Monday, September 8, 2008

The Story of Why Your Mother Always Told You To “Stand Up Straight"

Imagine, if you will, Caveman, that hunched-over knees-bent Neolithic hairy-all-over guy ... that distant ancestor who more closely resembled an Ape. No wonder he loped from side-to-side as he walked. He had to in order to move. Bet he had some killer backaches, standing like that, hunched-over with his knees-bent. Bet he had some knee pains as well. It can’t be easy to chase down wild animals as you run hunched-over with your knees bent. (I’d growl and grunt too.) And I’m sure it wasn’t easy to run away from the neighborhood bully, Mr. Saber-tooth Tiger, either. Nor could it have been very comfortable to always sit perched on his haunches, or to sleep on the cold rock floor of the cave with no pillow and only the small smelly hide of the animal you chased down today to cover up with. No wonder his lifespan was so short. I mean, that goes so beyond doing without Text Messaging.

I suspect his Mother, who had already lived what for her would be a very long life, knew all too well why she had backaches, knee pains, and headaches too, no doubt. She probably also knew she was well past the point of being able to improve her own posture and that all she could do now would be to make sure her Son didn’t spend the rest of his life in pain like hers. So, every morning she would tell him, “Stand up straight before you go out into the world!” When he came home for lunch she would scold him, “Stand up straight, Son, and don’t be a Slouch,” She told him again after school and playtime, “Stand up straight, Young Ape Man!” Even at night, when he marched (loped) off to his cold rocky bed, she’d give him a pat on the rump and a loving reminder, “Stand up straight when you walk. Good posture is important.”

Before he knew it, Caveman grew up to be Modern Young Man, standing straight and proud, a tribute to his Mother. His life was good. He didn’t have to run any more, not to chase the animals he wanted to eat, nor to run from the animals who wanted to eat him. He could stand up still as a rock and keep his balance as his arms held the gun, his eyes marked the aim, and his finger pulled the trigger, all without having to take a single step. Running was now for pleasure. He didn’t have to sit on his haunches or sleep on the rock floor anymore, either. Instead, he now sat on a nice padded chair and slept on a soft downy bed, made by the might of his arms and the skill of his brain, two important tools he could now use, now that he stood up straight. Often he’d turn to his Children and see them, standing there slumped, their posture like Jell-O. It made him remember the valuable lessons taught him by his Mother. A smile graced his lips and a tear jeweled his eye. For then it was that he heard her wise words, echoed by his Wife. “Stand up straight, Young Girls and Boys,” she chided to the Children, “Good posture is important!”

July 28, 2008

Published September 28, 2008 by The Village Wit at

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