In a Sow’s Ear 9-13-10
September 13, 2010
Webster defines elite as a socially superior group and elitism as leadership or rule by an elite. It follows that in order to be in the socially superior group, there has to be a socially inferior bunch to rule over. The “socially superior” fellas (the elitists) know what’s good for the “socially inferior” folks (the peasants).
Personally, I prefer the term “trainer” to “elitist.” Which is to say, there are those among the population on earth who feel a duty to train the rest of us – bring us up to their level – all for our own good.
According to Webster, a trainer is: One who trains – as an instructor.
Is a trainer someone who personally oversees your physical workout? Could be. Could be exercise equipment, sneakers for jogging, or extra wheels on a kid’s starter bicycle. Could be someone who’s in charge of the lions and tigers in a circus.
The “trainer” definition I’m speaking of is applied to those transplants who uproot themselves from the Big Cities to move to rural and small town settings – where life is “simple” and the peasants are pleasant. A “trainer” arrives, buys a house or some country property and immediately sets about improving the lives and attitudes of the locals.
A trainer feels free to point out perceived failings and flaws. Trainers love to share how they used to do things in the city – faster and more efficiently of course.
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Thus it was with Tricia Trainer, a former Chicago resident who for sure must have a Ph.D. in Trainership. Tricia shared some tips with Belinda, a reporter on a small-town newspaper, on how to improve her skills.
Wearing 4-inch heels and an outfit stippled with designer labels, Tricia swished into the newspaper office to “chat.” She informed Belinda that she (Tricia) knew how Big City papers worked and proceeded to point out Belinda’s multiple and misguided errors.
“You have put this story on the wrong page,” said Tricia, smiling kindly. (Tricia feels that kindness is the best approach when training pleasant-peasant locals in the fine art of anything).
Stretching her lips into an even wider smile, Tricia further advised Belinda, “You’ve put this headline below the fold. It should be above. That’s the way it’s done on all prestigious City papers.”
“I see,” said Belinda, resisting an urge to scratch the back of her head which had developed a peculiar itch.
“Another thing,” admonished Tricia, “this profile story – it’s far too long. You need to cut off at least a third of the piece.”
“Really,” said Belinda, her index finger sneaking towards her hairline. Darn, but something itched!
Belinda is an outdoor type person. She and her spouse had been camping over the weekend, something they do regularly. They also hunt, fish, sail and generally enjoy nature’s bounty and beauty.
As Tricia rattled on with helpful training advice, Belinda’s urge to scratch consumed her. She drove two fingers into the hair at the base of her neck and pulled forth – a tick.
“Yikes,” said Belinda. “A tick!’
“A what?!” squealed Tricia.
“A wood tick,” growled Belinda. “Hate the things.” Pinching it in half between the fingernails of her thumb and second finger, she guillotined the danged insect and dropped the halves on a piece of white paper on her desk. The bug bled.
“Oh, my gawd,” said Tricia, “there’s blood!”
“Yeah,” said Belinda, “but not much. I don’t think it’s been sucking long.”
Tricia no longer drops by the newspaper office with fresh advice. She’s now taken her trainer skills to the Garden Club where she’s attempting to train the members to garden “the way they do in Chicago.”
Once a trainer, always a trainer.