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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The Training Program

By Ralph Lymburner

Now that I have ESGF’s worm farm up and squiggling and her four varieties of squash are running amuck in her back yard, some other mundane thoughts have been running through my sinister mind.

Watching a Las Vegas comedian spit out his patter of one liners, I heard this one: “I’ve been single for a year and I still put the seat down.”

This immediately put my demented mind into overdrive. I thought to myself, “Hey, I’ve been single for two years and I still put the seat down.”

Why? You men old enough to read Elder Storytelling Place, whether divorced, widowed or bachelor, rise up! Where did all of this training start? I’ll tell you where it started.

History tells us that in 4BC two cavemen were in the cave having dinner. The female caveperson was standing close by attending to her serving duties. One caveman said to the other, “Well, I’ll teach her to talk. What can be the harm in that?”

It’s been downhill for men ever since.

Think back to your childhood about the training program you were in and didn’t realize it. Your mother was always making the rules. Do this, do that. Be home when the street lights came on, put the toilet seat down.

We learned early on not to bother appealing to the man of the house. When asking dad to overrule the momchief, he would pull himself up and in a stern voice, spout the only saying he knew: “Do what your mother says,” and act as if he had made a major decision.

Back when we were raised and thought that we had the world by the tail, you never found a male teaching until we got to high school. Every year, a new female appeared to continue our training. Some of them took their training in some military boot camp and would make good drill sergeants.

A friend of mine, when signing his name, puts the letters “HIT” after. This is short for “Husband In Training” and he’s been married for 20 years.

Though I’ve been single for two-and-a-half years, you will still find the seat at my home in the down position. Oh well.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Ralph - Most amusing!

I encountered my first male teacher in seventh grade. I was raised among women (3 sisters). I have been married to, "She who must be obeyed" for 47 years. 'Putting the seat down' has become a natural reflex!

By the way, why did 'VSGF' become 'ESGF'? - Sandy

This is ESGF responding, upped from VSGF so that is a rise in my status.
Wow, Sandy, you have held up well for 47 years, "She" must be Very Special. I am now Extra Special.

You set me thinking, Ralph.

Why must the boys put the seat down, but the girls are not admonished to put it up?

My "one who must be obeyed" of 49 years says males must put it down because several bad things can happen during the hours of darkness when a damsel's posterior drops into the bowl.

I must admit that a lad inadvertently watering the seat and surrounding area probably is of lesser consequence.

Two days ago I entered a unisex room in a medical facility (water pill, you know). I immediately noticed the floor was wet but used the toilet anyway, still careful not to wet my cuffs. I'll never know what was on the floor.

Ralph, Joanne - Thanks for the 'decoding'!

I had assumed that VSGF in the original 'Worm Farm' story stood for very sexy girl friend! - Sandy

I had a father and a brother, so got used to being alert..got a husband whose Mother must have been a good trainer, he used to keep after our two sons a little relentlessly thought ...I noticed at work, two different organizations with two different cultures, that single women, whether they had brothers or not went a little over the line on the put the seat down issue..was just thinking that I have never heard those words spoken in other people's homes, are we all so polite we have sign language cues, etc..just sayin'...funny culture mores I think...

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