right so literally this is what happens:
a girl named mary owns a lamb
let’s skip over why she’s allowed to have an animal
and straight to the fact that this lamb is obsessed with her
it follows her fucking everywhere
but yeah when mary goes to school one day
and the lamb follows her
nobody is surprised
which doesn’t mean nobody reacts
all the kids go apeshit over this lamb shit
kids will go apeshit over literally anything
i mean you have to imagine there are plenty lambs around
if a little girl is allowed to own one as a pet
but everyone is like HOLY SHIT
LAMB AT SCHOOL
SHUT IT DOWN
WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUCK
they’re all running around howling
hands pressed to the sides of their faces
trying to wrap their tiny child minds
around this insane new development
obviously the teacher isn’t thrilled
so she throws the lamb out of the building
like the responsible adult she is
but the lamb
being neither responsible or an adult
refuses to take the hint and instead just loiters outside
so all the kids refuse to shut up about it
and it’s all they want to talk about for the rest of the day
all like “why is that lamb so obsessed with Mary
what is UP with that”
and the teacher is like “ugh
probably because Mary is obsessed with the lamb
it is likely that the lamb was weaned from its mother too early
and now displays an unhealthy attachment complex to Mary”
and all the kids are like “WHOAAAAAAA WOWWWWWW”
One of the kids is a dude named John Roulstone
and he is SO IMPRESSED BY THIS MUNDANE INCIDENT
that he summarizes all of the above in verse form
and gives it to Mary as a gift
and somehow it ends up in the hands of a poet named Sarah Hale
who either fixes it or writes a whole new part of it
depending on who you ask
and then that shit
for SOME REASON
becomes FUCKING FAMOUS
some dude sets it to music
two renowned blues men record versions of it
fucking paul fucking mccartney covers it
every god damn school child knows
about mary’s lamb and its fucking attachment disorder
all of which leads me to the moral of this story:
kids are fucking idiots
look, i mean
i like kids
they’re the future and they know how to party
but would you ever ask a kid to design your house?
what about drive your car?
what if you needed a lung transplant? Would you ask a fucking kid?
not unless you wanted a bunch of plastic bugs in your chest cavity
and yet we let our kids write poems all the fucking time
and that would be fine if we told them their poems were shitty
but we don’t
we fucking celebrate their garbage
we tell them it’s perfect
Paul McCartney records a fucking cover of it
it’s why there’s so many garbage books on Amazon
and so many garbage painters pouring out of art school
because art is apparently so fucking simple
even a child can do it
in fact ESPECIALLY a child
just because poetry isn’t load-bearing
doesn’t mean kids should be allowed to write it for mass consumption
and i mean if they do want to write poetry, fine
but no fucking way am I letting babies decide what gets popular
listen carefully, friends:
cooler than us
shitting your pants is not cool
not knowing about sex is not cool
being legally unable to rent a car is not cool
so why the fuck do we pay attention to the shit kids like
i guess what i’m trying to say
is the next time a kid tells you they like something
tell them they’re wrong.
The Lamb in the poem is often thought of the Lamb of God. Puts a whole new spin on it, huh?
My great-uncle taught us thusly:
Mary had a little lamb
her father shot it dead,
now Mary takes the lamb to school
between to loaves of bread.
We used to chant one that went
Mary had a little lamb
She tied him to the heater
And every time he turned around
He burned his little seater
…which, upon reflection, is even more stupid than the original. Good job, younger self!
Fear not, I serve this mighty cause daily.
I think you’re missing the long game here. See, the key to really destroying an adult’s dreams is to plant completely unrealistic expectations in childhood. It’s a conspiracy that all of us participate in, so we can have a laugh at the next generation when they hit their thirties and realize they were never actually good at anything they ever tried to do.
Ovid, this is basically what I’ve been saying since I was a wee bairn, which I guess makes me a hipster at this point, but ah well. Children and heir ideas may be cute and pure in a not-of-the-real-world way, but that doesn’t mean they’re not the stupid ideas we’ve ever heard before.
You’ve likely addressed this at some point before, but why haven’t you done any Personal! stories in the last couple years? After having read a good bit of your other work, loving every bit along the way while rationalizing that I’m actually learning mythology inbetween the howling gales of laughter, I stumbled on the Personal! section this morning while I was trying to kick insomnia in its testicle-bespectacled face and ended up just reading for another three hours after getting a glimpse at the life behind the madness that is your verse. And now it’s 7am and I’ve gotten exactly 45 minutes of sleep before a freezing hike. But it’s fine.
Why did I end up staying up another three hours reveling in your work? Inspiration. Your life and lens is fucking brilliant and I’ve honestly not run across anything as inspiring as it in a while, so really why I’m writing about insomnia and its ball-nosed dickishness and not being mad is because your writing has made it bearable and beyond better.
So thank you. And write more personal stories and I promise to tell you about the time I may have gotten hit on by the son of a prominent head of the Hawaiian mafia while singing a duet with him from Les Miserables at Wang Chung’s kareoke in Honolulu on a balmy February night.
Hey Ovid, how’s your hammer hanging? I wonder, would you fancy finding some more Judeochristian stuff? I mean we just got out of Passover here and you all have Easter coming up, seems appropriate.
“…just because poetry isn’t load-bearing…” I think this may just be my new go-to analogy for when something isn’t STEM but you still shouldn’t let just anyone do it.