THANKS, BUT IF IT'S ALL THE SAME TO YOU, WE'LL JUST READ THE ARTICLE

From the AOL home page this evening:

Video: 62-Year-Old Woman Gives Birth

RONALD McDONALD: EUROPEAN NURSEMAID

249803f7757f_2002baby_mcdonalds_anThis McDonald's print ad from Europe is apparently a couple of years old, but we just discovered it posted on Stay Free, the definitive Webzine of the socialist hipster, where they swear it's real and no spoof.

We're thinking there are two audiences for this ad: One (that'd be us) for whom it's a scared-straight campaign instilling a strong aversion toward ever taking the kids to the Golden Arches; and another, raised on McDonald's themselves, who will share in the triumphalism of the image and try to recreate the photo with their own toddler at the neighborhood franchise, at least until the kid starts choking on sesame seeds . . .

WE SWEAR, THE MORNING SHE TURNS TO US FROM AN EERILY GLOWING TV AND SAYS "THEY'RE HERE," WE'RE MOVING THE HELL OUT OF TOWN

51mEither Tiny Girl's imagination has really kicked in, or she's receiving nocturnal visits from the restless denizens of the ancient Indian burial ground in the basement. For a couple of weeks now, she has been waking up each morning and emerging from her room to initiate such unsettling conversations as:

"Daddy, did you fix your foot?"
"My foot? What do you mean, did I cut my toenails?"
"No, did you fix your foot! Your foot was broken yesterday."
"Who told you that?"
"My wife."
"Your wife?"
"Yeah, my wife - my wife who lives in my stomach."

WINNER OF THE FD.COM PRIZE FOR THE PRODUCT WHOSE TARGET AUDIENCE WE ARE LEAST LIKELY TO RUN INTO AT WORK

Pdtl300063001Meet "May God Bless You, Little Grace - The most lifelike Early Arrivals doll ever!" This pretty preemie can be yours for $129.99 - that's just 5 installments of $26.00 - "And guess what you'll discover when you go to change her diaper? Her perfect little body is anatomically correct!"


WE'RE STILL HOLDING ONTO HOPE THAT SMALL FELLOW WILL AT LEAST ENJOY THE "SPIDEY SUPER STORIES"

The Sunday Times' take on "The Electric Company" DVD release confirms our fears - that it may be so dated as to be unwatchable for today's kids. Reviewer Claire Dederer screened it for her own children, who responded to a typically dada skit with a dismissive, "Can we turn it off now?":

I can only conclude that "The Electric Company" benefited hugely from market monopoly. It was the only thing on. We felt attached to it because it was just for us, the kids who were too old for "Sesame Street." We were thrilled to be catered to. Here were grown-ups dancing and singing and putting on wild shows, all for us. My kids don't love "The Electric Company" because they don't have to. We loved "The Electric Company" because we had no choice.

WHEN WE WERE 11, WE ENTERED A SCIENCE FAIR WITH THIS NOVEL IDEA: SINCE YOU GET A SPARK WHEN YOU SMASH TWO ROCKS TOGETHER, WHY NOT BUILD A POWER PLANT WHERE YOU'D HARNESS THE ENERGY OF SMASHED ROCKS? HOWEVER, SINCE WE HADN'T CONSIDERED SUCH QUESTIONS AS, HOW DO YOU POWER THE MACHINES TO SMASH THE ROCKS, WE DIDN'T WIN ANY RIBBONS

And that story popped into our head as we read the Journal's article the other day about politics and the science fair. Turns out evolution-hating home-schoolers like eight-year-old Ashley Slattery are pushing for a place beside the atom-splitters, frog-dissectors and protein-inhibitors who typically dominate the competition:

Jennifer Slattery hopes the judges don't bully her daughter Ashley during next month's Northwest Louisiana Regional Science Fair. The 8-year-old will show an antievolution project that won her a prize at a local home-school science fair. She dripped water on rocks for two months to see how fast they eroded. Based on the speed, she says she found support for the idea that the Earth isn't 4.5 billion years old, as most scientists hold, but 6,000 years old, as young-Earth creationists believe. "We're not expecting to win," says her mother, but Ashley disagrees, saying: "I at least want a medal."

THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS THING WRITTEN BY A TIMES COLUMNIST LAST WEEK HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PRESIDENT, IRAQ, OR MUHAMMAD CARTOONS

Clyde Haberman's Metro column this week opened with a fairly stunning story: His daughter had been riding in a cab with her four-month-old. When she reached her destination, she paid the driver and got out to retrieve her stroller from the trunk, leaving the door open and the baby in his car seat on the back seat. And then the taxi drove off - door open, baby on board. Mom chased the cab for half a block before it stopped and she could rescue the boy. So, you might ask, what was Haberman's column about? In a nutshell, this: Don't you just hate it when cabbies talk on their cellphones while they drive? As if to  emphasize how much he'd missed the point, Haberman wrote, "This is not an exercise in cabby-bashing."

No, that would be if they drove off with our kid in the back seat . . .

WHICH IS WHY WE'RE TRAINING SMALL FELLOW FOR THE MATH OLYMPIAD

Our friends at Parents magazine reported in February (article not available online) that if you want to prepare your kid to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics, the coaching, travel and equipment will run you in the neighborhood of $295,449. Better hope she gets a Nike deal.

WELL, THAT'S THE NICEST THING ANYONE'S SAID TO US THIS WEEK

Karen Quinn, former private-school placement advisor and author of "The Ivy Chronicles," a novel about competitive private-school admissions, writes that she now realizes she didn't have to pay all that money for private elementary school for her kids after all. In fact, she has been amazed to discover, there are apparently a number of public schools every bit as good as your average $26,000-a-year private institution: "Who knows, your publicly educated child may very well outperform his private-school counterparts." Also, Quinn has learned, there are stairways all over the city that lead to subterranean tunnels in which people can board trains for a nominal fee and be transported uptown, downtown, even to the outer boroughs, at speeds at least as fast as private taxis can achieve.

February 20, 2006 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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