All the little boxes

I don’t know anyone who fits in the categories provided by surveys, Twitter rants, or news articles. All of them are real human beings, with tangled lives and complicated opinions. Some of them may even appear, at a glance, to easily fit the stereotype of this or that – the drug-addled homeless man begging for change, the radical young activist enthused about confronting some kind of revolution, the stuffy old lady frowning down her nose at the neighbors. But that’s a vague impression that falls apart if one actually gets to know the person, spends time with them, and ignores ones own lazy tendency to chuck people into little boxes and then treat them with appropriate prejudice.

Half the babbling on about things people do is not thoughtful, considered speech, but just an unedited releasing whatever mental babble is circulating in their minds (this blog serves that purpose for me, especially if my husband is busy and doesn’t need to hear my nonsense). I like listening sometimes, though I sometimes run out of sympathy with other people’s nonsense, especially if it is not personal, but just repetition of still other people’s nonsense, such as political intrigues or scandals collected from the news. At least babble about your own life!

Interesting: I’m really worried that someone might watch what I do all day.

Boring: Did you hear Bill Gates is going to inject us all with microchips?

Ants

I found myself singing a children’s song this afternoon, and it was nonsense, and I figured it was probably silly words added on to a pre-existing melody. It goes like this:

Do your ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro, can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow…

That’s all I remember.

But as I was singing it, making a cup of tea, I wondered if it might have been an old marching song or hymn. And then I remembered another, that I’m pretty sure is an old military marching song, with nonsense lyrics added for children:

There were ants, ants, wearing rubber pants in the store, in the store, there were ants, ants, wearing rubber pants, in the quartermaster’s store.

I learned that when I was seven. I remember the day because I had (and still have) no idea what a quartermaster’s store is, though it’s probably the supply storage on a ship or something. But at the time we used to sneak out of the playground at recess to buy penny candy at a tiny shop down a side street, and that store came to my mind each time we sang the ant song.

Anyway, more uselessness released into the diabolical internet for your enjoyment.