22 March 2010

"If I Were In Charge Of The World"

My second grade teacher read to us a lot (Probably most second grade teachers do, but I don't know for sure since I was only in the second grade once.) We all enjoyed read aloud time. She read us poetry, picture books, and occasionally even a chapter book. We sure all felt grown up when she pulled out the first chapter book. I remember her reading to us about the grouchy ladybug, Amelia Bedilia, and Ramona Quimby.

By far the classes favorite book was If I Were In Charge of the World by Judith Vorst. Occasionally our teacher would reward exceptional behavior by allowing a student to pick out the book for read aloud time. Invariably whoever the lucky student was would pick If I Were In Charge of the World. Soon we all knew the book by heart and would say it along with her.

I don't remember the whole thing anymore, but I do remember that if the unnamed character were in charge of the world he would cancel Monday mornings and oatmeal. I thought those were noble goals. I also remember that the book ended by saying, "If I were in charge of the world,a person who sometimes forgot to brush, and sometimes forgot to flush, would still be allowed to be in charge of the world." And after we all finished saying that part we would cringe, and offer our commentary of "eww...gross," and feel confident that our seven years of superior dental hygiene qualified each of us to be in charge of the world.

Now that I am no longer in second grade I have sadly realized that despite my years of consistent toilet flushing, I probably will never be in charge of the world. This is mainly because the world is not ruled by one person, but power is distributed among multiple leaders in many nations. And unfortunately those people will gather to discuss things ranging from health care to climate change to the lack of a BCS playoff, but seem content to leave Monday mornings and oatmeal alone.

But if I ever am in charge of the world, I will institute a new checkpoint at airports. It will be a smell check were people who have particularly bad body odor, halitosis, or whose clothes smell like smoke will not be allowed on the plane until their odors are neutralized. We already take off our shoes, jackets, and belts and submit to pat-down searches with the expectation that this somehow makes our flights more secure. I don't think it would be that much more invasive to have someone say "Excuse me sir, you need to take a shower before you can get on this flight." And it would certainly make flying a more enjoyable experience for all involved.


jacob said...

I used to like oatmeal, until I became a boy scout and ate too much of it cold, and now I can hardly eat a bowl without feeling nauseated.

Stacy Wilson said...

haha . . thats great. and now i really want to read this book to my 2nd graders!! thanks for the idea!!! :)