The Pulse

Weekend Humor from Celia Rivenbark: Hey Alabama! These kindergartners have a few questions for y’all

By: - June 12, 2021 6:03 am

While there is nothing, I repeat, nothing, funny about a 19-year-old with a gun (later revealed to be unloaded) hijacking a school bus full of kindergartners so he could escape his military base, it was hard for savvy parents and teachers to hear the story about how the kids foiled the hijacker by peppering him with questions and not think: “Hold my juice box…”

“Are you going to hurt us?” “Are you going to hurt the bus driver?” “Why are you on our bus?” The fool lasted less than 6 minutes before telling the driver and kids to, for the love of all that’s holy, get off the bus. He then drove himself a little farther into rural Richmond County, S.C., where he had a moment’s peace before being efficiently apprehended. The bus driver credited the kids’ persistent questioning with saving the day and called the tots his “personal heroes.”

Meanwhile, kindergarten teachers snorted at the hijacker. “Punk. He’d burst into tears if he had to make ‘em form a lunch line every day.”

Anyone who has been around kindergartners for more than a minute knows the questions are pretty much unending, usually  tangential and often maddening.

“Can I get some water?” Also, a follow-up: “Why does Jaden act like a BUTT?” The school bus driver told “Good Morning America” they had only gone a few miles when the gunman started to crack under the barrage of earnest, nonstop questioning.

With multiple charges including 19 counts of kidnapping, the gunman will most likely be in jail for a very long time. “How long?” “What do you do in jail when you are tooken away?” “Do you think his mommie is mad at him?” “Are there really strings in string cheese?”

Of course, it’s not always questions. Just as often, it’s a random declaration. “If I get a girlfriend, I want her to be named Tiffany. Or maybe just Tiff. I don’t even know becuz why.”

Crazily enough, that wasn’t the only major public school news coming out of my beloved South this month. The Governor of Alabama last week lifted the legislature’s ban on teaching yoga in P.E. classes. Yes. That yoga. The one with stretching and poses named after children and dogs.

If you’re wondering “Do what?” right about now, you’re not alone. In a state where it’s just fine, if not preferable, for teachers to carry concealed weapons, it was against the law to teach yoga, considered since 1993 in ‘Bama to be a gateway drug to, you guessed it, Hinduism. Apparently some upright uptights fretted such exposure might siphon off too much Jesus. Someone’s faith is mighty fragile, it would seem.

Why does my head hurt now? How can there be that much stupid in one place? Why does the Alabama legislature act like a BUTT?

Perhaps the funniest part is while yoga classes will be taught again, starting next fall, no students are allowed to utter traditional yoga phrases, apparently not even in the funny way as in “I reckon Namaste right here while y’all go to the dog fight.”

Other rules include “no Sanskrit names for poses” and “the sound of Om is not allowed.”

I’ve been to a few yoga classes in my day, and I’ve never heard anyone call child’s pose by its proper Sanskrit name. Same with happy baby and corpse pose (the end-of-class pose where grown women lie down and try to remember what they need from the grocery store on the way home).

Presumably “Om” in Alabama, at least, will be replaced by “Daaayum” or simply “Roll Tide.”

In a perfect world, those sweet kindergartners would head on over to the Alabama State House with a few thousand questions. That would be the perfect punishment for those loons.

Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Email her at [email protected]


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