I have a vague recollection of another list of things any high school grad should be able to do. R. A. Lafferty? Education of the Camiroi? I'm reaching back more than thirty years here.
Porcine perhaps Gerard? No more the flight able
but certainly less sheepish.
Ah, you might think so, but then you would miss the deep Monty Python reference:
Oh, jolly good too. (surveys field; he looks puzzled) I say, those are sheep aren't they?
Yes, yes of course, I thought so...only...er why are they up in the trees?
A fair question and one that in recent weeks has been much on my mind. It's my considered opinion that they're nesting.
Ar. Exactly. Birds is the key to the whole problem. It's my belief that these sheep are laborin' under the misapprehension that they're birds. Observe their behavior. Take for a start the sheeps' tendency to 'op about the field on their back legs. (off-screen baa-ing) Now witness their attempts to fly from tree to tree. Notice that they do not so much fly as...plummet. (sound of sheep plummeting) Observe for example that ewe in that oak tree. She is clearly trying to teach her lamb to fly. (baaaaaa...thump) Talk about the blind leading the blind.
But why do they think they're birds?
Another fair question. One thing is for sure; a sheep is not a creature of the air. They have enormous difficulty in the comparatively simple act of perchin'. (crash) As you see. As for flight, its body is totally unadapted to the problems of aviation. Trouble is, sheep are very dim. Once they get an idea in their heads, there's no shifting it.
But where did they get the idea from?
From Harold. He's that sheep there over under the elm. He's that most dangerous of animals, a clever sheep. He's the ring-leader. He has realized that a sheep's life consists of standing around for a few months and then being eaten. And that's a depressing prospect for an ambitious sheep. He's patently hit on the idea of escape.
Well why don't you just get rid of Harold?
Because of the enormous commercial possibilities should he succeed.
My mother's trio:
- Ride a Bicycle
- Type (although it's ok for women to keep this secret in the workplace)
She, of course, could do none of the three, and had a pretty good life. But all three should be on the list.
A few more off the top of my head:
- Drive a stick
- Assemble a tent
- Tend a garden
- Compete with honor
- Win graciously
- Lose graciously
- Respect the elderly, protect the young, and love your neighbor
Gerard, if you haven't yet encountered them, treat yourself to R. A. Lafferty's classic short stories "Primary Education Among The Camiroi" and "Polity And The Custom Of The Camiroi." You'll find a kindred spirit, and a good brace of belly laughs.
Here are some others I would add:
Play a musical instrument
Speak a minimum of two languages
Make a speech
Write a book (or at least a report)
Ou est le baggage?
Ou est les voyageurs?
My two cents: One should know how to
- Use a dictionary, thesaurus and library card index
- Spell and punctuate without a spell-checker
- Cut hair and split wood
- Parse amphigory and spot bu||sh|t
- Cherish intelligence, and placate loonies just enough to avoid injury
DrPat, have you actually visited a library lately? They don't have card indexes any more. Library catalogs are electronic databases now, and most of them are online.
Card indexes may be passe at many public libraries in the US, but are still in use in some - and I still run into them when trying to access research materials, maps, and other printed matter not generally used by the reading public. If you don't know how to use one, you're stuck with whatever the librarian or conservator gives you. (No offense to your spouse, Librarian's husband.)
And I do use the spell-checker on my computer. I still think it's appropriate to be able to write coherently without it!
But then, I also have, and know how to use, a slide rule, even though I invariably use the computer to do extended calculations nowadays.
As a specialist of a very minor sort, I must bug you about the lack of a space in the line
" - RobertHeinlein "
Nitpicking is the foundation of primate society.