Monday, January 21, 2008

It's Due When?

It was one of those classic moments of parenthood: late last week, Betty, a tenth-grader, allowed it to be known, far too late, that her biology assignment is due this Tuesday (tomorrow).

The assignment: To make a realistic model of the human skeleton and label all the major bones.

Build a fucking skeleton. In three days. Go.

Wonder Woman bought some modeling clay and a spool of wire. Betty panicked and took to her room. The dogs barked helpfully. Freddie shrugged and took to his room too, to play Rock Band on his XBox 360 and irritate the hell out of the rest of the house. (More on this revolting phenomenon later; suffice to say if I never again hear "Black Hole Sun" while listening to out-of-rhythm clacking on a toy drumset, it will be far too soon.)

After talking Betty off the ledge, and forcing her participation with threats both mundane and dire, we started bending wire and kneading clay, muttering imprecations at the ridiculousness of the assignment ("I've got to make ten metatarsals out of this crap? What does a fucking metatarsal even look like?).

We just now finished. While the skull looks more like something from Olduvai Gorge than a recently deceased homo sapiens, it at least has a clearly labeled cranium, mandible and maxillus. The vertebrae are little cubical clay beads strung on a wire, rather than the incredibly complex cervical, thoracic and lumbar processes shown in the diagram we got from Wikipedia, but at least they get bigger farther down the spine.

I have instructed Betty, on pain of punishment, to turn in the assignment tomorrow
while reciting to her teacher the following verse, which occurred to me while I was trying to ramrod a clay model of an impossibly complex bone into something at least vaguely resembling its real-life counterpart:

Songs are made by fools like Elvis
But only God can make a pelvis.


Mark Smeraldi said...

Read something to the effect that only god can make a sphincter (Google it- actual quote)recently.It's more far fetched than Elvis/pelvis' but I know that a man of your demonstrated talents can't let such a thing lie fallow.

EmployeeoftheMonth said...

tsk, tsk, not one "Poor Skeleton Steps Out" ref.

qed said...

I'll give it a go..

Nary a problem more distincter.
For several days, it nearly sinked 'er.
But when she thought it had hoodwinked 'er,
God poked a hole and made the sphincter.

Derryl Murphy said...

Oh yeah, we're going through much of that right now, only with a 6th-grader. He's very much in the last-minute phase right now, and it's killing us. And to add to the joy, the stupid local public library was shut down for 5 days because their new system installation didn't take. I'm told it reopens on Thursday, which gives us little time to find some book learnin' on angler fish.


Halloween Jack said...

At least you didn't take her to the library with her materials and ask the librarian to help with it. I've had that happen, and by "materials" I mean "posterboard"--they hadn't even picked a topic for the project.

Bernard motherfuckin' PURDIE said...

I played me the drums on that WHOLE goddamn Soundgarden album, yo.

noblesavage said...

A man can build hotels and rockets
No vancancies like our eye sockets.

He makes brass knuckles, hand grenades,
But God can turn out shoulder blades.

We're awfully proud, but let's begin
To thank - God took it on, the chin.

We'll eat our sausage, and drink beers
And later thank God for sphincters.

richfdrums said...

First - great post! I almost choked on my own spit I was laughing so hard

Second - how friggin' cool would it be if Bernard Purdie really left a comment here.

Neddie said...

Actually, richf, Bernard has been a regular commenter here for quite some time...

giggles said...

OK, call me dumb, but who's Bernard (motherfuckin') Purdie? Should I care?

giggles, not gigglin' right now!! said...

OK Call me dumb.... ! Google knows who Bernard Purdie is and now, so do I.... My apologies to MR Purdie!!!! (I'll google next time before I make some stupid dumbass public remark!!)

James Muthafuckin' Jamerson said...

Hey! How come nobody ever comments here pretending to be me?

Bernard Motherfuckin' PURDIE said...


Plus, you owes me a bag of dope from when I skated you in '69.