FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Tardigrade Expiration Date ♬♫♪

Good friend (and maven of Arbor Teas) Aubrey Lopatin recently shared this song with me and reminded me I wrote this novella for her and her hubbie roughly one-billion years ago: Expiration Date.

In honor of this Season of Joy and New Beginnings, I offer this free read and song to you, my all my Best Belovéd Readers.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: OMFG! In late December a frozen tardigrade became the first ‘quantum entangled’ animal in history (researchers claim). If you’re a child of the 1970s, you no doubt appreciate the fact that this is the first ever successful creation of artificial extra-sensory perception (ESP) in an animal!!!1!

(Meanwhile, if you are a scientist or someone who read the entire article, you more likely appreciate that these researchers “did not entangle a tardigrade with a qubit in any meaningful sense”—but it’s still neat that they took a tardigrade down to nearly absolute zero and successfully revived it. Hearty lil fellas, right?)

A Holiday Tip for Gentile Schoolteachers🎅🏿🕎

Last year, during the pandemic, I eavesdropped the most brilliant piece of classroom third-rail navigation I’ve ever seen in my life.

This was in my then-third grader’s Zoom music class (we’ll leave for another day any discussion of the crime against humanity that is “grade-school Zoom music class”).

This is always a fraught time of year for grade-school music teachers: They wanna sing Xmas songs, most of the kids wanna sing Xmas songs, but the constant Othering definitely grinds away at the Jewish kids (esp. when they try and “include” you be singing the “Dreidel Song”; that song is crap, and we know it. The Xmas songs are way better).

So in my daughter’s class, the teacher shows this slide: it’s an unremarkable middle-aged White dude, “Mitchell Parish.”  Who the heck is Mitchell Parish? Well, he was born in Lithuania, and brought here by his parents, who were Jews (my daughter immediately perks up; Jews! Like us!) and he was a popular songwriter in New York in the ‘20s, ‘30s, and ‘40s—and he wrote the lyrics to “Sleigh Ride”!  

*advance to next slide* 

*kids sing “Sleigh Ride”* 

*EVERYONE IS A WINNER!*

My daughter felt seen, gentiles got their Christmas carol, and no one had to sing the goddamned “Dreidel Song.” 

So there’s the trick to getting to sing Christmas carols in public school: 

Start out with a brief bio of the Jews who wrote your Xmas song

(all your favorite Xmas songs were written by Jews; you’re welcome).

Heck, you can do a whole Winter Concert—featuring “Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” and “Run, Run Rudolph”—on just a single bio slide: All four of those classics were written by the same Jew (the inimitable Johnny Marks, whose Jewish brother-in-law was the guy who created Rudolph to begin with).

♬♫♪ STROKIN’ ♬♫♪

The looks on these Québécois’ faces tell me that they do not have a strong command of the English language.

Strike that: the Mike Pence-looking Midnight Cowboy furthest to the right? I think that mofo 1) speaks serviceable English, 2) selected this song, and 3) told the rest of the dance team that it’s about competitive swimming.

(For reference, here’s the original video; God bless Clarence Carter, he is a national treasure)