You know what's really funny? Imagining that we could actually create regulations to sanction common sense and/or decency.
I mean take, for instance, a headline/subhead I recently read in a national periodical. I found it to be hilarious:
"NCAA seeks overhaul - Organization will demand higher academics, more integrity, clearer penalties for cheaters."
Well, well, well. The NCAA wants to establish clearer penalties for cheaters and overhaul integrity, hmm? Brilliant. I like that concept. Wonder if it'll be retroactive.
I mean, think what you want about the Sweater-Vested One but I still love Coach Jim Tressel. Period. And if he's got to face music; why shouldn't anyone else who's also been involved in poor judgment calls have to stand up to their own song and dance?
Yes, yes, insisted-upon integrity. I like where this is going. While we're at it; how's about some other no-brainer legislation?
"Local columnist seeks sincerity from politicians - Area woman insists on legislation to suspend phonies from telephone wires, torch their trousers."
I can just see John Edwards dangling from up there, swinging in the breeze, boxers ablaze -denying accusations of wrongdoing and dishonesty. With each new lie, we'll hike him skyward another five feet. It'll be part of the amendment!
Yep, I think the NCAA is on to something.
It would come in handy if there was some kind of ordinance somehow governing acumen. I know U.S. Department has tried it several times. I mean, I can scarcely think of forced common sense without summoning up the seat belt and helmet law debates.
"Ah, that's never gonna catch on and stick. Too many of the heads that should be wearing the helmets are so hard, they shouldn't even need helmets! They'll never listen; can't force logic," my old buddy Fred Callahan of Kinsman has told me repeatedly.
Hmm. Well, I don't know about the cranium cut-down but I sure am all about safety.
Nevertheless, I believe it is J.C. Watts (though some claim it for Ralph Waldo Emerson?) who is largely credited with the quote: "Integrity is what you do when nobody's looking."
I wish I had a dime for every time I tell my son that I can't be with him every moment of every day. That I can only pray that his father and I have done a good job providing him a strong foundation about doing the right thing in every situation - not because someone's watching or because we're likely to find out but simply because it's the right thing to do.
For my child to be healthy, happy and kind; this is my constant wish and prayer - as it is for every parent, to be certain.
Either way, I'd really like the whole "mandate on reason" thing to happen, you know, for reals.
Work would be better; traffic would be more pleasant; and ooh, ooh, just imagine the hours of arguing with the kids it'd save?
"Parents worldwide unite, write bill banning backtalk."
Oh yeah, I'd definitely like to see that headline on the front page of the Trib someday
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.