Ask the Rat II

OK, time for another installment of Ask the Rat, since the first one was a success. Ask, and it shall be answered. And since I’ve been up since 2 a.m., I’ve had lots of time to think of wise things to say.

One day, I shall write an Ask the Fiends column, just so I can get answers on how long someone can go without sleeping through the night. I want to cut off my right leg about now. Just throw it in ze dumpster. But hey, does that sully my sunny disposition? Mais non. I’m losing two talented students to another school district today; why should hip joints and lost teenagers bother me? Am I making sense? Do I have a fever? I think maybe the whole never-reaching-deep-sustained-restful-sleep thing is getting to me. I could crack up any day now.

Hmm. I guess I have a rattitude after all. That’s all right, though; it will make it even more pleasurable to address your burning questions about life, love, music, people, lambs and toads and tree sloths and fruit bats and¬†orangutans and¬†breakfast cereals.

Ready, steady, ax. Dear Rat Fink…

13 thoughts on “Ask the Rat II

  1. BoomR

    Dear Rat Fink: I wish I had something witty & clever to ask, but it’s been a heck of a week & I am getting too old.

    What can we do about that? Chocolate?? :-)


    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Alas, Boom Boom — you have answered your own question! Chocolate solves everything.

      Hey — you up for another overnight vizzy this summer??

  2. RD

    So sorry that you’re having trouble sleeping. Through the years I’ve gone through times like that too. Sometimes I just couldn’t get my thoughts and ponderings to shut down so that I could sleep. I have taken Melatonin in the past and think it helped. But, it won’t numb the pain in your leg and hip, nor console you on the loss of two of your good students. BoomR suggested chocolate, and I suggest Melatonin. Hmmm, Melatonin or chocolate–What a choice!

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      RD, you present a difficult dilemma. A pill, or a Milky Way. Hmmmmmmmm indeed………

      I wish I could take something to help the sleeplessness. It’s not that I’m not sleeping; it’s that the stupid ice-pick pain wakes me up every 30 minutes. Then I have to take 5-10 more minutes to get back to sleep. This process repeats itself more than a dozen times a night. Sheesh! Gimme a dose o’ ether, fuh cryin’ out loud!

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Not nerdy at all, Skylar!

      Admittedly, there have been times when I’ve questioned the wisdom of my decision to go into teaching, but I’ve never felt full-on regret. There are tons of rewards in teaching, as I’m sure you’ve found out already. Money ain’t one of ’em, unfortunately. Neither is the lack of stress and worry. But I guess that comes with any job.

      Still and all, the benefits outweigh the downsides, bigtime. At times, I wish I’d gone ahead with the English/writing major, but I’ve never regretted doing the teacher thing. And the truth is that if you get into teaching and decide it’s not for you, you still have a valid undergrad degree that you can build upon to get into another field. You’re not hemmed in by too much special focus.

      I’m glad you’re going for it — I think you will like it! You may need to scout out which venue you like best (K-12, higher ed., adult ed., private, etc.), but I’m sure you’ll soar at whatever you choose.

  3. Ross

    Confirm or refute the following maxim, which popular opinion seems to believe no longer applies in the information age, namely, that times change but people don’t. Although swap out people with kids. Personally I just can’t accept that kids these days have it any harder than any set of awkward gangly losers in any other time. I don’t think they have it any easier either.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Refute AND confirm. (Is that allowed?)

      Not sure about harder vs. easier, but I think kids have it way different today because of the media’s outrageously early pressure to become “grown up.” Fifth graders today are a universe away from the 5th graders you and I were. I have 10-year-olds who regale me with tales on a regular basis about the latest R-rated movies they’ve seen. I have 6th-grade boys who know every line from The Hangover.

      On the other side of the issue: Think about bullying in high school when there were no rules against it. Think about being called “fag” or the N-word, and having no legal recourse. For that reason, I think kids now are no worse off than you and I were in our adolescence. Peer pressure is not new, and God knows idiots have been around forever. Mean people continue to pollute the earth, generation after generation, and there is nothing new under the sun. It’s the coping skills (and a huge dose of bad parenting, in my opinion) that have made the difference. Children don’t handle anything on their own anymore. Nothing is accomplished except by committees from on high.

      What galls me is many of the parents who intercede for their kids at school, on the playground and in society in general are also the same parents who throw up their hands and wonder how their children turned into such arrogant, unkind, unprincipled, conceited, selfish brats.

  4. Ross

    I have one more: There were– conservatively– well over ONE THOUSAND Bigfoot sightings reported in the US last year, constituting de facto proof of the giant’s existence for many people. So am I a fool to think that the opposite is true, that 1000 sightings means that Bigfoot doesn’t exist because it’s way harder to accept the notion that 1000 people in the US ran into the world’s most elusive beast the ONE TIME they weren’t carrying their cell phones and were incapable of snapping the forest’s equivalent of Thomas Pynchon?

    Keep in mind I do not own a cell phone.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      HAAA – Thomas Pynchon…

      You know my mind on this one. Bigfoot (and all his desperate devotees) belongs in the same trash heap as the ghostie show nutjobs. Proof or shut up. Somewhere, the guy in the awesome ghillie suit is laughing his hairy butt off.

  5. Hannah Kluge

    Dear Fink
    What happened in the Anthony trial. I know she was found not guilty, but beyond that I know nothing.

    1. Rat Fink Post author


      That’s pretty much the crux of the issue: she was found not guilty. It’s like the OJ Simpson case back in 1994…everyone KNEW he did it, but prosecutors just couldn’t connect enough dots evidence-wise to nail him for it. And since our laws provide protection against what they call “double jeopardy,” where a person cannot be tried twice for the same crime, this murder could go unsolved forever. People are really upset about that. Like I said on Facebook — it’s too bad being a terrible person isn’t against the law.


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