Uncle Ned Stinker from Skunk Holler

Best of the Mess from May 25, 1969

Dear Mister Editor:

Well, school has let out fer another year, and the fellers at the county store Saturday night was paying their respects to this modern education system. One feller asked me to write a piece fer him this week, on account of him having a complaint he wanted to make public. I’ll give it to you just like he gave it to me.

This feller says that modern education has got so high-falutin that parents can’t even understand the report cards their kids fetch home. He says it used to be that a kid in school got A, B, C, D, E or F on reading or sumepun. Now they give him a mark on “aptitude” or “energy” or mark it down that the kid is “emotional” or maybe ain’t washed his teeth today. This feller says the idea in having a kid bring home a report card is to let parents know how he’s doing in school. If he gits a C on reading, they’ll know he’s doing pretty good, and if he gits an F in arithmetic, they’ll know he takes after his Ma and ain’t much for figgers. But now they don’t know no more when they git the report than they did afore he brung it home. All they know is their offspring is good or bad in “aptitude” or sumepun.

This feller wants the school folks to just rig up a report and send it home that tells the simple facts of how the kid is doing, without all the extra trimmings about being “emotional” or “industrious.” He says that if the parents was smart enough to understand all that junk, they wouldn’t be sending the kid to school in the first place. They’d be teaching him at home. That’s the way this feller give it to me, Mister Editor, and I’m just passing it along to you, fer what it’s worth.

As a rule, I don’t read them Washington columnists, not if I can help it. But last night, I got to reading one by mistake and saw where rose bugs had about ruined Mamie’s roses this year. I never dreamed with all the money they are spending in Washington that they didn’t have Bureau for the Protection of the White House Rose Garden, with a Director, Field Superintendent, Bureau Chemist, Bookkeeper, Receptionist, and Janitor. They could take such an organization and tie it in with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and then could set up a Liaison Department. It seems a Liaison Department is one that links up two department, giving ‘em three instead of two, creating many more jobs. Somebody shore went to sleep at the switch on this one. Them politicians could take this situation and create 200 jobs out of it, maybe 300 if the rose bugs got worse along in July.

Yours truly.

Ned Stinker

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