Monday, April 09, 2007

He meant to; he really did

Yes, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Spot made an Easter resolution (he never gets around to New Year's resolutions or giving anything up for Lent) to ignore Katie more. But as Katie herself might say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Spot has a great cartoon illustration of that bromide, boys and girls. Remind him to show it to you some time.

Anyway, where was Spot? Oh yes, he had no sooner made his Easter resolution than MNO sent him an email saying did you see this? This, of course, is Katie's column for today—the day after Easter, as though there was some cosmic force afoot determined to thwart, nay mock, Spot for his transparent intention.

In her column, Katie tells the story about a man from southern Minnesota who died recently from complications of Crohn's disease. Katie went to the funeral in the man's hometown church. Katie's family had developed a relationship with this fellow, Steve, a painter, and Katie's daughter was his student, apparently a private (of course) student. Katie describes the man's dedication to his art and the efforts he made to teach Katie's daughter, including "marathon" painting sessions at Katie's house. Here's a little of what Katie said about him:

He made this decision 20 years ago [to be an optimistic fellow and pursue his art], when -- at the age of 20 -- he was beset by a debilitating form of Crohn's disease, a chronic illness. His illness took a fatal turn two months ago when cancer set in. Instead of railing at the heavens, he decided to become the happiest man on Earth. He was an optimist not only by nature, but by choice.

Katie is blissfully unaware that the irrepressible prankster, Unintended Irony, is again at work. Spot was thinking back, and it was not that long ago that Katie published a column making fun of some of the legislative proposals (usually, maybe exclusively DFL proposals, naturally) presently being considered by the Minnesota Legislature. (Spot has mentioned this column earlier.) After describing some of the proposals, including one designed to keep glass containers away from beaches and water where broken glass could cut feet, she says:

I could go on. Actually, bloggers King Banaian, an economics professor at St. Cloud State University, Drew Emmer and Michael Brodkorb have done just that. They've slogged through reams of leaden legalese to compile lists of our legislators' most exotic conjurings and tallied votes for the most egregious at Banaian's blog, SCSU Scholars. [italics are Spot's]

One of the legislative initiatives that Michel Brodkorb and Co. made fun of was a bill to insure restroom access at retail establishments (including the employees' restrooms, if necessary) for people suffering from certain chronic conditions, including, gasp, Crohn's disease. Brodkorb called it the Freedom to Poop Act. There are conditions, including Crohn's that require access to a restroom—sometimes unexpectedly. And if you've ever tried to find a public restroom in say, downtown Minneapolis, you know this can be a problem.

But for Michael Brodkorb and his merry band of eighth graders, including Katie by referral, this was a source of great hilarity. Brodkorb even made up a Freedom to Poop card. Gotta love that Michael! MNO had her say about the Freedom to Poop Act here.

But let Spot ask you this, Katie. Don't you imagine that other sufferers from Crohn's disease also want to embrace life and get out a little, just like your friend Steve? And that it might be a little easier to do that if you didn't have to worry quite as much about finding a restroom in time?

Spot thinks that Steve was dying of cancer when Katie made fun of the legislative initiative to help people like Steve. 'Atta girl, Katie.

Oh by the way, Katie, when Steve came over to your house, did you let him use the can?

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