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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
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11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

You Do the Math - All-Time Edition
2008-08-22 10:05
by Jon Weisman

This might be my favorite Onion story of all-time - it certainly is for recent times.

Sometimes, The Onion is only as good as its headlines - the stories are all downhill after that. But this piece (excerpted below) touched me in the soul part of my brain.

6-Year-Old Stares Down Bottomless Abyss Of Formal Schooling

CARPENTERSVILLE, IL—Local first-grader Connor Bolduc, 6, experienced the first inkling of a coming lifetime of existential dread Monday upon recognizing his cruel destiny to participate in compulsory education for the better part of the next two decades, sources reported.

"I don't want to go to school," Bolduc told his parents, the crushing reality of his situation having yet to fully dawn on his naive consciousness. "I want to play outside with my friends."

While Bolduc stood waiting for the bus to pick him up on his first day of elementary school, his parents reportedly were able to "see the wheels turning in his little brain" as the child, for the first time in his life, began to understand how dire and hopeless his situation had actually become.

Basic math—which the child has blissfully yet to learn—clearly demonstrates that the number of years before he will be released from the horrifying prison of formal schooling, is more than twice the length of time he has yet existed. ...

"Even a 50-year-old adult would have trouble processing such a monstrous notion," Wasserbaum added. "Oh my God, I'm 50 years old." ...

Comments (76)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-08-22 10:15:41
1.   D4P
Who's Wasserbaum...?
2008-08-22 10:17:11
2.   fanerman
1 "child psychology expert Eli Wasserbaum."
2008-08-22 10:17:46
3.   Jon Weisman
Directed to the community at large:

I've been excerpting stories here for so long. I thought it was clear that I don't ever reprint stories from other sites in their entirety. Yet over the past two weeks, I've seen comments to indicate that people don't seem to be realizing that.

2008-08-22 10:18:15
4.   underdog
Yah, this is definitely one of their better - and more poignant! - pieces. I forwarded to the people in my family who are teachers.
2008-08-22 10:18:16
5.   Bob Timmermann
The article Jon quoted is an "excerpt."
2008-08-22 10:19:04
6.   Eric Stephen
My favorite Onion headline ever was "WA-" and "R" on the next page since the font was too big.

Other great ones were "Christ Returns to NBA" and some blue phrase reacting to the moon landing.

Of course, the best baseball Onion story ever was this: (headline NSFW)

2008-08-22 10:19:30
7.   fanerman
When I was a kid, I was good at Math. I think I talked to my mom about exactly what lay ahead of my life. School until I was in my 20's. Then work for 40 years. I think I coped by going into a mental place called the "dead world." Eventually the mental place converged with my physical surroundings. I hope Connor Bolduc does not have to go through the same adjustment process.
2008-08-22 10:20:25
8.   Bob Timmermann
I want to get the "Nothing But Tears" Shampoo to wash away any vestige of naivete from a child.
2008-08-22 10:20:57
9.   KG16
d'oh, got LAT'd. From the last thread:

527 - but you could say that about any trade involving prospects. That's why teams trade for prospects, on the off chance that one of them develops into a legit player. But the odds tend to go against it.

535 - The Dodgers did not go all in. To extend the poker analogy (I apologize in advance for what this will do), they are not even pot committed. They've made a few aggressive bets (something you have to do in order to win pots). Sometimes aggressive bets work, some times they don't. Look at what the Dodgers have coming back next year: Kemp; Ethier; Martin; Billingsly; Kershaw; Loney (who we all know you hate, but still); Hu; Young; McDonald; Stultz. Are there holes, yes, but not major ones, and not ones that can't be addressed either internally or through the free agent/trade markets.

2008-08-22 10:28:56
10.   ToyCannon
As my wife contemplates heading back to school to teach the likes of Connor, depression and apprehension are setting in. By December she will be okay but Sept is hell around here.

As a race I'm amazed that more of us just don't say screw this, I'm going to the beach and bang on my drums all day. That said I love work these days which is the first time I can say that in 10 years. Today is pizza day and our revamped web site should launch this weekend.

2008-08-22 10:29:00
11.   Zak
KG - you are just baiting me with the poker talk. :)

Jon - great article. Made me smile. I sometimes think about my son going to daycare and saying he doesn't want to go and how guilty that makes me feel. Of course as soon as he's there, he goes and plays with his friends and has a blast, but the next day, it's "I don't want to go" all over again. Anyway, thanks for linking.

2008-08-22 10:30:57
12.   Humma Kavula
My favorite Onion entry of all time is the entry they did reporting on the moon landing.

There are multiple, varied, and highly creative violations of Rule One in that.

There is most definitely a time and place to violate rule one with abandon.

2008-08-22 10:33:54
13.   ToyCannon
My school consisted of pre school play time, recess play time, lunch play time, post school play time. The time between play time consisted of me daydreaming. I'm not sure how I ever graduated.
2008-08-22 10:36:20
14.   Zak
10 I have a friend who was raised in Boston, married a girl from Colorado and the two of them decided that they don't like structured life, so they both moved to Hawaii and are raising two boys there with home schooling and other fun activities like kayaking at 6 in the morning or mountain hiking. Their boys are 7 and 8 now, I think. He works as a free-lance translator for some government agency and she weaves gift baskets at home. Last I spoke to him, they were contemplating moving back to Boston because everything is so expensive now in Hawaii. I should mention that he has been contemplating moving back for the last 7 years or so, on and off. And I don't think there is any chance he will move back. I am in equal parts dubious and envious.
2008-08-22 10:37:44
15.   D4P
As a race I'm amazed that more of us just don't say screw this, I'm going to the beach and bang on my drums all day

More of us probably would do that if more of us didn't need to work for money.

2008-08-22 10:37:56
16.   Bumsrap
9 I think you mentioned you think most DTers hate Loney. I hope not. He is the one I root for the most. But if those that don't like Loney are the same ones that liked Choi or LaRoche, then fine, I understand.
2008-08-22 10:39:10
17.   Eric Stephen
I think you mentioned you think most DTers hate Loney

It was directed at one man I believe.

2008-08-22 10:49:50
18.   Bumsrap
17 - Thanks and thank goodness.
2008-08-22 10:51:25
19.   underdog
My fave Onion headline is still "War on String May Be Unwinnable, Says Cat General."

16 Yah, I believe I'm accurate in saying most DT-ers like Loney quite a bit, even if there's some disagreement here or there on his true ceiling, his defense, and so on.

2008-08-22 10:58:40
20.   ToyCannon
My oldest brother was a bonafide hippie. Graduated in the first class of George Mason, got a MS and then left society and lived on a commune for several years and perfected his carpentry skills.

At the age of 35 he felt that he would never be able to find a woman who would share his lifestyle with him and had given up on any chance of having a family.

A year later by chance he met the right woman, planted his tree in Ferndale and has had 4 kids. He had to rejoin society and become a contractor to support his family and I've never met better parents. His children were all born water babies in a bathtub he built and they are all brilliant children, both scholastically and with character.

As his youngest brother I was envious of his unstructured hippie lifestyle and then his family once he settled down.

2008-08-22 10:58:40
21.   Tripon
Loney defense will be fine. His problem is that he makes dumb plays that magnify his mistakes. Like his unable to cleanly pick up a ball and then throwing it to the dugout in one of the Rockies game. That can be rectified over time with training and fielding. Its not as if he doesn't have the tools to be a good defensive 1st baseman.
2008-08-22 10:59:31
22.   ToyCannon
I've never read the Onion but that headline is awesome.
2008-08-22 11:01:14
23.   Eric Stephen
Ferndale sounds like a great woman.

(Sorry, I couldn't resist)

2008-08-22 11:07:49
24.   Bob Timmermann
From the NYT story about the USA-Argentina basketball game:

"the salty veteran Argentine forward Luis Scola."

I hope he didn't go all Juan Pierre on the court.

2008-08-22 11:08:32
25.   Bluebleeder87
517 from last thread

...& your chicks for free.

2008-08-22 11:18:49
26.   CanuckDodger
19 -- That headline makes me think of an episode of a Canadian TV series from a few years back, Twitch City. The episode, which was really surreal, was a take off on Planet Of The Apes called "Planet Of The Cats," and depicted a world in which humanity has been enslaved by cats. Cats run the government, courts and the military and they have ambitions of quashing their enemies, the squirrels. You might want to check it out. All 13 episodes of Twitch City are available on DVD. I recommended it to Trainwreck and he loved it.
2008-08-22 11:23:18
27.   goofus
Any chance at all we could get Betemitt from the Yankees at a decent price, now or this winter?
2008-08-22 11:26:06
28.   Eric Stephen
I'd gladly offer them bullpen help in Proctor.
2008-08-22 11:30:23
29.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
Having been homeschooled, I thought I beat the system by not having had to step inside a classroom until I was almost 14. Now I'm 25, and I've still got 4 years before I'm done with school. Now I kind of wish I had an earlier start.
2008-08-22 11:31:36
30.   trainwreck
Yes, great show.
2008-08-22 11:33:57
31.   underdog
26 Awesome, thanks, I'll have to check that out for sure. I like cats, I like Kids in the Hall, sounds like a winner.
2008-08-22 11:36:22
32.   underdog
Wow, I didn't even realize it had a bunch of KITH guys in it when I said that. Okay, I'm sold. I'm gonna make sure we get it for GreenCine.
2008-08-22 11:37:54
33.   ToyCannon
Does GreenCine offer the show Canuck was recommending. Can't imagine anything getting done by a world run by cats. Making them jump straight up in the air must have been good for laughs by the enslaved citizens.

My Yahoo tag line is "uplift the damn cats" for anyone whoever read the Uplift series by David Brin.

2008-08-22 11:41:01
34.   Bumsrap
I would be interested in the plausibility of signing Furcal to play third base rather than Blake for 2009. Hu or Abreu might be able to play short and DeJesus, Abreu, or DeWitt second. Furcal adds speed at third and playing third protects his back in comparison to playing short.
2008-08-22 11:54:43
35.   underdog
33 - It's here
And we're ordering it today so we will switch to rent soon. Request it now.

So the Dodger game tomorrow is on Fox in case you weren't sure. They seem to rarely win Fox national games for whatever reason. Should be a fun pitching matchup to watch.

2008-08-22 11:58:41
36.   ToyCannon

Maybe I'm first on the rental list.

2008-08-22 12:02:53
37.   berkowit28
35 FOX isn't exactly national - it's regional. But since they're playing the Phillies it must be regional in the east too. Probably central is watching a game with the Cubs or maybe Brewers.

ESPN is national. And the Sunday Dodgers/Phillies game is on ESPN.

I hope this doesn't automatically mean the Dodgers lose both games. At least, since the games are away, we're not losing Scully commenting, but just Steiner commenting, to the Fox and ESPN crews. The Fox crew tends to be old familiars anyway, Karros, Kennedy, etc. Usually the ESPN crew means Joe Morgan, though. Uggh. Maybe worth turning on the radio for that one.

2008-08-22 12:11:52
38.   bigcpa
My favorite Onion headline with token excerpt:

Pepsi Super Bowl Ad Raises Worldwide Pepsi-Awareness .00000000001 Percent

Specifically, the ad raised Pepsi-awareness in Xiao Bu—a 71-year-old Pyongyang, China peasant and one of five known humans not familiar with Pepsi—who learned of the existence of the soft drink while watching the Super Bowl.

2008-08-22 12:12:37
39.   arborial
This is my all time favorite onion article, unfortunately it is no longer on their website so forgive the rudimentary formatting:

2008-08-22 12:13:16
40.   D4P
Along those lines: I can count on one finger the number of times that I have purchased a product/service after learning about it on a commercial.
2008-08-22 12:14:12
41.   bigcpa
40 Did you buy a domain name from Go Daddy?
2008-08-22 12:16:10
42.   MollyKnight
I've eaten everything at Wrigley Field, and here is what I learned:

Say Yes to pulled pork nachos, pulled pork sandwiches, and hot dogs.

Say no to everything else.

2008-08-22 12:18:01
43.   berkowit28
It looks like A. Jones didn't play again for Vegas last night - second or third straight after his double homer night. What is it again he's supposed to have now? Vegas lost 13-0 to Colorado Springs, PeeWee going 0 for 3 and a walk, Hu just 0 for 3, Repko 0 for 0 and a walk (pulled out). Maza the big hit of the night with 1 for 3 and a walk.
2008-08-22 12:22:15
44.   D4P
I'm guessing Wrigley Field doesn't serve veggie burgers or pan-fried tofu.
2008-08-22 12:23:57
45.   CanuckDodger
35 -- I had never heard of GreenCine and just looked it up. In what capacity are you associated with them, if that is not too personal a question to ask? Anyway, if you like Twitch City I might be able to recommend some other stuff, if you are interested.
2008-08-22 12:32:56
46.   silverwidow
Is Joe Buck and Tim McCarver on tomorrow's game? They love Martin and will get introduced to Kershaw for the first time!
2008-08-22 12:34:43
47.   MollyKnight
44-Oh, they serve veggie burgers. And Greek salads that the vendor will try to talk you out of buying by showing it to you and asking "Are you sure?"
2008-08-22 12:37:55
48.   KG16
16-19, yeah, that was directed at one person.

I think, though, the larger point of the Dodgers not being all in (or pot committed) stands. The trades were risky, but then all transactions in sports are risky, all decisions, to some degree, involve an element of risk. The Dodgers have taken acceptable risks this year without really mortgaging the future in the process.

2008-08-22 12:37:56
49.   trainwreck
I got an EBAY Watchmen ad.
2008-08-22 12:43:28
50.   silverwidow
I wonder if Preston Mattingly will have to repeat Low A for a 3rd consecutive year? He's having a horrific season (.600 OPS) with tons of Ks.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-08-22 12:45:46
51.   underdog
45 I work there as an editor and co-site manager. I have sometimes obnoxiously pushed them to DT-ers here, too. ;-) But if you ever have recommendations for other Canadian stuff we should have, or anything, can always drop me a line craig at greencine dot com

(Some of GC's Canadian selections are listed here:

43 I think they said Jones had had some knee soreness or something and was going to rest it for a couple of games.

2008-08-22 12:47:20
52.   KG16
what are the odds that Jones hangs it up at the end of the season?
2008-08-22 12:48:22
53.   D4P
what are the odds that Jones hangs it up at the end of the season?

Hang it up: $0

Don't hang it up: $18 million

You do the math - all-time edition.

2008-08-22 12:49:03
54.   GoBears
a 71-year-old Pyongyang, China peasant

Did China annex North Korea? Cuz that's where Pyongyang is, last I checked.

Maybe Xiao Bu was lip-synching for a North Korean woman.

2008-08-22 12:51:41
55.   berkowit28
37 FOX is also doing Braves/Cardinals, Rays/White Sox tomorrow. Outside of the obvious home cities of the teams playing, I have no idea how they decide which areas get which games.
2008-08-22 12:52:15
56.   D4P
And if Xiao Bu really is Chinese, s/he's probably at least 3 years younger than 71.
2008-08-22 12:54:30
57.   underdog
Well, all I know is the Dodgers-Phillies game is on here in SF, for once, (and of course in LA) so I'm happy. At least until the game starts. Shall be Tivo-ing due to a soccer practice conflict. That way I can fast forward through blather and ads.
2008-08-22 12:55:03
58.   underdog
56 That's just the age the Chinese consulate gave the media.
2008-08-22 12:56:09
59.   KG16
Fox must be crushed, they are looking at a situation where the Yankees and the Red Sox miss the playoffs. Of course, it would likely mean discussions of "what is wrong with baseball"
2008-08-22 12:58:09
60.   underdog
59 - ESPN would be a sad panda, too. What would they have to talk about if those two teams are idle? Especially now that Bret Favre has found a home.
2008-08-22 12:59:05
61.   silverwidow
Dodgers/Rays WS would be GOOD for baseball.
2008-08-22 12:59:53
62.   trainwreck
ESPN will spend the playoffs talking about the Cubs and the fact that the Yankees are not in the playoffs.
2008-08-22 13:00:40
63.   Fan since 59
37 Steiner-Monday or Miller-Morgan. Choose your poison.
2008-08-22 13:02:26
64.   Bob Timmermann
I wouldn't begrudge ESPN talking a lot about the Cubs in the playoffs since they do have the best record in the majors.
2008-08-22 13:06:02
65.   D4P
2008-08-22 13:06:24
66.   trainwreck
Oh, and of course they will hype a potential Red Sox vs Cubs World Series.
2008-08-22 13:09:23
67.   Bob Timmermann
Tony Jackson,
Not a history major

2008-08-22 13:09:23
68.   cargill06
Russ Martin will be on 710 in a few minutes... the radio station.

I'm sure these will be hard hitting questions.

2008-08-22 13:09:36
69.   Eric Stephen
In a perfect world, the Red Sox will be watching the Twins. :)
2008-08-22 13:13:23
70.   silverwidow
68 Another 10 mins for Martin.
2008-08-22 13:19:49
71.   kinbote
0 Area man wants badly to contribute timely comment but is unable to think of anything clever. Against his better judgment, he comments anyway.
2008-08-22 13:25:35
72.   Icaros
I used to have my composition students bring in Onion articles to share and then write their own. It was a lot of fun, but I did find it sad how many students (we're talking college here) didn't realize that the Onion articles were not real.
2008-08-22 13:26:31
73.   jasonungar07
In a perfect world I haven't seen in 20 years we might even win 2 playoff games in one whole year.
2008-08-22 13:32:06
74.   Eric Stephen
Here's hoping Greg Maddux tonight is better than his first first start with the Dodgers.
2008-08-22 13:33:05
75.   Jon Weisman
2008-08-22 13:39:41
76.   ToyCannon
If this team can make the playoffs I think they have a better chance to get to the world series then any team since 1985.

I didn't mention 1988 because I didn't think they could get to the world series.

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