It’s gratifying when something I suspect turns out to be true. For example, a recent medical study reported that parents often overreact to their children’s high temperatures. It said children can safely spike higher temps than adults and that fevers are part of the healing process. The solution, if you ask me, is to not own a thermometer.
When I was growing up, my family had one until I broke it in half to play with the globules of mercury. This would later account for my low ACT scores.
To keep my kids from playing with mercury and to make sure their high temperatures wouldn’t alarm us, we never owned a thermometer. We used the time-tested, hand-on-the-forehead technique instead. Meanwhile, my thermometer-owning siblings would be calling me concerned about the temps their kids were running. A little knowledge can be dangerous.
Speaking of knowledge, a scientific study proved that romantic rejection could cause physical pain. Yet another reason I wouldn’t want to relive my teenage years.
Speaking of science, in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” the murderous computer Hal has his memory dismantled to keep him from killing again. While his hardware is being removed, Hal pleads for his life, offering to perform whatever functions his executioner requests.
When I become exasperated with my computer and click “Turn Off,” it makes the same pitiful pleas. It finally unthaws and performs rapid-fire functions, like “Do you want to check your e-mail?” “Here’s that file you were trying to open” or “You’ve got a new Facebook friend!” hoping in vain I’ll click “Cancel.”
Fortunately, I recently had a much-needed vacation from my computer. I don’t want to make readers jealous but I got to go to Mardi Gras in Cincinnati for my spring break. My wife topped me by spring breaking in Detroit. Our teenage son surpassed us both by traveling to New Orleans. Like any Forest Parker who’s feasted on alligator and felt southern warmth, he didn’t want to come back.
By the way, Mark is the fourth and final teenager I’m teaching to drive. He doesn’t scare me but the rude drivers and reckless pedestrians in this area certainly do. I had to explain to him that it’s against the law to hit jaywalkers.
Anyway, it was good to get away, because the only time Forest Park gets mean-spirited is during election cycles. Like many of you, I’m glad the campaign signs are down and residents can get back to disliking each other anonymously.
I’ve completely lost my stomach for partisan politics. Watching the political commentary shows with their predictable points of view seems like a waste of time. I’d rather gaze at something soothing, like our village council meetings. By the way, does anyone know why I now have a Maywood zip code?
John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball and strolling through cemeteries.