That’s Why They Call Them Kids

You’ve seen those signs in people’s yards, right? “Goats to Go.” Maybe you haven’t noticed them, because after all, we are in an election season, and you may have a tendency to tune out yard signs. “Goats to Go” could be just another clever slogan recommending removal of whoever’s in office at the moment.

But no. “Goats to Go” is about actual goats. According to their website, they’re a family-owned-and-operated service based at Great Rock Farm in Georgetown, Massachusetts. When they deliver goats to your place, the goats gobble up your poison ivy, weeds, and perhaps anything else goats eat. Got any old clamming boots you don’t want to add to a landfill?

For best results, the website says, bring the goats in before Labor Day, to catch the bad vegetation during growing season. During the long, lazy Labor Day holiday weekend, I found my under-utilized brain pondering other ways to make use of the Go-Goats.

Which led me to thinking about Muldoon. Yes, I mean Ipswich Local News founder and editor John Muldoon. To my twisted psyche, the connection between Muldoon and the goats is obvious.

Give me two minutes; I’ll sort this out for you.

In his other life, John Muldoon is a teacher. A college professor, actually. Because he’s brilliant, absolutely brilliant (and not just because he has to decide whether to run this column or not), he could teach just about anything. But one of the courses the college has him teaching is Introduction to Computers. I’m old enough to remember when computers were actually “introduced,” but that was so long ago, I’m amazed that there’s actually still a course called Introduction to Computers. Yet there is — mainly for elderly people who have finally had enough of the pandemic lockdown, enough of their grandchildren not being flown in from Topeka to visit them, so they’ve finally caved in and decided they have to learn to Zoom.

This semester, John Muldoon’s professional challenge is teaching seniors, who are technically freshmen, how to use that strange machine they’ve been avoiding since before Jimmy Carter was an ex-president.

Ironically, Professor Muldoon has to teach his aged pupils online, which means as they arrive for class, they’re struggling to use the very machine he’s supposed to be introducing them to.

“This is a mouse. No, not an actual mouse. The mouse moves the cursor. No, there’s no actual cursing. Until Facebook. Now if you hover over the link — no, Martha, please, stay seated. It’s not actual hovering.”

The harsh truth is — and I hope nobody tells the college, because Muldoon needs the paycheck — this class is really unnecessary. We have children. Seat any three-year-old in front of a computer and they’ll grab the mouse, log in, launch the app, curse the cursor, whatever you do on a computer. I know this to be true. I’ve asked a three-year-old for computer help. In my experience, they’re awesome. And they’re cheap.

The solution for our beloved senior citizens is not Introduction to Computers. The solution for our beloved senior citizens is “Tots to Go.” The Goats to Go business model is perfect here. Especially as pandemic-era restrictions begin to ease, and working parents try to figure out how to return to their actual away-from-home workplaces, Tots to Go can offer a valuable social benefit: keeping your toddler occupied, while helping some confused grandma re-tweet conspiracy theories.

Yes, I realize some helicopter parents will be uneasy about this approach to daycare — and nervous about possible prosecution under child labor laws. They’ll come around once the kids’ wages are high enough. But until we can develop a big enough workforce to meet the demand, we simply go back to the goats. Goats are intelligent, they learn fast, they adapt well to new situations — so a session or two of Introduction to Computers, with Professor John Muldoon, and I think they’ll be good to go.

Grandma, meet Maisey.

“Why, hello, Maisey!”

“Maaaaaah!”


Doug Brendel is an aspiring business development consultant living on outer Linebrook Road in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Follow his nonsensical stuff here at Outsidah.com. Or check out his sensical stuff at NewThing.net.

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