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Opinion: Annoying television commercials

It seems millions of dollars are spent every day on television commercials. And yet too many of them are annoying not entertaining. I can’t help but wonder who the target audience is for these advertisings. Are most of them trying to reach audiences who have been smoking too much wacky weed? Otherwise, the images, sounds and storylines make no sense.

I really hate the ones about abused animals from the ASPCA, soliciting financial support to put a stop to it. I do understand the great need for money to help these poor critters. It breaks my heart to see these sad stories, People who abuse and neglect harmless animals should be dealt severe, painful punishments for their actions. If cruel and unusual punishments are ever necessary, people who abuse animals, elders and children certainly deserve it.

Prison life is surely horrible, but the slang “three-hots-and-a-cot,” is better treatment than they deserve. That’s so much better treatment than the abuse victims endured.

Unfortunately, law enforcement and its limited resources can barely keep up with the criminals who harm people, much less track down the brutes who abuse animals. Unfortunately, more money for animal control tends to be way down the ledger page on the budget.

I should be a better person and just endure the animal rescue spots, and shut up about it, considering how these fur babies are treated. I already have so much pain in my life that I don’t need the way those commercials put a dagger in my heart.

My late husband and I were the living embodiment of the phrase “opposites attract!”

I tend to be social, and he was more of a recluse. While his preferences were for a ridiculously small circle of friends, I rarely meet a stranger. My parents were also a case of opposites attract. Poppa Ralph warned, “don’t talk to strangers little girl!” Granny QuoVada taught me “a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet!” A very confusing message for a precocious little girl.

Fred would have liked to move somewhere, to explore life in Nevada or Arizona. My greatest fear has been we would move somewhere else, and he would die, leaving me somewhere by myself. He was nine years older than me, and recent events have proved my fears were justified.

I have an extremely poor sense of direction. I know up from down, it only takes me a few seconds to figure out left from right, but north, south, east and west... that’s just crazy talk.

Madera and my circle of friends and acquaintances is important to me. My sense of direction and the ability to get lost in unfamiliar surroundings will keep me here the rest of my life, probably.

The last time I lived somewhere other than Madera made my whole family so homesick for Madera the experience only lasted about eight months. Hardly more than an extended vacation.

In the fall of 1967, my family upended our life and moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee. What had been a life living among my matriarchal family became one of living among my patriarchal relatives I had never met.

Daddy was a salesman. He knew if he could make prize winning sales of fruit cakes and eggnog at Christmas, he could sell retirement annuities to teachers in Tennessee. Sales are sales. So, he took a job with his younger brother Joe and older brother Claude. The Hill Boys back together for the first time in more than 20 years. The Pioneer American Insurance agency was owned by the younger brother, what could possibly go wrong?

Murfreesboro is about 35 miles southeast of Nashville. At that time this 7th grader from California had a hard time fitting in, in the South. Truthfully, I always had a tough time fitting in, but going to the same school K-6, I didn’t know it. I had all my weird friends that I had learned and played with since I was 4 years old. We had just started junior high school.

I get to Tennessee and the buffer of my lifelong playmates weren’t there to help me navigate my new surroundings. In Cali kids are not required to say ma’am or sir when addressing an adult. Knowing how to use these honorifics was taught at home or not at all. Being able to say the words is different than knowing how to use them properly.

Suddenly I lived in a place where if an adult said something you didn’t hear or didn’t understand “What was that?” was not an acceptable response. And heaven forbid you use the kid-term “Huh?” In my new homeroom class, a system Thomas Jefferson Junior High School didn’t use, I learned the hard way that the only correct response to confusion or bad hearing was “Ma’am or Sir.” Anything else and I was subjected to punishment, and they believed in corporal punishment.

Mrs. Grubbs, my homeroom teacher had a homemade wooden paddle. After forgetting to use the wrong response a few times, I was instructed to hold out my hand, palm-up and she whacked me with the paddle. I guarantee, I got with the program and never made that mistake again.

When the teacher gave a lecture and got to a place where she asked if everyone understood the material, picture about 25 voices answering in unison, “Yes, ma’am,” or maybe a few dissenting voices that said, “No, ma’am.” The ma’am was the important part.

I am assuming some of you dear readers are horrified by the thought of hitting a child, in front of the rest of the class. But pain and humiliation are great motivators, even if it has fallen from favor with modern parents.

I didn’t dare run home crying to my parents about it. Who wants to be in trouble at school and at home both? My parents always sided with the teachers, I was always in the wrong.

And besides, it wasn’t personal. Grubbs didn’t have it out for me, I needed to be taught a lesson and that was sure accomplished. At James Monroe Elementary students being disruptive or smarting-off to a teacher were sometimes removed and made to stand outside the classroom. Depending on the severity of the behavior, when recess rolled around the child was required to stand by the wall at recess too. If the student apologized to the teacher, they were allowed to rejoin the class after recess.

This was my era’s idea of a timeout. Teachers didn’t usually hit students, but not much happened to them if they did. The principal was the one that administered most corporal punishment.

My point being, the teachers and principal didn’t need to hit kids often because we knew they had the power to spank us, and that knowledge was enough of a deterrent to do the job. Of course, to be a proper deterrent the occasional bottom must be spanked.

The idea that the occasional spanking will somehow traumatize a child to the point of permanent damage is ridiculous.

It’s like when a baby learning to walk falls. If the parent has a fit reacting with fear, the baby responds with tears and screams. If on the other hand you laugh at the baby, say a non-sense phrase like “Whoopsie-do,” the baby laughs too, and all is well.

Not every physical punishment is child abuse. After having your mouth washed out with soap or a few drops of Tabasco sauce on the tongue is administered for bad language was the way many parents got their kids attention. Not done not out of anger but from love, does a heck of a job.

Not having any children of my own, I am a qualified expert on child rearing. If this was Facebook, now is when I would add the laughing-out-loud emoji.

Long days and pleasant nights, have a blessed weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.



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