I’ve been married for almost 16 years, an unbelievable accomplishment for a guy who picks his nose in public. I remember when I first announced I was getting married. Some said “To a girl?” others said “How old are you?”
I was 18 years old, old enough to legally tie the not, but too young to toast with anything stronger than Mountain Dew at the reception. She was 19 and I was a lucky man. And I am still a lucky man, because I got in on the ground floor of marriage. We learned young, and now we’re professionals.
It’s much like the French classes I took as a first grader. They taught us young, when our minds were open and before “french fries”, “french toast” and “french kissing” spoiled our ability to understand what France was really about.
So today I am a French speaking, happily married man in my mid-30’s, trying my hardest to be a good woodworker. Therein lays the problem. Why the heck didn’t they teach us woodworking at a young age instead of a language we would only use if we were shanghaied into the French Foreign Legion? What good is a handful of French words to me now, in Michigan, a million miles from the nearest madamwaselle? (Yes, I know that’s not the proper spelling. Mind your own bees wax.)
If my parents would have put a chisel in my hand instead of a book, I am convinced that I would be the third Greene brother today. (If you don’t know what Greene & Greene furniture is you need to move out of the cave and read up on the finest woodworkers of the last century.)
The point is, kids should be taught something useful. Something like woodworking.
I don’t have kids. But I would be more than happy to teach yours. I promise to treat them well. I only spank occasionally with a good leather belt or perhaps an extension cord… but I always unplug it first. I don’t swear, but I am willing to teach them a few. I won’t teach them to smoke or chew, but I can spit like a champ and they’re sure to pick that up. Most importantly, I plan on teaching them to pound a few nails, saw a few boards and which glues are safe to eat. Two or three years with me and you’ll have a son (or daughter if you’re one of those “modern families” that allow that sort of thing) freshly programmed to love something besides video games and texting. The down side is they might become addicted to my “unique” sense of humor. But it’s better than those special brownies they’ll be jonesing for once they get into collage.
Of course, you could teach them yourself. I suppose that would be a far less traumatic option. Fewer calls from Social Services, and all. But for the love of everything holy, TEACH THEM! Cram something useful into their young skulls full of mush before they get filled up with the nonsense they learn in school like science and… math.
If you do decide to go it alone, try sitting them in front of the television with a bowl of cheerios and a few episodes of Blue Collar Woodworking. I hear it’s the best woodworking show since the invention of wood. Then you can sit back and have a cold one… because you’ve earned it, my friend!
Oh… and before people start quizzing me… I’ve forgotten most of my French. So pass the fries…
(”Crazy stuff Stumpy Thinks About” is a weekly blog offering a woodworker’s perspective on life inside and outside the shop. If you don’t get all of the jokes, don’t worry. Few people do. Look for future entries every Wednesday here on LumberJocks or at Stumpynubs.com)
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