Tuesday, October 8, 2013

10/8/13: Baby Heads, Children, and Punctuation

Illustrate my dreams, Part 1

Last night, I had a dream that I was in this big baby making factory, and the babies were these little premature things lined up in shallow plastic trays like hatching beds. They even acted like newly hatched baby chicks, craning their necks and crying at the sky. I began amusing myself by leaning over these baby trays and laughing at the rows of baby heads, some more deformed than others, which would result in them laughing in return, and so I found myself going up and down these rows of trays, creating a sea of laughing, smiling baby heads. Then, out of nowhere appears a large baby factory mascot, this large evil-looking clown, and on the end of his left arm instead of a hand is a giant deformed baby head. It's big and round, like a large flesh-colored balloon, and in the center of it is this scrunched, pinched-faced, snaggletoothed baby face, its face contorting and twisting as the mouth opens and shuts like it is trying to scream, only no sound is coming out. Needless to say, I immediately have somebody take my picture with the baby factory mascot.

Anybody want to draw that picture for me?

Other People's Children, Part 1

There is something about raising children that seems to damage specific portions of the brain in a majority of parents. I am convinced any detailed clinical study would show the perception areas of the brain to be those portions most severely impacted.

McDonalds Happy Meal
McDonalds Happy Meal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'm in line for breakfast during my on-campus residency this morning, and I slide my tray down the wooden cafeteria shelf until I come to a woman getting breakfast for her and her daughter. She has her daughter standing next to her, and she has two take-out trays opened and lined up next to one another while the cafeteria patron grabs food for them, so they are taking up a good four or five feet of counter space.

Now, this is not a rant against the woman taking up the space in the first place, or about having to wait for her to have her meal hand-picked by the kitchen staff. It's her cafeteria just as much as it is mine, and I'm not in any kind of mad rush to get breakfast. I can wait, and I do so quietly and patiently. When the mother notices me there, she looks up and acknowledges my presence like I would hope she would, but then instead of apologizing by saying something simple like "Sorry, I'll just be a minute," she comes out with "Oh, it's okay, you can go around us."

Oh, may I? That's great, thank you ever so much. I was just wondering what to do when I came upon you and your spawn effectively blocking a third of the buffet line, thank heaven you helped clarify my options. My standing there was obviously just a result of confusion or overly polite manners, and not directly related to you being camped out in front of the five different varieties of eggs currently available this morning. Now that you've given me permission to simply go around you, I'll just be on my way to enjoy a breakfast of bacon and vegan sausage patties.

There is something misfiring in those regions of the brain dedicated to perceiving and understanding their surroundings. They and their children are simply "there," and it is merely up to the rest of the world to "go around them" and go about its business. But they and their children are not just "There." They are in the fucking way. They are blocking, impeding, obstructing, or otherwise preventing the rest of us from doing what we want or need to do. And on the surface there is nothing wrong with that. But when these parents fail to see or understand that they are in the way, that is when the system begins to crumble. That's when they start taking two-year-olds to the movies, or take their twin strollers and cargo bags full of wet naps and cheerios into the narrow aisles of shops because they want to browse the knickknacks with Cornelius and Escobar in tow, or spend fifteen minutes in front of you in the fast-food lane trying to convince little Janice to order something to eating instead of just ordering the kid a goddamn hamburger and making her eat it. Here's a tip, Mothers: if you still need to lock up cleaning supplies to prevent your child from poisoning itself, then they are too young to be making their own nutritional choices. Order the kid a happy meal and tell them to shut the fuck up and eat it. You and your children are not simply a part of the landscape, you are an obstacle, and the sooner you can least acknowledge that, the emotionally healthier we will all be.

Comma Chameleon

My new adviser just informed me that I use too many commas. Well, shit.
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