Taking The Gloves Off

You put your right fist in, you put your right fist out...


Hockey belongs to the Cartoon Network, where a person can be pancaked by an ACME anvil, then expanded – accordion-style – back to full stature, without any lasting side effect. 


~Steve Rushin

Gotta start this post by saying I forgot something very, very important in my earlier “Ode to October” piece. IT’S HOCKEY SEASON AGAIN!

Yeah, I know most Americans know nothing about it. But nothing says fall and winter to me like frozen water, a vulcanized round piece of rubber, big burly guys (and gals) skating at 20 MPH trying to beat the snot out of one another. It’s a cultural thing. I miss being on the ice. And part of that culture, still a controversial one, is the fights and the Goons.

Take the fights and goons out of hockey, and what do you have? Croquet. Horseshoes. Bowling, for crying out loud. It’s not the same. There’s the old saying “I went to a fight, and a hockey game broke out.” It’s the honest-to-God truth. Hockey without fights is like…well, hockey without a puck. It’s never going away.

Ain't that the truth?

One of the few phrases from hockey jargon that has made its way into popular culture is “taking the gloves off.” For you newbies out there, when instigating a hockey fight, you take the gloves off. It means you’re in it to win it. You’re not backing down.

Today’s post is going to be one of those times for me. Normally I’m content to be slightly ironic, mostly invisible, and gently subversive. Just for today, I gotta put on my old role and take the gloves off.

I’ll put it right out there and say it. I’m 31 and poor. Well, maybe not in the bread line sense, or the Third World sense, but in a modern American sense, I’m poor. Never thought I’d have to say it. But I also never try to lie about these things.

Why did I get so steamed up today? I’m not sure why I even bother to read Yahoo News anymore. It’s so much propaganda, they probably hired rejects from the old Soviet pravda (That’s a little Cold War lingo for those of you who don’t remember it.) So, my painful curiousity got me into trouble yet again.

It all started with a little “news” item about people getting government assistance checks (read: food stamps) on the 1st and 15th of each month, and then rushing to the local Wal-Mart or Kroger to bulk up on TP, laundry detergent, canned pork and beans, and the like. The people pictured certainly didn’t look poor to me, and several of those profiled had 4, 5, and even 6 children. Hmmm. I smelled a rat, and apparently many of the readers did too.

I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!


Coincidentally, there was also a “news” story about how over 40 million Americans (and no doubt, many who are not American citizens) receiving food stamps. That’s 1 in 7 people. That in itself is staggering.

I realize that some people genuinely need help. I also realize that private organizations, churches, and individuals used to be able to handle their needs far better than a government bureaucracy could even dream of.

So, if you’re easily offended, or you are one of those “poor” people, I suggest you turn away now. I’m about to take the gloves off.

Still reading? Well, all right…

I’m honestly sick and tired of this awful entitlement mentality. If people see that their kids don’t have designer shoes and clothes, a Wii, a terrific education, their own BlackBerry, yada yada, they assume automatically that they’re “underprivileged.” I’m all for programs like Angel Tree, but when I see that little “underprivileged” Johnny and Susie want an XBox and a racing motorcycle for Christmas, I’m not going to do it when I myself am struggling to pay for basic needs like clothes and utilities. Whatever happened to kids being satisfied with, I dunno, a book or a stuffed animal for Christmas?

I may very well be the anti-poster child for government handouts. I’m a non-minority who speaks the Queen’s English, I’m single, childless, healthy, have worked all my life and paid taxes, vote faithfully in every election, and would serve in the military if my health allowed it. Oh, and I’m supposedly disabled, but apparently not enough. Me trying to get assistance from the government is about as likely as David Duke being asked to keynote the NAACP convention. Good luck with that.

Nobody…I repeat…nobody is starving in America. If you want food, there is always someone who will give it to you. Most churches (and I’m not particularly religious) have at least something to share for those who are willing to listen. Remember all those ‘Feed the Children’ ads with gaunt, hollow-eyed children in Third World countries? When was the last time you saw a kid like that in the aisles of a Wal-Mart? More than likely the kid had early-onset diabetes from all the Twinkies and Funyuns his parent(s) let him eat. Ditto for all the Depression-era photos of bread and soup lines. Anybody remember seeing one of those recently? Not me. If you’re really desperate, try the dumpster behind Cheddar’s or J. Alexanders. Bet you could score a nice bit of…something.

Enough already with these food stamp debit card thingies. I’ve seen people waving those suckers around like AmEx Platinum cards. If people are going to get food stamps, make ’em humiliated a little bit. Oh, wait, that would hurt their fragile self-esteem. Never mind.

Another thing…the government cannot EVER be a substitute for fathers. I’m not saying this because I hate women or because I’m some sort of tea party nutball. There is simply no better influence in a child’s life than a strong, loving father figure. You know what? If you want to have sex, be prepared for the consequences. Real men can, and do, care for their children. Without them, the kids are going to suffer, no matter how much of a super parent Mom might be. Don’t take my word for it…look how many career criminals, drug addicts, and prostitutes are fatherless.

Leading into this: Sex has consequences. There are plenty of measures to take ahead of time. When you consider that five minutes of pleasure may equal eighteen plus years of responsilibity, it’s astonishing. Don’t have children if you can’t take care of them. If you do decide to have a child, why not consider adoption? Many more couples wait every year. As an adoptee myself, I know what I’m talking about.

Here’s a suggestion for the government. Why not make people who receive federal assistance take drug tests? The “war on drugs” as it stands is a joke, much like our other so called wars. If you’re going to fight a war, fight a war.

I’m not saying these things because I’m nuts, or because I hate anyone. I realize that only a paycheck or two may separate me from “them.” But I’ve also tried very hard to live responsibly so that I may not need assistance. It’s a mark of pride for me, really, to know that I’ve made my own way rather than have to mooch off someone else’s hard work. Try teaching that mentality for a change.

And now that the gloves are back on, and everyone has forgiven me…LET’S PLAY SOME HOCKEY! GO PREDS!

The real reason everyone loves hockey!

Got comments? Drop me a line at wikusandmurdock@yahoo.com!

~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on October 8, 2010.

One Response to “Taking The Gloves Off”

  1. Go Pens! *evil grin*

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abandonen toda esperanza aquellos que entren aqui


You - philosophical, thoughtful, witty. Me - still thinks fart jokes are funny. We should DEFINITELY get together!

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