There always seems to be at least one kid in every class who will do absolutely anything for attention. He doesn't care who he hurts or what the consequences are. Empathy isn't in his vocabulary. When I say he has no shame, I mean he has no shame.
Some of these louts never make it to adulthood. They're cut short by their own audacity, usually right after yelling, "Hey everybody! Watch this!"
Others go on to be local laughingstocks and general pains in the ... side. When their names are mentioned, people who know them just grimace and shake their heads.
Most do the majority of their damage within a relatively small circle of influence — their family, their neighborhood, their PTO and their church.
That is unless they mange to achieve public office. That changes everything.
I'm speaking, of course, about Rep. Bobby Franklin. This Republican from Cobb County's 43rd District gives new meaning to the word hubris. This is the man who has introduced a bill that would make miscarriages a felony if the mother cannot prove there was no "human involvement."
I've had four miscarriages and two live births. Three of the miscarriages were very early on, at about eight weeks. The last was at 20 weeks. It was one of the most wrenching experiences of my life.
Everything seemed to be going well. I was starting to show. I went for a routine ultrasound, excited about seeing my baby for the first time. I remember the cold gel on my belly and the happy anticipation as the technician did her work. Then silence. She cleared her throat and said, "Let me get the doctor."
The baby was dead. The rest is a blur. I was admitted to the hospital the next day and labor was induced. Physically I was fine, but emotional recovery took much longer.
More than two decades later I still pause each June 21, my due date, and think of what that little guy would be doing now. This year he'd be 24, out of college, maybe married, maybe a father himself.
The winter of 1987 was a sad, desolate time for me. Imagine now, if in addition to that personal loss, I had to explain to some kind of investigatory board the details of my miscarriage.
Imagine if I had to convince them that I had done nothing to contribute to it. No, don't imagine. It's just too cruel.
I don't understand Franklin. He has, since 1996, made a career out of introducing dingbat bills. There's the one that would make only gold and silver legal tender for all debts in Georgia. There's the time he tried to abolish Georgia's Road and Tollway Authority and Department of Health and Human Services.
He's opposed to public education. He recently sponsored a bill that would do away with drivers licenses in Georgia.
He also proposed an amendment to the Georgia state criminal code for rape requiring the new legal term "accuser" be substituted for the currently used legal term "victim."
So if you're burglarized, you're a victim. If your car's stolen, you're a victim. But if you're raped, you're merely an accuser until you can prove otherwise.
And then there's House Bill 1, requiring that every "spontaneous fetal death" have its cause scrutinized by the "proper investigating official." The bill would also make abortion and human caused miscarriages punishable by death or life in prison.
Insanity has been characterized as doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. Franklin has introduced this same bill every year since 2002 without success. You'll have to draw your own inferences.
OK, so maybe he's just crazy like a fox. If his primary purpose in proposing these poorly written, badly researched, ill-fated bills is to garner attention ("Hey everybody! Watch this!") then he's succeeding. I imagine him Googling his name each morning and keeping a tally, maybe even a spreadsheet, of the number of hits.
His Facebook fan page says that he's been called "the conscience of the Republican caucus." I looked high and low and the only person I've found who has called him that it is — you guessed it — Bobby Franklin.
I have to wonder about the voters in the section of Cobb County that's HD 43. For 15 years they've decided that this misogynistic grandstander is the best person to represent their interests. I prefer to think it's due to voter apathy rather than because reasonable people determined him to be the right man for the job. It certainly doesn't hurt that he has the magical incumbent (I) next to his name on the ballot.
These are trying, frightening times. They call for leaders with determination, intelligence, compassion and ingenuity. We don't have the time or resources to fritter away on foolish legislation such as that presented by Rep. Franklin.
I hope Cobb County voters do the whole state a favor and field a sensible alternative candidate come election time. And then do their homework and vote for more than just the (I).
Teressa Glazer is a Gainesville businesswoman. Her column appears biweekly on Fridays and on gainesvilletimes.com.