Friday, March 10, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

ON THIS DAY IN 1876...


Middle Child Alexander Graham Bell receives U.S patent No. 174,465
giving other Mid Kids a whole new way to be ignored and forgotten.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

ON THIS DAY IN 1953...


Scientists discover the double helix structure of DNA.
No explanation for Middle Child Syndrome is found.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

An Open Letter to President Trump




From the desk (a.k.a. kitchen counter) of the Union Founder

             
        Dear President Trump,
              
               I am writing to you not as a Republican or Democrat, or as a supporter or detractor. Not from the left or the right, but from the middle.

               I am writing to you as a fellow Middle Child.

               As the founder of the International Middle Child Union, I have made it my mission to advocate for Middle Child rights, help find a cure for the dreaded Middle Child Syndrome, and reverse negative Middle Child stereotypes. But I have to be honest with you, Mr. President -- you’re not making my job any easier. I mean, I get it with the whole seeking attention thing -- believe me. I started a Middle Child union, for god sakes! Any Middle Child worth their salt understands the constant need to be in the limelight. But you’re getting attention 24/7 now. When I was elected Vice President of my middle school Student Council, that satisfied my need for attention until, like, high school. You’re the leader of the free friggin’ world!! People stand when you come into a room. They salute you. You even get your own song. That should be enough attention to last a lifetime. Your non-stop attention grabbing is making it even harder for the rest of us to get any, so maybe you can dial it back a notch?

               Also, you’re certainly not the first Middle Child who’s felt the need to strike back as hard as you can at anyone who you perceive is trying to disrespect or embarrass you. One time when my older brother humiliated me in front of a group of his friends, I kicked him as hard as I could in his nuts. Sure, that shut him up for a while, but it’s nothing I’m proud of, and it certainly wasn’t a sustainable solution. Neither are your Twitter tantrums and name calling and lashing out at people who disagree with you. You’re on the world stage, not on my driveway playing basketball with my brothers friends. I respectively suggest you take a more dignified, diplomatic approach. Ball bashing is not the answer. I’m sure my brother agrees with me.

               Finally, please stop worrying so much about TV ratings or how many people voted for you or how big the crowd was at your inauguration. When I was in seventh grade, a classmate had his Bar Mitzvah on the same day as mine. Do you think I cared if more people went to his party than mine? You bet your ass I did!! But I was 13 years old. You’re 70! When people see how much that kind of stuff still bothers you, it just reinforces the image of the insecure, overly sensitive Middle Child. You have to set an example, and show them we’re better than that, even if we’re really not.

               I know you’re not a big fan of constructive criticism, but I hope you will take these comments to heart. Future generations of Middle Children are counting on it.
              
                                       Sincerely,
                                                             Bruce Hopman
                                                             Founder, International Middle Child Union


P.S. I see you’re busy signing a lot of executive orders lately. How about one acknowledging Middle Child’s Day? (It’s August 12, FYI.) Think about it. Thanks.

Reports of huge turnout for my classmate's Bar Mitzvah party were overrated. Fake news. Sad.
From my vantage point, there were at least 8,000 people at my party.















Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Keeping Tabs on our new Middle Child-in-Chief.

     The 45th President of the United States has been sworn in, and a little less than one-quarter of Americans couldn't be happier. A little more than one-quarter, not so much. As for the other half who didn’t even bother to vote... who knows what they’re feeling. But the people have sort of spoken, and Donald Trump is our Middle Child-in-Chief.
     It’s been more than two decades since a Middle Child was President, when the first George Bush was in the Oval Office until 1993. In fact, Mr. Trump will be the 23rd Mid Kid elected, or 24th if you count George Washington. (George was the first born of his father's second marriage, but had two older half brothers.) That means between 52% -54% of American Presidents were Middle Children. But it’s safe to say we’ve never had one like this before.
     Throughout the primary and general election campaigns, candidate Trump’s Middle Child antics were off the charts, featuring repeated name calling, insults, mocking, claims of bias, charges of favoritism, and assorted overall whining. During the transition and first days of his administration, these classic Middle Child moves show no signs of letting up. It’s the kind of behavior that could not only be considered Middle Child-ish, but just downright childish. And to make matters worse, Mr. Trump’s closest adviser also has glaring Middle Child issues. That’s right, new chief White House strategist and senior counselor Stephen Bannon is a Mid Kid, too. Big surprise. A double dose of Middle Child Syndrome in the White House. Just what we needed. Lucky us. (Lucky U.S.?)
     But have no fear, America -- the International Middle Child Union is on the case. Today, we introduce the International Middle Child Union Presidential Middle Child Behavior Monitoring
System, or I.M.C.U.P.M.C.B.M.S. for short. Let’s be clear -- this isn’t about policy or partisanship.
After all, I’m not a political pundit. I’m a Middle Child advocate! My focus will be to analyze Presidential tweets and tantrums from a purely Middle Child perspective, then rate their Middle Childish-ness using my patented Middle Finger scale: one Middle Finger for borderline Middle Child behavior, three for serious signs of Middle Child Syndrome, all the way to five Middle Fingers for severe Middle Child meltdowns.
     From the looks of things, we’re gonna have our fingers full!

Name-calling: a standard Middle Child defense mechanism.
Middle Children don't respond particularly well to being mocked.
Middle Child 101: when in doubt, play the "no fair!" card.
"Oh, sure, you want me to take back the drone you don't want!"
Feeling wronged and cheated is a Middle Child's birthright.
Middle Children aren't used to winning, so it can be hard
to handle, as this trio of Tweets demonstrates.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Middle Candle: a Chanukah Story

Let's hear it for the most important candle on the menorah.
     It's not too often “the middle one” gets to go first. But during Chanukah that all changes. Every night, for eight nights, it's the middle candle that gets lit first. Without it, no other candles get lit. That's a big deal. I mean, if it weren’t for the middle candle, all those other candles would just be sitting there. What kind of Chanukah would that be?
     The middle candle is also the only candle that has an actual name. It’s called the shammash. All the other candles? Nobody even knows what they’re called. They have names like 3 and 5. And while that’s an all too familiar feeling for many Middle Children, it’s nice to see the shoe on the other foot for a change. Even if it’s only a candle. And yes, I realize candles don’t have feet, and therefore no shoes, so maybe that wasn’t the best metaphor. But you get the point.
     Shammash is Hebrew for servant, so the middle candle is thought of as a mere “helper” candle by many -- probably a lot of first and last borns. But let me ask you this: if the middle candle is simply some second class candle, how come it gets to sit on the highest perch of the menorah? That's clearly the best seat in the house! A special place, well above it’s less favorite brothers and sisters. I mean candles. No, the middle candle is clearly the most important one on the menorah. And that is the real miracle of Chanukah.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: International Middle Child Union Threatens Lawsuit Against Donald Trump.

     Sick and tired of Donald Trump’s continued embrace of negative Middle Child stereotypes, the International Middle Child Union is stealing a page from the Republican Presidential nominee’s playbook. “We’re threatening a lawsuit,” says I.M.C.U. boss Bruce Hopman. “All the name calling, claims of being an outsider, lashing out at his Republican “family” -- it’s like the very worst Middle Child behavior on steroids, all together in one package, covered in an orange wrapper!” 
     As the world’s leading Middle Child advocate, Hopman proposes filing a defamation of character class-action lawsuit on behalf of all Middle Children, arguing Donald Trump has done irreparable damage to their image. “It’s hard to advance the cause when the world’s most visible Middle Child is out there 24-7 behaving like an angry, spoiled, whining, cry baby,” says Hopman.
     “When it comes to giving Middle Children a bad name, we don’t need any more help.”

Friday, June 17, 2016

Father's Day: The Middle Child Connection.

The Mother of Father's
Day? Not so fast...
     Sonora Smart Dodd is often credited as being “The Mother of Father’s Day.” After her mother passed away when Dodd was 16, she was raised by her father, a civil war veteran. Looking for a way to honor him and other fathers, she spoke to a local ministerial alliance, and on June 19, 1910, a Father’s Day celebration was held in Spokane, Washington. But it wasn’t the first.
Gone But Not Forgotten: Grace Golden
Clayton's dad, Rev. Fletcher Golden.
     In December, 1907, Grace Golden Clayton was still mourning the loss of her father when a local mining disaster took the lives of 361 men, 250 of them fathers. She was so moved by the tragedy, she suggested her pastor honor all those fathers, and on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia, the very first Father’s Day was held.
     Even though Clayton’s observance was first, it never caught on like Dodd's. Clayton was shy and poorly organized, while Dodd had the support of merchant groups who helped grow her version into the celebration we know today. Clayton was the youngest of 11 children, Dodd the eldest of six. So exactly how does the Middle Child figure into any of this?
     Dodd got her Father’s Day brainchild after hearing a sermon in 1909 about Anna Jarvis, the “Mother of Mother's Day.” Clayton was also believed to be inspired by Jarvis’ work. She lived just 15 miles from Grafton, West Virginia, where the first Mother’s Day celebration occurred only two months earlier, in May, 1908. And did I forget to mention Anna Jarvis was a Middle Child? So, if a Middle Child didn’t come up with the idea for Mother’s Day, there wouldn’t be a Father’s Day! But if that weren’t enough of a connection, how about this?
A Real Dick Move: June 18, 1972 was
the first time 
Father's Day was a
national holiday. A day after Watergate.
     As far back as 1913, there have been various failed attempts to formally recognize Father’s Day as a national holiday. Presidents Wilson and Coolidge tried and couldn't make it happen. In 1966, President Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. But it wasn’t until 1972 that it was made a national holiday, signed into law by President Richard Nixon -- wait for it -- also a Middle Child.
     So on behalf of the International Middle Child Union, and Middle Children everywhere -- Happy Father’s Day! And you’re welcome.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Middle Children: America's TRUE Born Leaders

     For years, birth order experts have been telling us that first born children are the natural born leaders. First borns love telling us that, too. To prove their point, they claim that a majority of U.S. Presidents were firstborns -- 52% to be exact. But the surprising truth is most American Presidents were actually Middle Children!
     Granted, it’s a little hard to assign some Presidents a specific birth order position. For example, George Washington’s father had four children with his first wife before the first President was born. Washington was the first of six children from his father’s second marriage. So was he the first born or the fifth born? FDR was the only child from his father’s second marriage, but had an older half-brother from his father’s first marriage. So is he the oldest or the youngest?  Still, even by the most conservative accounting, 21 presidents were Middle Children. That’s 48% of all U.S. Presidents. Throw in Washington and it jumps to 51% -- more than half.
     The long held, erroneous belief that most U.S Presidents were firstborns can only be concocted if you just consider first born males in their families, not the actual first born. Of course, that means totally disregarding their older sisters, which is just silly. Not to mention misleading. And probably sexist. In reality, only 35% of Presidents were honest-to-goodness firstborns. 37% at best.
     On the surface, this appears to be a rare victory for the Middle Child. But when you consider what a mess things are in DC, it’s probably just one more thing we’ll get blamed for.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

A College Football First!

     It’s college bowl season, and with 40 games to be played, there are some really bad bowls out there. This year’s menu of mediocrity features 12 teams with 6-6 records. It’s SO bad, there are even three teams with losing records playing in bowls! With the quality of bowl games sinking to a new low, CBS Sports' Tom Fornelli, who ranks the Bottom 25 teams throughout the season, suggested in a recent post we might as well put winless teams in a bowl game. “Hell, why not just create a bowl specifically for them?” he wondered. Ask and ye shall receive, Mr. Fornelli.
     The International Middle Child Union is proud to announce the first ever I.M.C.U. Middle Child Bowl: the college football game nobody wants to pay attention to. The two worst teams in the country vying for their moment in the lowlight. Two power(less)houses going head to head in an epic battle of winless wonders. The loser is awarded the ultimate prize for their lack of accomplishments -- the coveted Jan Brady Trophy! So who gets to play in this shit show?
     Choosing the best of the worst is no easy task. I started with Fornelli’s bottom 25, where he ranks the 0-12 University of Central Florida Knights 25th and the 0-12 Kansas Jayhawks 24th. But to assure the Middle Child Bowl showcases the very best of the worst, I did a little digging. After all, a winless team might not actually be as bad as their record indicates. I mean, they’re still really bad, but depending on the teams they play, they might be better than, say, a 1 or 2 win team. According to the CBS Sports rankings of all 128 teams in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), UCF brings up the rear at 128th, while Kansas wreaks slightly less at 124th. So perhaps there’s another team more deserving --or is that more less deserving?
     Let’s start the selection process by eliminating any team that breaks the Top 100 on either side of the ball. The 125th ranked UNC/Charlotte 49ers (2-10) boast the 88th best defense, while the 126th ranked Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-11) tout the 73rd
ranked offense -- far too lofty numbers for a game of this caliber, so they’re both out. The 127th ranked North Texas Mean Green (1-11) and their 112th ranked offense is slightly lower than Kansas’ 110th ranked unit, but the Mean Green’s defense is ranked 120th, compared to the Jayhawks at 128th, which is dead last. North Texas is also 10 spots higher than UCF’s 122nd ranked offense, and 5 spots lower than UCF’s 115th ranked defense -- not bad enough to make the cut. So that settles it. It’s the University of Central Florida Knights battling the Kansas Jayhawks for a shot at college football futility in the inaugural I.M.C.U. Middle Child Bowl. May the less worst team win.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Middle Child's Thanksgiving Survival Guide


     The Holiday Season is officially here! That means it’s prime time for the inevitable slights and oversights the Middle Child experiences whenever the family gets together. With that in mind, I am raising the Middle Child Syndrome Advisory to HIGH from now through New Year’s. I also offer the following suggestions to help make your Thanksgiving if not a happy one, at least bearable.

DO NOT OVERREACT... when your Mother says she made your favorite Thanksgiving recipe, and you find out it was really one of your siblings’ favorite recipes.
TRY NOT TO WHINE... when you are seated at the “Kids Table” table. Again.
JUST SMILE... when your Father keeps bragging to everyone about your brother’s big promotion and what a great job your sister has, then asks, “What exactly is it that you do?”
DON’T BE DISAPPOINTED... that all your siblings got bigger slices of pie. And more leftovers to take home.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH... when you find out your vintage comic book collection has been discarded, and your childhood room had been turned into an extra closet.
EAT LOTS OF TURKEY... let the tryptophan kick in, and if you’re lucky you’ll pass out. When you awake, hopefully Thanksgiving will be over.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween’s Greatest Middle Child.

     “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” has been airing every year around Halloween since 1966. But while Charlie Brown gets top billing, the real star of the show isn’t pumpkin-headed Charlie. It’s his blanket toting buddy, Linus Van Pelt
     Linus first mentioned the Great Pumpkin in 1959, which inspired the 1966 animated television special. No one else believes in the mythical gourd, except for Linus. Every year (for almost 60 years) , he sits in a pumpkin patch on Halloween waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive, which never happens.  Linus is defeated, but determined, vowing  to wait for him again the following Halloween. What else would you expect from a Middle Child? That’s right, Linus is a Middle Child!
Rerun VanPelt (Licensed under
Fair Use via Wikipedia.)
     Everyone knows Linus' older sister, Lucy.  But baby bro Rerun was first mentioned on May 23, 1972: Lucy throws Linus out of the house and then finds out another little brother had just been born. Lucy declares "A new baby brother? But I just got rid of the old one!" She comments that having a second younger brother is like watching reruns on television, and Linus suggests naming him just that.
     Rerun actually appears in the strip for the first time almost a year later, on March 26, 1973 -- an identical but smaller version of Linus. In later years, Linus attempts to make Rerun a Great Pumpkin believer, taking his wary and embarrassed little brother door-to-door to spread the word. But even Rerun could not be converted. So this Halloween, let’s pay tribute to Halloween’s most famous forgotten Middle Child and share some Great Pumpkin love. Don’t do it for me. Do it for Linus!







Monday, October 12, 2015

Christopher, Christopher, Christopher!

     Let’s close the schools. Let’s have parades for him and name cities and streets all across the country after him. Let’s even reduce all sofa and loveseat living room sets by 30%! Columbus Day is all about Christopher. But what about his younger, and Smack Dab Middle brother, Bartolome? 
     Bart was a mapmaker in Lisbon, who together with Chris came up with the plan to reach the Orient by a Western route, which, by the way, they never accomplished. But even that didn’t stop the elder Columbus from becoming famous -- for getting lost! 
     While Chris stayed stateside drumming up support for their plan, Bart went to England seeking assistance from Henry VII. He was taken by pirates en route and arrived in England in bad shape, so it didn’t go well when he presented himself at the Kings Court. So he headed over to France to hit up Charles VII, but also came up empty. Meanwhile, Chris convinced Ferdinand and Isabella to fork over some cash. When Bart got the news, he headed back to Spain -- but big bro had already left without him! Nice. 
     Bart did finally get to Hispaniola in 1494 to meet his brother, where he remained for six years serving as governor. He also founded the city of Santo Domingo, and accompanied his brother on his fourth and final journey. But still, it’s always, “Chris did this,” or “Chris did that!” Not that Christopher wasn’t willing to share any of the spotlight. When things fell apart in Hispaniola, they were imprisoned together. So at least Bart got to share jail time with his brother. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Middle Child's Day Special Election Update!

THE OFFICIAL 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE 
BIRTH ORDER REPORT

You can analyze the polls to determine who might have the edge to become the next Presidential nominee of their party, but you’d be looking in the wrong place. Over half of all U.S. Presidents were Middle Children. If you want to know who has what it takes to be President, start with birth order! According to a joint study conducted by the Middle Child Party and International Middle Child Union, of the top ten 2016 Republican candidates, 40% (4) are Middle Children, 40% are the oldest, and 20% (2) are the youngest. Throw in the second tier candidates, and those numbers shift slightly: 37% (6) are Middle Children, 37% are the oldest, and 26% (4) are the youngest. (We couldn’t verify Jim Gilmore’s birth order status, but I’m pretty sure that’s not an issue.)
Most people think that first-borns are the natural born leaders, but experts say that since most Middle Children feel their older and younger siblings get special treatment, Mid Kids learn early on how to negotiate for what they want. As a result, we tend to be agreeable, diplomatic, compromising, handle disappointment well, and have realistic expectations. Those sound like Presidential qualities to me.
Here’s a list of all the contenders and their birth order, with special commentary on the top Middle Child candidates:

TOP REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES

Candidate: Donald Trump Birth Order: Middle Child
This is what happens when a Middle Child gets too much attention. As if the hair didn’t scream, “Look at me” enough, now he’s literally screaming at anyone and everyone he wants. He’s like a Middle Child on steroids!




Candidate: Jeb Bush Birth Order: Middle Child
His older brother was a Governor, so he becomes a Governor. Then his older brother was President, just like their father, so now he wants to be President, too. Classic Middle Child behavior, always trying to live up to the expectations set by your older brother. NOTE TO JEB: It usually doesn’t end well.


                                    CandidateScott Walker Birth OrderOldest
                                    CandidateMike Huckabee Birth OrderYoungest
                                    CandidateDr. Ben Carson Birth OrderYoungest
                                    CandidateTed Cruz Birth OrderOldest


Candidate: Marco Rubio Birth Order: Middle Child
On the surface, Rubio appears to be a completely well adjusted Middle Child. But that’s the kind you really have to watch out for, because there is no such thing as a well adjusted Middle Child!





Candidate: Rand Paul Birth Order: Middle Child
Also went into the same line of work as his father. He once filibustered for almost 13 hours straight, and another time for almost 10 hours! Think he likes being the center of attention much?




Tuesday, August 11, 2015

7 Great Ways to Celebrate Middle Child's Day!

Middle Child's Day is tomorrow, and the Smack Dab Blog is where you'll find complete coverage of all the day's events. It's a pretty easy job, since nothing is happening, but what else is new? Here are 7 great ways to make this the most memorable Middle Child's Day yet -- which really isn't saying much since no one ever remembers Middle Child's Day!!

1. Send a Middle Child's Day Greeting Card: 
It's the least you can do to let your favorite Middle Children know that you're thinking of them on their special day. Really -- it's the very least you can do.
CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE

2. Buy a gift from the Smack Dab Shop:
Order today and there's NO WAY it will arrive in time for Middle Child's Day, but they'll be so happy you actually remembered, they won't even care!  (All profits are donated to UNICEF.) CLICK HERE TO SHOP


3. Update your Social Media Profile: Honor the day by changing your social media profile pic to a famous Middle Child! Check out the Smack Dab Middle Child Icon Gallery and choose from more than 50 real-life and make-believe Mid Kids, including the new Caitlyn Jenner icon! CLICK HERE TO CHOOSE

4. Take a Middle Child to celebrate at an MiLB game: For the second year, the International Middle Child Union has reached out to Minor League and Independent League professional baseball teams to stage "Middle Child Appreciation Nights" at stadiums all across the country. Here's a list of teams participating this year. At least they said they were!
CLICK TEAM TO CHECK FOR DETAILS:
AUG 11: Greeneville Astros, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, San Jose Giants AUG 12: Augusta Green Jackets, Batavia Muckdogs, Beloit Snappers, Bowie Baysox, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Charlotte Stone Crabs, Elizabethton Twins, Joplin Blasters, Jupiter Hammerheads, Lakeland Flying Tigers, Lakewood Blueclaws, Laredo Lemurs, Lincoln Saltdogs, Mobile Bay Bears, New Britain Rock Cats, Round Rock Express, St. Lucie Mets, Sussex County Miners, Syracuse Chiefs, Wilmington Blue Rocks AUG 13: Camden Riversharks, Fort Meyers Miracle, AUG 16: Sioux Falls Canaries AUG 18: Grand Prairie Airhogs, South Bend Cubs AUG 19: Burlington Bees, Fresno Grizzlies, Rockland Boulders AUG 26: Auburn Doubledays

5. Download your very own International Middle Child Union Membership Card: What better time to become a card carrying Middle Child? Of course, membership is FREE. Having to pay would be like rubbing salt in the wound.


6. View and share the Middle Child Anthem video: featuring over 100 famous Middle Children!


7. Make this the LAST TIME we celebrate Middle Child's Day on August 12!: Sign the petition to move Middle Child's Day to a day that makes more sense: July 2, the MIDDLE of the year! Maybe then, people will remember?
CLICK HERE TO SIGN


CHECK BACK ON AUG. 12 FOR A SPECIAL MIDDLE CHILD PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BIRTH ORDER REPORT