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Let’s Be Careful Out There


Not today.


Oh well, that gives us all more time to prepare. 

For weeks, people have talked about how to celebrate, if and when Scooter is found guilty. Lots of folks have laid in mounds of popcorn, and others have spoken of the beverages they have made sure to have on hand and the feasts and parties to be dived into. Snoopy dances have been practiced, and snark has been prepared.

Now that it's almost here, are you really ready? 

Perhaps we need to take a lesson from the Germans, and last summer's World Cup soccer tournament: boisterous nationwide celebrations that have been anticipated for months or even years have a way of developing a life of their own. Literally.

During June and July of last year, the eyes of the world turned to Germany for soccer's World Cup. At the end of the monthlong, nationwide party, the host Germans took third, the French were second, and Italy claimed the championship. In the words of Dr. Rolfe Kilche of Kassel, in the German state of Hesse, however, things didn't end with the Italian victory: "The excitement of the soccer games apparently lingered on and got chanelled elsewhere after the final whistle."


Enrollment in prenatal birth classes is up in Germany, and births are predicted to be up from 10 to 15 percent. Hospitals are adding beds during April to accomodate the rush. Baby name experts are predicting that the favorite names for these newborns will incude Bastian, Jens, and Lukas, in honor of three of the big names on the field.

As Toma Tasovac of Deutsche Welle described it, 

The German language — normally an incredibly analytical tool for expressing profound thoughts on 'being-there-in-the-world' and existential angst — is a little sloppy as far as sex and soccer are concerned. If you grow up using the same word — Vorspiel — to describe a curtain-raiser and foreplay, you are practically destined to think that the World Cup was nothing less that a preparation for an altogether different ball game.

So it happened. The Germans let loose. Eventually, they didn't win the World Cup, but they decided to bare it all anyway. And have fun like there was no tomorrow.

Everybody did it in his or her own way. Within 90 minutes of the first match Germany played, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for example, went from being the queen of lifeless frowning to the people's princess of boundless jubilation.

The rest of the country, apparently, watched, cheered and then got busy in the sack.

I offer this as a public service announcement, in view of the great, years-long buildup to the Libby Trial and the anticipation and excitement surrounding the jury deliberations.

For those who are looking to become pregnant, especially those who are having trouble conceiving, a guilty verdict could make this a great time to take that lingering excitement and channel it elsewhere. "The attitude to one's own body and the role of the hormones are often underestimated. If you're in a good mood, you are more likely to get pregnant," says Dr. Kilche.

To those looking to avoid becoming pregnant, however, let this be a warning. You might want to add something else to your shopping list besides popcorn and festive beverages. Your neighborhood Planned Parenthood clinic or friendly OB/GYN might have a few suggestions.

To those more interested in money rather than sex, well, you can always seek out forward-looking companies in the maternity-industrial complex. For example, last year an English baby products company named "Mamas & Papas" did careful research on the correlation of birth rates and the success or failure of the English soccer team, and based on the three English victories in the 2006 World Cup, they ramped up their production of strollers and such to be ready for an increased demand.

Whether you're in it for the sex, the money, the party, or just the plain old "saving the Constitution" thing, be prepared to keep your celebration safe, in every sense of the word. 

And let me be the first to predict that if Scooter is found guilty, there will be a rise nine months from now in the number of babies named Patrick and Reggie, and a decline in the number of Irvings. At least in progressive households.

(h/t to AP/Jan Bauer for the photo, and Hill Street Blues Sgt. Phil Esterhaus for the title) 

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I'm an ordained Lutheran pastor with a passion for language, progressive politics, and the intersection of people's inner sets of ideals and beliefs (aka "faith" to many) and their political actions. I mostly comment around here, but offer a weekly post or two as well. With the role that conservative Christianity plays in the current Republican politics, I believe that progressives ignore the dynamics of religion, religious language, and religiously-inspired actions at our own peril. I am also incensed at what the TheoCons have done to the public impression of Christianity, and don't want their twisted version of it to go unchallenged in the wider world. I'm a midwesterner, now living in the Kansas City area, but also spent ten years living in the SF Bay area. I'm married to a wonderful microbiologist (she's wonderful all the way around, not just at science) and have a great little Kid, for whom I am the primary caretaker these days. I love the discussions around here, especially the combination of humor and seriousness that lets us take on incredibly tough stuff while keeping it all in perspective and treating one another with respect.

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