Category Archives: silly

Babycarriage

AND BABY MAKES TOO MANY

NOTES FROM THE HENGE
A couple returning from Rome
Met some parents who couldn’t leave home.
As they cooed at the cradle
They were asked, “How’re ya able?”
 “Well, we chose not to share our genomes.”
Those of you who’ve read my old sf novel LEVELS: The Host(coming soon to an ebook reader near you), will perhaps recognize faint echoes of some of the book’s themes in this post.
Perambulate my perambulator!
AND BABY MAKES TOO MANY
So a lot of my friends are in their thirties and are suddenly having babies. Popping out puppies. Making new humans. And these friends are all wonderful moms and dads: quirky, artsy, vibrant, funny people with great attitudes. They’re awesome parents. And they’re raising great kids.
But… why?     
What’s the deal? It seems to me the time has long since passed we shoulda chucked the old tradition of “first you go to school, then you get a job, then you get married, and then you hunker down and have yourself a passel of kids.” Yet it’s still considered almost “mandatory” to reproduce this reproduction plan in many circles. WTF?
It’s particularly troubling considering how many bad parents there are out there. Why not create a society encouraging only those who have a very special “calling” for parenthood to breed? It’s one of the hardest, trickiest, most demanding jobs in the world, but we seem to believe everyone should do it. People who can barely operate a can opener think it’s just fine to go off and make themselves a person… and then try to raise that person on up… so it can then make other persons.     
As Doritos used to advertise: “Crunch all you want, we’ll make more.”
I won’t even touch on the population issues involved. Okay, so maybe I’ll touch on them a tad. Here I go: We have plenty of humans, Peeps. There’s barely a problem I can think of (climate change, disease, famine, war, pollution, etc) that wouldn’t be eased up quite a bit if there were far fewer Homo sapiens infesting our cute little planet. So automatically popping out more of them “because that’s what’s done” doesn’t make sense.
Just ‘cause your folks did it doesn’t mean you have to. Your folks also wore polyester jump suits and watched TV shows when they aired. Rest my case.
I believe being a parent should be something rare and treasured, like being a stunt man, brain surgeon, or sommelier. And those few who pursue it would get huge respect — especially considering all the strenuous training, testing, and licensing ideally involved in the process. It should be something that, at a cocktail party, draws a crowd. “Really? You’re a dad/mom? Wow! What’s it like? I went to school with someone who wanted to be that!”
I would like to live in a world were being a parent was kinda like being an astronaut. Cool as hell, but pretty darn rare, and only done by experts.
My point is, why not have yourself a gerbil, some sea monkeys, or one of those purse dogs? Leave parenting to the pros.

And, please, don’t get me wrong. I love kids. I really do. I always wanted to have my own, truth be told. (Fact is the only reason I didn’t have children was I thought I should wait until the day I felt like a “grown up” myself. Needless to say, that never happened.)
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CLOONEY ON CRUTCHES

NOTES FROM THE HENGE
A dancer with troublesome hips
Used some money collected from tips
To install a new joint
At his hip’s turning point
Now he’s able to kick just for kicks.
A limper who’s hip was a trickster
Found a doc through a medical tipster
No longer a “crip”
His titanium hip
Gives him newfound street cred as a Hipster
(You get two limericks for the price of one this time.  I felt a flood of PC guilt for using the expression “crip” and so wrote another.)
Yes, I have self-image issues.
CLOONEY ON CRUTCHES
This past February I went under the knife and had a new hip installed.  I wanted one with more bling.  Nothing ostentatious, just a little light bedazzling.  Pimp my hip out.  And if I could get one that doubled as a wifi hotspot, so much the better.
Getting a total hip replacement turned out to be a bigger deal than I expected.   Not the kind of thing you just walk away from.   Recovery takes a while, and there are complicated bathroom issues I’d rather not discuss here.  Trust me, you don’t want to read about them while you’re eating.  Or if you ever plan to eat.
I was rockin’ a walker for a while, then a pair of forearm crutches, then a single forearm crutch, and now I’m on a wobbly cane.  The cane is, I suppose, methadone to the crutch’s heroin, and I’m slowly being weaned off my addiction.  The surgeon, when he realized how long I’d been on crutchesbecause of various complications, cautioned me to be careful I didn’t start using the crutch as “a crutch.”  I was, uncharacteristically, speechless.
Physical therapy is a blast.  And by “a blast” I mean it hurts.  A lot.  However, as a heterosexual man, I confess the one nice thing about going to my physical therapy appointments is that my therapist happens to be a very attractive young woman.  If I’m going to be hurt by someone, it might as well be someone cute.  During each session I try to fantasize that we’re merely a couple experimenting with something kinky and I’ve forgotten the “safe word.”
Friends and family were particularly wonderful during the early, housebound stage of my recovery: bringing meals, keeping me company, or simply being sensitive to the fact that I’m an introvert and leaving me the f**k alone.  (Some people who know me really well left food on my doorstep, rang the bell, and ran like hell.)  Surprisingly, strangers have also been amazingly nice to me throughout this process.  They see crutches and start holding doors, offering up seats, helping with bags, etc.  Smiling, assisting, being extra patient and kind. They almost behave like I’m some big movie star simply because I’m semi-incapacitated. It’s very sweet, but also a little sad.  (And not just because I’m not a big movie star.  Yet.)
A month or so after the surgery my wife’s car broke down right in front of our house.  It’s a long story.  Actually it’s a very shortstory but I’m skipping it anyway.  Sue me.  The point is I loped my crutchy way outside to stand by her car door, lean in her window, and keep her company while she waited for Triple-A.   Since it was rush hour and she was blocking a lane on a narrow road, folks would race up behind her and slam on the brakes at the last minute.  Their faces were always horribly pinched and they all seemed about to yell something really nasty… until they caught sight of my forearm crutches.  Then they’d instead smile sweetly and wave like I was George Clooney or something.  “No worries!  Take your time!  I’ll just drive around you folks!  I didn’t realize you were differently abled and/or a superstar!” 
As I watched this happen over and over, I began to wonder why we can’t be nice anyway.  Why can’t we try to treat all people like they’re George Clooney on forearm crutches?
So next time you feel a bubble of rage rising within because some stranger inconvenienced or annoyed you, before your act on that feeling, picture them as George Clooney on forearm crutches. 
And, if it helps, pretend you and George are a couple and you forgot the “safe word.”