How can nursery rhymes be so famous when they’re so stupid?

Humor Post #49 from the world’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

All right, it’s time for another in my series of “Who Made Up All Those Stupid Nursery Rhymes?” I was at the library the other day and there was a book of nursery rhymes out on a table. So curious student and historian that I am, I looked through it. Lucky I hadn’t had my lunch yet or I would have had to pay for a barfed on library book. How do these things stay famous (and popular??) for so long? Hasn’t any parent ever bothered to read these things to see if they make any sense? If this is all it takes to go down in history, my gym socks should be in all the textbooks. They definitely have the main requirement. They STINK!!

Now I’m not saying all nursery rhymes are that bad. Let’s look at Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, for example.

Baa, baa black sheep
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir. Three bags full.
One for the master
and one for the dame.
And one for the little boy
who lives down the lane.

Now this isn’t exactly The Hunger Games, but it’s not that bad (if you’re around four years old, that is). Someone asks a sheep a reasonable question and the sheep gives a reasonable answer. And yes, I know sheep don’t talk, but hey, little kids might think they do especially after seeing all those cartoons on TV. And I’ll forgive the old-fashioned language because, hey, this poem is — how shall I put this? — old. It’s got a decent beat and the rhymes are decent. All in all, I give it 2 1/2 stars out of 4.

Okay, you ready for a venture into the land of dumbicity? Better get out the diarrhea medicine. Check out the next one, Hey Diddle Diddle:

Hey diddle, diddle.
The cat and the fiddle.
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed to see such a sport
and the dish ran away with the spoon!

Excuse me?? This thing makes absolutely no sense. Okay, it starts with a cute sound. Nothing wrong with “Hey, diddle, diddle.” But the second line is there only because it rhymes with “diddle.” It’s not like anything happens to the cat and the fiddle. Shouldn’t it say, “The cat played the fiddle”? At least that would go with the line #3. See, two impossible things happen at the same time and that makes the dog laugh. But then the dish runs away with the spoon? Not logical, people. We’re all involved with these dumb animals and then here comes a dish running away with a spoon. Huh?

The best you could say about this poem is that it was written by a poet with severe ADD. I mean, nothing connects. I give it one star out of four. And that one star is mostly out of pity.

For one more super-stupid example, let’s peruse — ooh, I just learned that one — one of the most famous rhymes out there: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Twinkle, twinkle little star.
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high.
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle little star.
How I wonder what you are!

I got nothing against the beat or the rhymes in this magnificent masterpiece of literature. It’s just that the author is such a box of rocks! Not once, but TWICE, he — I assume it’s gotta be a guy, but who knows, I guess a lady could be this dumb — wonders what a star is. “How I wonder what you are.” It sounds like this dude (or dudette) has spent quite a bit of mental energy (like maybe 80% of their capacity) contemplating this great mystery.

Hello! Message to author: A star is a big, hot ball of flaming gas. Sort of like you, you science-challenged ignoramus. They taught me this like in the third grade. Maybe it was even the second. I know this poem wasn’t written by a kid. So where were you when your second grade teacher was teaching you this?

I can’t take this anymore. These things get world-famous and yours truly Dr. Crankenfuss can’t even get a private meeting with the President to let him know about how he could make our country better. I know cause I wrote the White House and all I got was a computerized reply with a picture of the President and the First Lady. And it must have been an old picture cause I saw him on TV the other night and his hair is a lot grayer than that now.

So that’s all for today. I gotta rest. Nursery rhymes can make a grown boy cry.

From Your Dude with the ‘Tude,
Dr. Crankenfuss

Yo, aliens from outer space, Is that all you got?

Humor Post #48 from the world’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

Do you believe aliens from outer space have visited Earth? I don’t know what to think about it. Lots of people say they have. And it’s pretty hard to believe that with all the billions of planets that are probably out there that not one other planet has any life on it. Of course, that life may not look a whole lot like ours. For instance there could be a world that contains millions of little dudes who look like spatulas and turkey basters. Or they could exist in two or three dimensions at once and be invisible. I’m talking about the ones who’d be capable of flying a space ship to Earth, of course, not the ones who might still resemble slimy little amoebas and have microscopic brains. (And don’t you go say that last description reminds you of me. I’ll have you know I look way better than a slimy amoeba. At least 20% better.)

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that I was watching a tv show Saturday afternoon and this guy was talking about “ancient astronauts” who visited Earth from other planets. And they taught people how to build the Sphinx and the pyramids. One place the show kept pointing out were these hundreds of huge stones in France called the Carnac stones that sit in perfect lines and formations like triangles that ancient peoples wouldn’t know about. And there couldn’t be any other explanation for them except space men visiting Earth.

It was all really kind of interesting. But Crankenfuss believes nothing of what he hears and very little of what he sees without real proof. So I started thinking. Yeah, those rocks are pretty cool. But why would space guys help people build those? Was that all they had? C’mon!! They travel billions of miles and close to the speed of light in these amazing spaceships that must have had equipment that would floor any scientist nowadays and what do the aliens show these ancient French dudes. How to build a stone triangle, that’s what! “Ooooh, that’ll show ’em how advanced we are,” those aliens were thinking. Dudes, get a clue! Why not a laser machine or at least a old dune buggie? Wouldn’t a telephone have been a pretty cool thing to introduce. Or considering that they were in France, the spacemen could have whipped up a delicious batch of Chocolate Mousse? After all, that’s a dessert that obviously didn’t exist back then and those ancient French knuckle draggers would have eaten that up. Literally.

A bunch of stones in a line?? That’s pitiful, space dudes!

So maybe aliens have been here to scope us out but until I see something more impressive that a big stone statue or a bunch of lined up rocks, call me skeptical.

And if you have any better proof we’ve been a tourist destination for centuries from other-worldly worlds, I’d love to hear your evidence.

From your Dude with the ‘Tude,
The Show-Me Guy Who’s not even from Missouri,
Dr. Crankenfuss

Who was the dumbbell who invented the electric pencil sharpener? I hope they feel guilty.

Humor Post #47 from the world’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

For those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, I’m kinda hooked on computers. I’m waiting for the day when we don’t need pencils anymore. Now I’m not totally anti-pencil. I can see how they’re easier than computers if you actually have to work a math problem yourself. I mean when the teacher gives you a calculator-inactive problem, I’m glad a have a pencil to do the work. A pen can’t be erased And writing numbers on a sheet of paper is easier than typing them on a computer would be. (The spacing and all those math symbols would mess me up.)  Yeah, pencils are kind of messy but I’m not ready to ban them yet.

Electric pencil sharpeners, on the other hand, should be thrown in the old dumperoo immediately. Why? you ask. Let me calculate the ways:
1. They’re NOISY!! Whenever someone sharpens their pencil, it’s worse than that old fingernails on the chalkboard thing. (And I don’t think I’ve seen a chalkboard for maybe a century now.) No, it’s more like a high-pitched, whining dentist drill sound and it makes my teeth hurt. Some teachers won’t let their students use them after class starts. I don’t see how anything gets done when they’re on.

2. They wear out too easy. In half my classes, you can stand there for maybe two minutes trying to get your pencil sharp and the blades inside the sharpener must be worn out cause I think I could do a better job with my teeth. I think the companies know this. That’s how they sell more of them.

3. They’re dangerous. Even when they do work, the pencils come out looking like something a serial killer might use on his victims. I don’t think doctors’ scalpels are as sharp as a freshy sharpened pencil. Think how many eyes we might save if we get rid of them. (BTW, I tried to find info on how many eyes get poked out by hyper-sharp pencils, but the web let me down on that attempt.)

4. Most kids are already out of shape. How about giving them some hearty aerobic exercise by, gasp, making them move their arm round and round to sharpen their pencil? The motion will also help them get better at hauling in a fish on a fishing pole (in case they’re into fishing, that is). Sharpening your pencil probably uses up around 5 calories or so and since 2700 calories is equal to a pound (or something like that), if you sharpen your pencil 540 times, you’ll maybe lose a pound. Yeah, I know that’s probably two years worth of pencil sharpening, but Crankenfuss is thinking about your health here. And every little bit counts, doesn’t it?

5. Everyone knows that our economy is not in the greatest shape. And a lot of schools are laying off teachers. Well, maybe if everyone stopped using all that electric power on those stupid electric sharpeners, the schools could hire back a teacher or three.

At home my mom still has an old-fashioned windup pencil sharpener and it works fine. Now I complain about a lot of stuff, but I don’t complain about that. And if I don’t complain about it, it’s probably not worth complaining about.

So, for your ears’ sake, for your eyes’ sake, for your health’s sake, for education’s sake, and last, but certainly not least, for Dr. Crankenfuss’s sake, let’s get rid of those dumb electric pencil sharpeners.

Maybe this could become a good issue for some presidential candidate to talk about. Some of them could probably use some new, brilliant ideas.

So that’s it for today. I’m glad to have brought a little sunshine into your life (unless you live in the desert, in which case you don’t need any more).

from Your Dude with the ‘Tude
Dr. Crankenfuss

Some people should put bags over their heads

Humor Post #46 from the world’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

Now don’t get your shorts all bunched up over my title up there. I’m not talking about people for their looks or anything. Although I do have to admit that there are some people out there whose looks could use some improvement. Like in some instances, brushing your teeth would be a good start. I don’t especially like someone smiling at me and I can see what they had that morning for breakfast. Or who knows? Maybe it’s last week’s dinner. Whatever, I don’t need to know about it, okay?

No, what I’m talking about here is a matter of health and well-being, particularly mine. There’s this guy in one of my classes. Let’s just call him Dummkopf for convenience’s sake. So he shows up at school with a cold. Now that in itself isn’t a crime. Why should you stay home for a cold? Then I’d be like, “Aw, what’s da mattuh wittle guy? My wittle baby have a big bad cold? Aww, let mommy put you to bed now.” No, staying at home for a cold is kind of wussy, isn’t it? But I do have a small suggestion for ol’ Dummkopf. When you feel the need to sneeze, how about holding back on the snot parade, okay? I mean this guy lets it fly, like outta the park, you know? Once I got a nice hose down of fine spray. Now I’m on a death watch, worrying about what little killers he might have let loose into the atmosphere that are now probably breeding inside me. Not a pleasant thought.

I went on the web and found the evidence for what I’m talking about. This clip, is from the BBC and the narrator has a British accent so you know he’s gotta be smart. It’s not even a minute long, but I tell you — the last ten seconds will make you think twice about how you look when you don’t cover up your nasty sneezes in public. Talk about gross!

So here’s to covering your mouth when you sneeze — I’m talking about you, Dummkopf, and all the slobs like you — and here’s to my not coming down with flesh-eating viruses that might keep me from blogging all the stuff that keeps your life worth living. And if you can’t cover your mouth, please refer to the title. That would be at the top of this post, Stupidhead… excuse me, I mean Dummkopf. (Gotta keep it in its proper German, ya know. Makes him sound dumber that way.)

From your Dude with the ‘Tude,
your Scold Against Colds,
Dr. Crankenfuss

Dude, think you can do 6th grade algebra? I don’t think so.

Humor Post #45 from the world’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

So we’re starting to get ready for our EOG’s (End-of-Grade) tests, these standardized things where you fill in the bubbles and they tell you if it’s worth it for you to be alive. Well okay, it’s not that bad, but these things are supposed to be important. So our math teacher has been giving us review problems to get us ready. I showed a couple of them to my mom and she told me she had no clue how to do them. Hah, one more way I’m better than her. (No, don’t go tell her that. She’ll kill me. Hey Mom, it was a joke. Oh no, not with the shovel!! A-h-h-h!!)

Anyway, I got the idea to test you guys out in this. I’m going to give you five Algebra problems our teacher gave us with four choices for each. Figure them out, make your selections, then click on the answer link to get the answers. I’d say “No cheating,” but I know a lot of you will. After all, who wants to admit they can’t do sixth grade math.

BTW, these are not advanced Algebra questions. They were for all the sixth graders to do.

1. The cost of a school banquet is $75 + 30n, where n is the number of people attending. What is the cost for 53 people?
a. $1,590
b. $4,005
c. $1,665
d. $158

2. To find the gasoline economy figure for a car in miles per gallon (mpg), you can use the expression d ÷ g, where d represents the distance traveled by the car, and g represents the number of gallons of gasoline used. Find the gasoline economy figure for a car that travels 200 miles on 5 gallons of gasoline.
a. 205 mpg
b. 40 mpg
c. 25 mpg
d. 38 mpg

3. During a canned food drive, Bob collected 6 times as many cans as Tom. If t represents the number of cans that Tom collected, which algebraic expression represents the number of cans that Bob collected?
a. 6t
b. 7t
c. 6 + t
d. 7 + t

4. Mike is 2 inches more than two times as tall as his younger brother Jake. If Jake is h inches tall, which expression describes Mike’s height?
a. 2(h – 2)
b. 2(h + 2)
c. 2h + 2
d. 2h – 2

5. Solve the equation: 2.2 = z ÷ 57
a. 62.7
b. 125.4
c. 59.2
d. 54.8

Ooh, I bet you aced it, huh? Click here to find out the correct answers.