I just noticed that Akismet has protected us from 1,671,953 spam comments so far since we migrated over here about two years ago. 1,671,953! Imagine that. Such a big number It reminds me of my 7th and 8th grade math teacher, a vicious and physically abusive bully I still hate to this day even though he reserved most of his physical abuse for the boys. Before Christmas vacation, he challenged one of my classmates to write out from one to a million in long hand – telling him if he completed it by the end of the school year, he would pay him $1000. Of course, Phillip had no concept of how much a million really was, so he tried. He wrote out the numbers day in and day out for months, neglecting his homework, not paying attention in class, getting in trouble at home and on the wrestling team and generally making a mess of his 7th grade year. All seeking that $1000 and realizing far too late and after far too much damage to his school year that he would never make it. A million is a vast sum in human terms and we all certainly learned that lesson quite thoroughly though at the cost of a classmate’s education and reputation.
Of course, when Phillip finally admitted he would not make it and would have to scrub all the school bathrooms with a toothbrush (his half of the bet), that teacher was not content with the damage he had done and proceeded to show him how he could have won if he were only clever and wrote on the board, “from one to a million in longhand” and laughed and laughed and said, “You could have won $1000 in 5 minutes if you weren’t so dumb. You never think!” That’s when my contempt and disgust with him turned to hatred. I hate him more for that than for the physical abuse he inflicted on so many of us and with which he threatened and intimidated all of us.
Which is all to say, 1,671,953 spam comments is just crazy. Really, I don’t get it. Who actually ever clicks on those inane comments anyway? 1,671,953, almost as frelled as that teacher and my poor classmate who learned to hate school, think he was dumb and worthless and who died in the spring of my senior year, struck by a car while changing his tire. I wonder, if he had lived, would he have ever rediscovered that bright promise and enthusiasm that teacher took such delight in crushing out of him. These events are as ugly as this dress is beautiful – and probably a bad fit with the sweet innocent charm of this gown, but I saw that humber, 1,671,953 and remembered my friend and classmate and that horrible teacher. When we are that young, we have only our dreams. Remember that and tread softly for you tread upon our dreams.
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