass your previous attempts and write more.

It was one such occasion, I was sitting looking quite bored in a Software Engineering exam, and thinking of something to write, when I wrote, “Dog bites man”, is not news-worthy, but when “Man bites dog” is the title, it is news-worthy. See?! It is called ‘Philosophical Insight’ and can be cultivated with the combined effect of a stupor and a reluctance to leave the exam hall. Or maybe, some brilliant Software Engineering author wrote this shining jewel and it made an impression. Nevertheless, I took the title and spun an impressive yarn about this very thing for 5 yards and a bit.  If I were any good at drawing, I might even have drawn a dog barking like this, and explained how this does not kindle our sense of wonder, but I didn’t. I have limits.

Professors, I am sure, just feel sorry for the students having to write such muck for so long that they give marks, more out of self-pity than anything else. Think. If they don’t; they get to read our creative genius one more time. It is not as though we are going to improve the quality or quantity of our churn, so they might as well do the less painful thing and make you pass.

In any case, when I saw this news item my heart sang the song from those days, and the fact that that little bit of philosophy made it this far to CBS news is heart-warming.

Gardening World Cup

I don’t like to think of myself as an opportunistic girl, but then I thought, if I am actually encouraging an all-night revelry with his friends involving beer, wine and other variants of OH compounds; I might as well get something out of it. You know for being the understanding, accommodating spouse simply dripping with the human milk of kindness and all that. I am referring to the World Cup Fever that gripped most Indian households in the past week.

The husband made plans and backup plans just in case something interrupted (Gasp!) the match telecast in between – he had it all sorted out a few days in advance. I must tell you he made no plans for our stay on our honeymoon,  and sat up calling random hotels late into the night the previous day begging and pleading to put us up, but that is germane to this issue. The India Vs Sri Lanka match is the point here.

Patriotism aside, I said, “If India wins the World Cup, I want you to get a gardener who will bring some level of order to the backyard.” The back yard looks like the ecosystem belonging to forests, the plants die and the cycle of life blooms in wildflowers and weeds. I personally would have liked for it to have some trails too, but there is no place for trails. Not to mention the dried leaves from the neighbor’s giant tree that shakes itself and deposits around 3 metric tons of dried leaves in my garden every year. The problem is the garden is not big enough to have someone come in regularly and clearly too much for me to manage on my own. So it wilts and throws me looks of disdain every time I pass by. I wince and strengthen my resolve to have the “situation rectified”, and there matters stand.

“If you don’t call a gardener, I shall rake the leaves myself today.” I added for good measure. The husband has had a good Indian upbringing with regular doses of guilt as part of his diet and things like this did not seem to deter him.

“I will call the gardener.” he repeated.

“Yes….but if you can’t find one, I’ll do it.” Still nothing. The stubborn mule.

Well…I’ve had training too, and did not retreat. In fact, I kept upping the dosage till he backed off and said, “Okay…if I can’t find a gardener, I’ll rake the leaves and make the garden look like one.”

So far, I have only seen elephants throw mud on their heads, but if Dhoni can shave his head for the World Cup, the ardent supporter of the Indian Team for the past 3 decades can surely throw some mud over his head. *Insert Evil grin*

Update: The garden now resembles Dhoni’s head – bald and clean!