I Weep for My City (Banning Homemade Goods At Bake Sales)

Because, as we all know, the lack of funds for library books and gym equipment doesn’t kill kids, homemade cupcakes do. Nothing like a micromanaged snack. Check this out. And bartender? Make it another milk. Straight up, no cookies. — Lenore

P.S. My husband says we can’t call it a bake sale anymore either. How about a Fake Sale? The Deli in the Gym? Or maybe Processed Food Sale. That’ll bring ’em galumphing.

School Bans Dictionary

Hi Readers — As many of you have pointed out today, a grammar school in California has banned the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary because it contains a definition of “oral sex.” I guess the parents who complained would much rather their kid get his sex information from the geniuses on the monkey bars.

Here’s the local story. And here’s the one in the Guardian, which points out:

The Merriam Webster dictionary joins an illustrious set of books that have been banned or challenged in the US, including Nobel prize winner Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, which last year was suspended from and then reinstated to the curriculum at a Michigan school after complaints from parents about its coverage of graphic sex and violence, and titles by Khaled Hosseini and Philip Pullman, included in the American Library Association’s list of books that inspired most complaints last year.

When I was growing up there was a movement to ban Huck Finn, and I’ve heard of pushes to ban Harry Potter, too. Doesn’t seem to have hurt their popularity. All I know about the dictionary scandal is that there is one term all those California kids are going to be buzzing about tomorrow. — Lenore

These Kids Have Balls!

Or at least they want them: Two Ottawa fifth graders have started a petition to be allowed to PLAY WITH BALLS ON THE PLAYGROUND.

The principal banned balls during the winter, because, she told the CBC , “They’ve  got snow stuck to them, they’re frozen, often there’s pebbles on them and they’re flying through the air.”

Balls flying through the air? My, my. Maybe the principal likes balls, but only when they’re sitting quietly in the corner, or rolling to the library to bounce ever so gently near the books.

The kids, meanwhile, have collected more than 250 signatures begging for the ball ban to be bonked on the head. Why? As one of the kids put it, “It’s really fun with the balls.”

Now who said kids were supposed to have fun in the winter? Tsk, tsk. Next thing you know, they’ll want to play outside after school instead of running home to turn on the TV. — Lenore