If you are to enter the arena of ideas, it is best to go in as a gladiator. Having ideas these days is not for the faint of heart, or thin of skin. Especially if you go against all the feel-good mumbo-jumbo frequently espoused these days.
Having a well-thought-out, logical opinion and then sharing it, is akin to throwing the lone Celtic barbarian into a Roman colosseum for a fight to the death as entertainment for the masses. When I wax eloquently about a topic I have researched, but know will cause the darts and laurels to be slung my way, I get ready.
In my mind’s eye, I grab my mighty, mighty pen, don my leather loin cloth, wide leather cingulum belt, those awesome metal shoulder guard thingies (called Galerus), forearm and leg protection as well as all the under garments to avoid mental chaffing. I am ready for the fight. (If you wanna’ check out a website about gladiator clothes, click here.)
When I write something innocuous (at least to me), like potty training my sons years and years ago, I do not put up my guard. That’s when I get the sharp end of a spear to the spleen from the angry mom’s club. It’s awesome.
Over the years, folks who have disagreed with something I have written have disparaged not only me, but my kids, too. They have written me anonymous letters telling me the paper has been chemically treated and that in 24 hours a certain part of my body will fall off. I have been called a jerk, curse words, unrepentant, anti-Christian, brain-dead, stupid, Neanderthal, sexist, racist, fat and worse.
Don’t believe me? Here’s part of an e-mail I received in 2008.
Dear Bone Head,
I can see you are very lonely man.
It’s an obvious deduction by the subject matter of this week’s column; the majority of your column’s followers (or rather responders) are women. As my deductions go, we women are not waiting with baited breath by the mail box for your divine thoughts, observations and rantings. Life is beautiful, birds are signing, flowers need tending, lemonade is to be made, fireflies to catch, sprinklers to be danced in and hammocks that need to be swung.
I can only imagine you sitting at your desk, refreshing your ‘Check E-mail? button over and over ’til it hurts. Donny Boy needs some attention . . .
Blah, Blah, Blah . . .
* * *
Actually, when I read that e-mail for the first time, I am sure in my head I heard the adult voices in all the Peanut cartoons.
“Dear Bone Head, Wah, wah wah, wah . . .”
What caused that woman’s obvious ire? I had the audacity to write about a then new trend for local chambers of commerce to have “women” only chamber events when they don’t have “men” only chamber events. It seemed unfair.
Anyway, survival is a part of my genetic makeup. And, since — oh, forever — I have given up on the idea of your hero (that would be me) being a Renaissance man of impeccable breeding. I have come to, at least, figuratively, embrace that yours truly is truly a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal.
All those chicks, all these years were right (which means, I was correct, too): I AM a Neanderthal. I learned the facts of this just the other week. My sister Patricia did one of those swab-your-mouth and send-it-in DNA testy thingamabobs.
First, I will give you the general information for my sister’s DNA and therefore (unless the Milkman rang twice) my own DNA.
99.3 percent European (I kinda’ figured that out by the amount of pasty white kin we have).
Of that 99.3 percent Euro DNA. 96.3 percent is from Western Europe. Of that 96.3 percent, 71 percent of our DNA makeup is Irish & British; just under five percent French and German; four percent Scandinavian (thank you Viking marauders);
Point one percent Ashkenazi Jewish (Eastern Europe); point four percent Sub-Saharan African; and point two percent East Asian & Native American (dang, not enough to get any funding from the Great White Father in Washington, DC).
So, it is pretty accurate to call me a Cracker, Honky, Pale Face or Thrice Removed Eurotrash. Your choice. But, what I thought was REALLY interesting about the previously mentioned DNA test results was this little snippet about Neanderthal variants.
Said, the report, “Neanderthals were ancient humans who interbred with modern humans before becoming extinct 40,000 years ago. This report tells you how much of your ancestry can be traced back to Neanderthals . . . You have 285 Neanderthal variants . . . you have more Neanderthal variants than 61 percent (of the tested population) . . . However, your Neanderthal ancestry accounts for less than 4% of your overall DNA.”
Who woulda thunk it, I really am a Neanderthal. Your thoughts?
Send them to me via e-mail to this address: DontRushDon@gmail.com