Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Measuring Sticks: All Those Little Lines, by JMC

BEX is a big deal. This is coming from a man who emerged as the world's biggest deal in the mid-1990's and only got bigger in the 00's. So if I say Bex is a big deal, cross-referencing is unnecessary. Bex is huge. And if you've ever been in the same room as her, you know what I mean: 5' 2" has never been taller. In fact, according to Johnson and Johnson Middle School physics teacher Mr. Stuffs, measuring systems are losing their credibility. "Five-foot-two could very well turn out to be five-foot-three in the near future.” Case-studies such as “Bex” have shaken the foundations of science in recent years. Within a few decades students may be using a system for measuring height completely different than what we see on rulers and measuring tapes today.

Mr. Stuffs is not alone. Kids across the nation have begun breaking their rulers and burning piles of "anything with those stupid little lines on it."* Students have teamed up with staff at St. Measure-me High School to protest the school’s name. They hope that by boycotting classroom instruction and marching across campus all day carrying life-size posters of Bex with 5’ 3” printed on them, administration will change the school’s name. When asked what they want the school’s new name to be, Jamal Wright, the school’s all-American quarterback, replied, “St. Measure-me Right!” Feelings of insecurity and doubt have also caught hold in some areas. “I don’t know what to believe anymore,” says one distraught kindergartener at Stick with Sticks Elementary School. “What do these little lines mean anyway?” What indeed. If Becky Castleton can weigh in at 50 lbs. and stretch the measuring tape to 5’ 2” while towering over six-footers in substance and breaking scales with the sheer weight of personality, what credence can we really give to conventional measuring instruments? None at all.

And what about age? “Surely the movement has nothing against the way we measure age,” asserts one critic. But I answer, have you ever seen a younger 30 than Bex? The woman is barely 20. Either we advance the age considered “prime,” or we call a 20 year-old body 30. I say throw out your institutions of measurement. Burn those rulers and change those school names! Bex is a big deal—much bigger than 5’ 2”.

* words of Jiggle McSnigs, a student at StrongBig Junior High and co-founder of “Students against Sticks With Stupid Little Lines on Them.”

JMC is a freelance journalist who travels to small American towns, interrupts classroom instruction, steals children's lunches, and threatens to keep them in at recess unless they say what he tells them.

6 comments:

thack said...

Awesome. I'm glad this is now in two places. Dual-Action. Good thing it's self-publication, or it would be illegal.

greysquirrelb said...

You included it!!! I love it. Thank you so much for writing that "tribute" :). Yes, exclamation points and smiley faces are definitely things I use...but you knew that :). Gramps talked to me about this too - somehow, he must have seen it too. He said he wants a word with you over it - 555 - if you haven't already called him back, you should.

Joe - I love ya - hope all is going well for you.

Sylvia said...

Joseph, this is fantastic. I love reading your posts!

Mary said...

Love it.

It's been a while, Mr. Castleton. How are ya?

greysquirrelb said...

Every time I read this, I laugh and smile so big. Thank you thank you thank you!

Elena said...

Joe,
where is the post about that slavic conference?
the blog definitely needs a new post..