Thursday, August 09, 2007

You Suck at Suicide Bombing

Sorry, short on time and time for a repost. The best of. Preparing for a big time trip out west. Glacier National. Yellowstone. Grand Tetons...what they hell is a teton?" Anyway, hope you new readers enjoys, you old readers reminisce, and all you junior deputy economists forward it to somebody! (Seriously, I'd be curious to see the statistical ramifications to see if people just insisted on forwarding it to somebody else. Forget whether you have a genuine interest in the post, but if people DID forward it to other people just out of curiosity to see just how many people it would reach.)

It was during the closing few moments of what I call “The Dark Days” in Captain Capitalism’s life that I substitute taught at the public schools in the Twin Cities metro, thinking that perhaps I would want to become an economics teacher. Only to find out that what goes on in the school system is not so much education or teaching as much as it is baby sitting children’s children and making sure you don’t upset anybody or do anything that anybody would disagree with or perhaps even be slightly uneasy about. It also gave me a grudging respect, or perhaps pity, for the impossible situation public school teachers are in;

Try to teach children who never have been disciplined in their lives without meting out discipline yourself.


However, while I quickly found out I would NOT like teaching, I found something I did like.

Something I didn’t know I would have liked before.


I was substitute teaching kindergarten one week, not really thinking much about it before my first day. Just go in, deal with the little runts, collect my check and go home. But outside banging up my shins something fierce on the “kindergarten furniture” which is all 1/3 scale adult size, I actually found the little snots pleasant, borderline fun.

The reason I came to realize why is that they’re still innocent, they’re still curious and, frankly, they’re so trusting you can manipulate the heck out of them.

Such trust came to my advantage when we were making snowflakes for the teacher (who was sick). Soon I realized that it was winter and that it’s a 45 minute procedure just to get them into their winter garb because none of them know how to dress themselves;

One needs help putting on the boots
The other is trying to put snowmobile pants on with their boots already on.
You ever see a kid put a jacket on backwards and sit there for a full 30 seconds looking at their front wondering where the zipper went?
“And no Jimmy, those are gloves, they go on your hands, not your feet”

Regardless, that was a 45 minute process and the buses were coming to pick them up in 55 minutes AND the room was a mess with little paper schnerbles a strew on the floor.

What is a substitute teacher to do?

So I came up with a brilliant idea and said to the kids,

“OK guys, you want to play a game?”

Their eyes shot wide open, all of them, “oh yea yea!!!! We want to play a game WE WANT TO PLAY A GAME!!!!”

Using cunning reverse psychology I said,

“Oh, wait, I don’t know. On second thought it really is more of a FIRST GRADER game. Never mind, we can’t play the FIRST GRADER game.”

That alone had them eating out of my hand. Practically jumping out of their seats, borderline some of them going into cardiac arrest,

“oh oh oh!!!!! Oohhh!!! We want to play the first grader game!!!!! PLEEEEASSEEE!!!! Let us play the first grader game.”

“Wellll, I don’t know. I could get in trouble…you have to promise not to tell the teacher when she comes back.”


“OK, well raise you’re right hand.”

Which I didn’t foresee would be a problem with half the students.

“No, no your RIGHT hand. OK, repeat after me;





“Not to tell anybody”

“Not to tell anybody”

“We played the first grader game”

“We played the first grader game.”

Once I had their oath, I was pretty sure I’d be able to clean the room and have them in full gear and on the bus in time.

“OK, you 5 are blue team.”

“we don’t want to be blue team”

“Uh, ok, how about red.”

“I don’t like red.”


Yes, they were satisfied with green.

“You guys are yellow team, you guys are red team, and you guys are blue team”

Which ever team picks up the most pieces of junk off the floor wins a prize!

“OH OH !!!! What’s the PRIZE WHAT”S THE PRIZE????”

Waiting, looking around to make sure nobody was looking or listening in I said,

“It’s a SUR-prize”

“OOOH!!!!! OOH!!!!! “

Before they blew their little gaskets I figured it best to let them clean up the place. And with no forewarning I said,


Boom! Place was clean in under 4 minutes.

Once the room was picked up to my satisfaction I called an end to the game and inspected each team’s pile.

“OK, ok, very good there red team. Honorable mention. Yellow team that’s a fine pile. Blue team, very good, but I think the winner is GREEN team.”

All of green team went more rabid than a bunch of drunken Germans at a British soccer match.

“What’d we win, what’d we win!!!????”

And looking straight into their trusting, excited and hopeful eyes I said,

“You win my dignity and respect.”

Dead silence.

And one of them sheepishly peeped up,

“That’s not a prize.”

Of which there was no time to debate because the bells rang and it was time to get geared up for the buses.

It was this experience, the concept that I could have that much fun with a bunch of little disease spreading snots AND send them on their way to have somebody deal with them and actually pay for them made me think that having children would suck, but having grandchildren could almost be tolerable.

The next day it convinced me grandchildren would be a blast.

For the next day was the FIRST SNOW FALL OF THE YEAR. And here you have these little 5 year old kids, who for them is a big experience. For it was one thing when the snow first fell when you were 3 or 4. But when you’re in school and it’s the first snow fall, then it is the eleventh commandment that you must go out and have a snowball fight.

Leave it to the nanny-Nazi’s to spoil our fun. I was already scheming a massing snow ball fight with red team, blue team and yellow team, but the iron maiden principal came over the intercom.

“I’m aware that it is snowing, but as you know it is school policy there will be no snowball fights and no recess outside. Recess will be held in the gym.”

You might as well have taken each of these kids and shot their pet from home right in front of them.

This first big time experience, the first snowfall of their first year in school. And this fascist bitch who kowtowed to her hyperactive, over sensitive, leftist, commie bastard overlords “all risk must be eliminated at all cost” thought nothing of denying these kids their God-given right to a snowball fight on the first snow fall of their first year in school.

The hell they weren’t getting a snowball fight. And I had the perfect alibi, “I’m just a dumb substitute teacher.”

Now, you think it’s a big ordeal getting 30 snots geared up in winter gear in preparation for the buses. Try doing it clandestinely so the principal doesn’t find out.


Bring all the gear into the classroom, put the gear on in the classroom. Keep them quiet while you’re walking through the halls. “No, Jimmy, that’s a glove damnit again!” Hope to God no one sees us making our escape out the back door. But once we were out, the fruits of our labor paid off.

The little snots running around in the snow, making snowballs faster than they could throw them. Using the substitute teacher as a shield. Ganging up on the substitute teacher. The substitute teacher, perhaps, maybe grabbing the occasional kid to use as a shield for incoming snowballs. Their little unformed arms throwing snowballs with the accuracy of Republican Guard tank gunners. The runt of the little, some little girl that couldn’t have been more than 2’9” with a huge grin on her face, even though I don’t think she managed one direct hit. All the meanwhile little faces you could see smooshed up against the windows from inside the school. Pointing at my students that got to have a snowball fight. Begging their teacher to let them join the free world. Only to have the teacher deny their request and conform to Nazism.

But not my students, they were going to have their day…of course I was going to have my day too.

27 years old and I’m still getting called down to the principal’s office.

Despite the lecture I got about “rules” and “legal liability” and everything else that has taken whatever vestiges remain of childhood and thrown them in the toilet, I still stood by my decision. I frankly, by this time, didn’t care, because I had also substitute taught babysat for middle school which quickly made up my mind that I was not going to pursue a teaching career anyway.

But it did clinch my decision that grandchildren would be the best thing in the world.

Of course the paradox is that the pleasure and fun grandchildren would bring, is not worth the pain and agony regular children would give. And so, as a way to circumvent this cruel law of nature, I have lobbied my sister to start having nieces and nephews. Heck, I may even start donating time at an orphanage, but I must maintain my image of an evil, fascist capitalist, so I would have to do it clandestinely.

Regardless, the whole point is that, accidentally, I happened upon this little joy of life. Who would have known little snots could be so fun. As long as they go home to their parents, and I can veto authority and do away with the rules you can have a blast with the little wealth-consumers (as long as it isn’t your wealth they’re consuming). Grandchildren are hands down one of the best things on this planet to enjoy.

Then will somebody please explain this to me?

A woman, 57, who is a grandmother of 41, decided to blow herself up to attack Israeli soldiers.

Now I know that this is the Gaza strip, and I know that this is a different culture, but it is insane to me that if you have 41 grandchildren, with such a potential for such fun and happiness in life, not to mention at the relatively young age of 57, why on God’s green earth would you kill yourself and not just deny yourself such a grand time of snowball fights, vetoing parents, and tricking them into cleaning up their rooms, but deny them a grandmother?

And of all things to “lightly wound 3 Israeli soldiers????”

You end your life, pass up a great life and deny 41 grandchildren their grandmother to “LIGHTLY WOUND 3 Israeli soldiers?”

First you suck at suicide bombing. All the training, all the psychological preparation, all the gear, and you just “lightly wound” 3 Israeli soldiers? I mean you REALLY pissed your life away.

I can see them immediately after you blew yourself up;

“Hey Bob”


“Looks like you got a little shrapnel in the leg there.”

“Oh, didn’t notice. I think it’s just a piece of grit. You sure I’m wounded?”

“Yeah, I think I see a little blood. Better go and get it checked.”

“You think?”

“Yeah, better be safe.”

Bob goes to get it checked, doc looks at him;

“What they hell did you come in here for this scratch for??? Here’s a band aid, get your ass back on patrol.”

Secondly, look what she gave up for “lightly wounding” 3 Israeli soldiers.

41 grand children.

Cripes, I had 30 little snots under my command. It was a blast. How could you pass up all the fun games and times you could have had with 41 of them???? The holidays, the games, the reverse psychology. You name it, the possibilities for fun are endless with 41 of those little tykes running around!!! But no, you opt to blow yourself up.

So I tendered this question to my audience on my radio show. Why would this woman do this? Why would she pass up 41 grandchildren to LIGHTY FREAKING WOUND all of THREE, count them, 1, 2, 3 Israeli soldiers?

And I got two answers.

Jamall called in saying she did it to protect her grandchildren. That the Israeli’s were going to hunt these kids down and kill them anyway and this was the only thing she could do to protect them.

Ignoring the brainwashed conspiracy theory aspect of this, I just poked at his logic a bit and asked him, “well, wait, wouldn’t she have done more damage if she was a sniper or just stay at home with a shotgun?”

“Well the Israeli’s have all the guns and weapons. That’s why they throw rocks.”

Sure, fine, but why do I see Hamas and Islamic Jihad with AK-47s ripping off rounds into the air? And if the people in the Gaza strip are “stripped” (har har har) of their weapons and Isreal’s goal is to destroy them, what’s stopping Israel from coming in there and wiping them out?

Of course the answer is that Jamall wants to believe in what he wants to believe, which points to the fact he has an agenda and really isn’t concerned with logic or the truth. Just, I presume, coming up with a reason to blame Israel and the US.

Regardless, it still didn’t answer my question to my satisfaction. Why did this woman give up her life that would have involved 41 grandchildren?

I was toying around with the idea of brainwashing. That maybe with her 9 children and 41 grandchildren she was destitute and poor. There was nothing to live for, so why not take the express train to Allah?

Then the wife of a former Israeli soldier called in;

“They’re paid $25,000 by Hamas to go on suicide runs.”

Now, call me cynical. Call me an Israeli sympathizer. Call me an infidel. But take your political and religious leanings out of it and ask yourself which explanation is more palatable?

“This woman killed herself because she was trying to protect her grandchildren?”


“Hamas paid her $25,000 to do this and it would go to help her family?”

Of course the second makes the most sense, and is probably true. But despite the bounty of $25,000 and a “guaranteed audience with Allah” I’ll still take happiness provided by the now orphaned 41 snots.


Alfred T. Mahan said...

Good Lord, Captain, you almost sound like you care.

About children, no less. Are you certain you haven't gotten into the vanilla extract this afternoon? I mean, this is a well-written piece and all, and having listened to your aforementioned show, I happen to know of what you speak (your substitute escapades excepted), but this is something of a departure from your usual "you-be-damned" cynical smartass tone.

As an uncle myslef, are you sure you don't need to go to the doctor or something? I can assure you, the desire for snotlings will pass.

Anonymous said...


Funny that I'm reading that post as I sit here and substitute at a public (middle) school in Massachusetts... Little bastards!!!

I know what you mean. I work an afterschool program too (1-3 grade) and they're actually fun.

I think they should replace the term "teenager" with "temporary retard".

Anonymous said...

$25,000 is mind boggling. And what a contrast you've laid out.

I substitute teach too (K-12) and it's like you've documented the inside of my brain. I have said, thought and tried it all...except the snowballs...too chicken.

I guess that's why they call you Captain.


Andrew L said...

Thanks so much for putting the time into writing this post. I thouroughly enjoyed reading it. And it's nice to know that, somewhere withing you, burried beneath all the reason and cynicism and economic charts, you do have a heart.

I've also had some experience working with young children (mostly on a voluntary basis) and in my case it has only made me want even more to someday be a father. When I was working with kids, I would get to spend maybe a couple of hours with them and then their parents would come get them, and the whole time I felt that I had to be careful what I said to them or did with them in case their parents wouldn't approve. I would love to have kids of my own and just be able to hang out with them and do fun stuff with them. I know that parenting would be a devil of a lot of work and cost a rediculous amount of money, but I can't think of a better thing to do with my time and money.

I'm not just saying that either. At times I've fantasized about what it would be like to have a huge amount of disposable income and be able to buy great toys (motorbikes, speedboats, guitars, fancy vacations) and I've always come to the conclusion that living like that would seem pretty empty and meaningless. I'd truly rather spend the money on a bunch of little brats of my own.

Anonymous said...

The Joy of life and isn't remarkably incredible how screwed up this world is.

The Principle and at least the Grandmother has some modicum of excuse yet, I think true evil is alive in this world and the little guys showed it too you by deflection of course.

True evil to them is no SpongeBob square pants after school.

Wulf said...

There is no snow in Gaza, and therefore no snowball fights with the grandkids. Life without snow isn't worth living.

Frank said...

I wonder what the old nanna's gonna do with those 72 virgins...

Captain Capitalism said...

Somebody has pointed out here that somebody had said I had a heart.

And I am sorry to inform you that you are misinformed. I merely had a lapse of judgement. It shall not happen again.

Ro! said...

Great Post Captain!

Anonymous said...

What does 'teton' mean? Well, it's hard to tell you in a family blog . . . but its a French word that relates to a woman's . . . um . . upper torso . . . thingies . . . . :) You'll understand when you get there.

Enjoy the vacation!

Anonymous said...

Grand Tetons..

In Cajun French it means big tits. Grand = big. Teton = tit. Teton was not considered a vulgar word then and now.

Captain Capitalism said...

You learn something new every day on Captain Capitalism!