I used to be a blogging snob, not allowing other people to guest post or do any reblogging, because I thought it would sully the bitter vibe all over this blog. I didn’t think anyone else’s opinion on bitterness would ever be anywhere near mine, (which it isn’t by the way) but that doesn’t mean that others don’t have an opinion on it. So gradually, (okay, suddenly) I realized that other people could do posts for me. Like the other day, I realized it. Mostly, I realized that these poor saps (uh, bloggers) could do my work for me, and get me the much needed stats to propel me to making money or something. Anyways, Sam here decided that he wanted to do a guest post, but only if all of you would go over to his site and like, subscribe and comment. Since I promised him at least 100 (thousand) new followers, you guys better do your jobs and get over there. Here is the post and his blog is www.delusionsofpretension.com.
When I was little, I was under the impression that babies came from storks, or rather that storks delivered them. Cartoons reinforced the idea in an Orwellian fashion, raising the prospect of a stork threatening to bring a sibling into my life without my say-so.
My wife had our third kid relatively recently, so naturally that got me thinking about storks. I read once that a child is proof that the universe should go on, but I also read somewhere that having three kids means I’m now a parenting expert, and my words should be heeded with the same reverence we give to important people (it may have been “impotent people,” but I’m too lazy to check). In between all the people congratulating me, I thought the idea of bespectacled birds carrying infants was a bit odd.
It did make me wonder how many animals they went through before settling on storks. Perhaps the original idea was a dove, but the prospect of the resulting bird hernias nipped that one in the bud. Or perhaps it was baby delivery via a cluster of benevolent cockroaches. I can only suspect that those in charge of picking the appropriate deliverer found cockroaches too gross or too Freudian.
Living in the United States, one would think the bald eagle would be recruited for such a privilege, but then we can’t expect that bird to be our nation’s symbol and deliver babies. Even freedom needs a break, I suppose. Plus a particularly famished eagle might get distracted and drop its bundle and or get hungry and eat it.
Regardless, the fact that adults thought that a bird carrying a baby in a blanket thousands of feet above the ground was a preferable alternative to describing sex really shows the level of contempt adults have for children. I’m sure a conversation took place on the subject, and I imagine it went like this:
Moron 1: Hey Joe, I got an idea, how about we tell kids they come from storks?
Moron 2: What’s a stork, Al?
Moron 1: It’s a weird looking bird with creepy long legs. We’ll tell them thatstorks deliver babies.
Moron 2: That seems kind of dumb. What makes you think that’ll work?
Moron 1: Because kids trust us. And I’m 100% positive this won’t lead to any trust issues when they become teenagers.
Moron 2: My God, you are common sense embodied.
And I can’t really say they had a bad idea. I was so dumb that I thought babies grew inside mommies, but, at some odd time (usually when the moms had to go to the hospital), the baby teleported into the stork’s bag, only to be delivered back to the mother. The whole thing seemed remarkably inefficient, but I just figured the whole thing was managed by the government.
Now that I’m older, I’m still fascinated by all the needless variables storks throw into the mix. What happens if a stork gets confused and delivers the wrong baby? How would anyone know? Does that mean DNA testing is a racket? Did storks ever drop the babies? I mean there had to at least be a handful of storks that were just bad at their jobs. You know, the kinds of storks that wouldn’t tie the knot particularly well and drop the kid into a volcano by accident, or maybe drop the kid off at the wrong doorstep. I bet some of the storks would do that on purpose:
Stork 1: So I had this artist’s kid and I delivered him to a wallpaper hanger
Stork 2: (laughs maniacally) You’re such a jerk.
Stork 1: Probably.
Stork 2: Where’d you drop him off?
Stork 1: Some place in Austria. I hear the parents named him Adolf.
The main thing to take out of that exchange is the word “delivered.” I suppose it’s a mark of linguistic efficiency that we can equate the miracle of birth with the arrival of junk mail. It’s unsettling to think that people may equate their children with Publisher’s Clearing House and credit card applications. I humbly suggest we substitute “deliver” with “transmutate” because that word has a more pleasant ring to it.
Which brings me to the last misconception: some people say that if men were the ones having the babies, the world would have fewer of them. Clearly whoever said this does not understand men. Since we’re a bunch of competitive buffoons and proud of everything we do (I still get a visceral thrill whenever I ignore clutter for months at a time), I think the world would have ten times the amount of people. Guys would be competing to see who could have the most babies, they’d be comparing baby sizes in the paternity wards, talking about which ones were probably going to be Super Bowl MVPs, and they’d be bragging incessantly about how their labor was harder than every other guy’s.
But misconceptions aside (probably too much, but whatever), people always say that one is never truly ready for a baby. I would tend to agree since my contributions during the transmutation involved such philosophical gems like “push!” and “you can do it,” as though the former weren’t immediately obvious, and the latter as though I were going to jump in and help. My wife didn’t seem to truly grasp the deep intellectual ramifications of my advice, but that’s okay. She was too distracted to notice I was watching football on my phone the whole time.