Wednesday, March 29, 2017

John Brown Crazy

This morning. Wide awake at 5:30. High noon wide awake at 5:30. No chance of nodding back off wide awake at 5:30. So, I get up, walk downstairs and fix my coffee. While waiting for it to brew, I empty the dishwasher. Post chore, I perambulate into the library for my daily news briefing, courtesy of Mr. Gore's invention. The news isn't good. It would appear that my mother was right with her accessment that the "world is John Brown crazy." Don't ask me to define what exactly John Brown Crazy means. This was one of my mother's many odd formulations. We never questioned her on matters of language, she being a devotee of the because I said so school of parenting. We took this expression to mean...mentally unstable. There was "crazy" then there was John Brown Crazy, a far more serious affliction of mind and body which was beyond human understanding or remedy.

I'm fairly certain that if Mom were alive today she would consider the men can menstruate too crowd as exhibit A in the John Brown Crazy museum, just around the corner from the women with penises display. This latest absurdity served up by the gender fluidity idiots is one more example of John Brown Crazy which I am eternally grateful that my mother didn't live to see. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to explain it all to her...

Mom: Douglas, I want you to explain to me what I just saw on the news, and I don't mean maybe!!

Me: Calm down Mom. What happened?

Mom: Don't you tell me to calm down! I just saw a man on Fox News saying that he was gonna sue the school system for not having a tampon machine in the boy's bathroom!! Douglas, what in the Sam Hill was he talking about??

Me: well, uh, I

Mom: I'll tell you what they should be talking about...that man is possessed by a demon if he thinks that a man can have a period. They oughta lock that man up in the loony bin. He's John Brown Crazy!

Swift was the sword of justice swung when my mother was on the case. If I had even used the term gender fluidity with her she would probably have shot back with..."You should be ashamed of yourself, talking that way. Menstruation is a natural part of life, calling it fluidity is shameful!!"

Me: No Mom, gender fluidity is the term given to the idea that a person' gender isn't as simple as male/female. It's the idea that a person's sex can change and evolve over time, that in fact, there are probably endless possibilities when it comes to gender identity...

Mom: Endless possibilities, you say.

Me: Well, that's the theory, at least.

Mom: A person's sex can change over time, you say.

Me: That's what I'm told.

Mom: Well, that's about the John Browndest thing I have ever heard.

Yes, her go-to term for mental instability came in several forms. It could be used as an epitaph, an adjective, an adverb, even a verb..."If you don't straighten up and fly right, I'm gonna John Brown you into next week!" Often she used the term in connection with threats of violence..." if you know what's good for you, you'll straighten up or I'll John Brown come over there and mop the floor up with you!" Mom never actually made good on her threats, the mere evoking of the dreaded John Brown usually had the desired effect.

I miss her in ways impossible to express, but I'm so glad that she didn't live to see gender fluidity, because explaining it to her would have been John Brown Impossible!