This edition of the Cameron Column is dedicated to my 16 year old daughter, who has perplexed me by saying things like, "I hate you. Don't talk to me. I need money to go to the mall," and, "I'll go to the movies with you but I won't sit with you. I need money for popcorn."
Single-handedly, this product of my loins ("it makes me puke when you say that," she complains) has entirely changed my life. Where once my financial strategy could best be described as "Save for Retirement," it is now better called "Descend into Debt." My motto of "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" has been replaced with "I've fallen and I can't get up." Where once I sought to educate, guide, and understand my daughter, I now seek only to prevent myself from killing her. Only my mother sees humor in any of this. "She's just like you," my mother cackles.
Hardly seems fair.
FLASH (WBC News Network): Archeologists excavating in the ruins of the bedroom of a Midwestern teenage girl have come across something completely unexpected: carpeting.
"Well, we had to go down several layers," Dr. Allen Grant explains, "but it's there: unvaccumed, mashed flat by the weight of all the clothing pressing down on it, soaked in spilled Pepsi, but undeniably carpeting."
This find, one of the first of its kind recorded in the area, has led some scientists to speculate that the room may once have had other uses.
"It was a bordello, pure and simple," states Dr. Dick Morris, a renowned expert on the subject. "We found enough spilled cosmetics and perfume imbedded in the carpet to permanently stain the fibers. No way a single girl could have worn that much make up, no way. There had to be at least a dozen young women in the place at any one time."
President Clinton himself is said to have a strong interest in this particular theory.
Others disagree with Dr. Morris. The presence of every single portable phone from the house, so that it would be impossible for anyone else in the family to make a telephone call, suggests to some that the room could have been used as a communications center. Others point to countless music CD's, lying loose outside their cases, and say we simply don't know enough yet to make a guess. "The artifacts we have recovered so far are inconsistent with civilized behavior," explains Dr. Grant.
This has lead to another, unexpected factor on this dig: fear. "I'm not going back in there," states one graduate student, speaking under the condition of anonymity so we wouldn't identify him as Doug Harvey. "The stuff under the bed... you can't believe what it is like. It's not just messy... it's evil. There are all these adult male shirts, like the kind someone would wear to the office? My question is, what happened to the poor man who used to wear them? How did he dress for an important meeting, like the time his boss flew in unexpectedly and the only clean thing he could find was a Denver Broncos sweatshirt?"
Perhaps it was as a defense against these evil sprits that countless petitions were written by someone identified only as "Father," listing something called "Chores." There is no indication that the inhabitants of this room ever read these lists, or, if they did, if they were ever acted upon.
Whatever the result of this controversy, it's apparent to everyone involved that this dig has offered a fascinating look into a form of life utterly strange and alien to the adults on this planet.
Copyright W. Bruce Cameron 1998
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