But what about the chilllllllldren?

Well, just when you thought you were living amongst grown-ups comes the (national!) furor over the fact that local officials are actually naked underneath that boring gray flannel.


LELAND, Mich. (AP)- The caretakers of the school gardens in this northwest Michigan town wanted an attention-getting way to raise money. They got it. A calendar featuring photos of 12 well-known area men posing naked with carefully placed props is being noticed — and criticized.

The 2006 “Naked Gardener” calendar isn’t affiliated with the Leland Public Schools. But much of the concern stems from schools Superintendent Michael Hartigan’s inclusion in it.

“Is this an appropriate role model for our children?” said Janice Blackburn of Leland, whose children attend Glen Lake schools. “I think he crossed the line. The public perception is that it’s associated with the school.”

Whether or not the officials in question would be appropriate role models would depend on whether the children are male or not. But, then, with modern surgical techniques current gender status needn’t stand in the way, either.

I mean, come on! Just how uptight are we here? What I’m concerned about is what kind of role model are the all-atwitter parents? Are children to adopt their neurotic-obsessive denial of all things having any connection to genitalia. Or maybe it would be better for them to acknowledge that even overweight officialdom is not just a bunch of stuffed . . . shirts.

You just have to love parents who think they are doing their kids a favor by being prudish and overprotective, shielding them from everything unseemly or unpleasant. They’re not.

Not everyone in the world is a role model for your children. Years ago basketball star and otherwise un-exemplary human Charles Barkley made the same point: Parents are the primary role-models, not whoever happens to be represented in the media.

So, parents, stop using your kids as an excuse to act like a bunch of uptight yahoos! You’re setting a bad example.



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