Monday, October 27, 2008

Put your organs on ice

This week I had to hold a dirty, malnourished baby girl while another social worker tried to find foster parents she could stay with since her own parents were clearly not doing their job.

It was at that moment I decided that people should have to get a license to reproduce.

For example, in our society we license people to drive because cars are dangerous so we have to be careful with who we have driving them. The same principle applies on a grander scale to reproducing: a bunch of unwanted/unplanned/neglected/poorly parented kids is dangerous because they grow into messed up adults that strain the judicial and welfare systems. Another similarity is a lot of people drive under the influence and a lot of people also reproduce under the influence.

Why not license people before they go spreading their genetic materials all around? If you haven’t noticed, some people are entirely too careless with their fluids. If a dog or cat is not spayed or neutered a lot of people consider that inhumane. Same idea with people.

So I say people should be relieved of their reproductive organs at an early age and have them put in cold storage. I’m sure if we got some corporate funding behind it we could develop a system to keep people’s stuff on ice until they decided they were ready for a child.

And once they decided they wanted a kid, we wouldn’t just give them their organs back right away. They’d have to earn them. They’d have to take parenting classes, prove they have enough income to support a child and pass a licensure exam.

Friend: Hey man, want to go out for some beers?

Prospective father: No thanks, I'm studying for my testicle exam. Me and Trixie are thinking of starting a family.

If they failed the test there would be an organ nazi who would say “No ovaries for you!”



And then they’d have to go back and study harder.

If they passed the test then they would get a cool card with their picture on it to keep in their wallet and they would get all their original equipment back.



They would also have to renew their license every few years.

And finally, before any fooling around goes on they would have to take a long, hard look at an ultrasound picture because those things are terrifying!



This is not even the scariest one I've seen. I've seen others that are way more horrifying.

Enthusiastic Pregnant Friend: Hey, look! Here's an ultrasound of my baby! Isn't he/she beautiful?

Me: Actually, I just peed my pants in sheer terror.

Anyway, if anything can discourage frivolous reproducing, it’s an ultrasound picture.

So until this whole licensure thing works out, reproduce responsibly.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Starting a family is hazardous to your coolness OR Baby humans ruin street cred

Based on some convincing evidence that has recently come into my possession, I’ve decided that the best thing a person can do to become instantly boring and cranky is to have children.

Exhibit A: My dad, who used to be a race car driver. No joke. By day he was a mechanic and by night he would race cars. Of course, that was a long time ago and there are no pictures to prove it, but I believe him. I’m sure that somewhere there are cave paintings of my dad behind the wheel of a wicked race car to corroborate his story.

And since there aren’t any pictures, this is what I estimate my dad looked like in his racing prime:



At one point my dad was also the Albuquerque Police Department’s “Phantom,” which means that night after night they would clock him speeding and chase him but they couldn’t catch him. So they started looking for him. The Albuquerque Police Department was looking for my father. He knows this because eventually they tracked him down and told him so. And then they wrote him a huge ticket.

This is what I estimate my dad looked like when he was running from the cops:



Next is Exhibit B: My mom, Pamela, who used to be a rock and roll animal. She went to all sorts of sweet shows and concerts, hung out with tons of rock stars and had the best record collection this side of anywhere. You could hum her a few bars of any song and she could not only tell you the band, but also the year the record came out, the record label it was on, who produced it and the names and shoe sizes of all the band members.

This is what I estimate my mom looked like back then:



Or maybe like this:



Well, I don’t think she actually plays bass, but you get the idea.

But this is a real picture of my parents now:



This begs the question: What happened to them? Where are the skinny, good looking, exciting young people of yesteryear?

They had kids.

My dad is an accountant now, which is about as far away from “race car driver” on the cool job spectrum as you can get, but I guess you gotta pay the bills. The only mechanical things he works on any more are clogged drains and broken dishwashers and other things his kids break.

My mom hasn’t been to a concert in years, and all the rock stars she used to know have all died of overdoses. She can’t even remember anything about music anymore. I asked her who sang a song that came on the radio the other day and she got so upset. She said, “How should I know? It could be Siegfried and Roy and their striped tigers for all I care. There’s no room for that crap in my brain anymore, it’s all been pushed out by kid stuff like doctors appointments and gymnastics and parent teacher conferences!”

So remember: reproduce with caution. It just may be the last cool thing you ever do.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Scully is the only woman for me (Yes, I'm writing about Scully again. Deal.)

Ok ok ok. I have to – no, I need to – write something about Scully. You know, the red-haired FBI agent skeptic on the ‘90s cult sci-fi classic The X-Files? Yes, that Scully.

The last time I wrote about Scully was earlier this year on Valentine’s Day, so I figure enough time has passed that I can bring up the subject again.

Here’s my summary: Scully is beautiful, feisty and smart. She rocks the conservative pantsuit and high heels, yelled at Xzibit in the movie (and that dude is gangsta) and she knows everything about science and medicine and does at least one autopsy per episode.

Ok, so I’m in love with a made up character on a ‘90s science fiction show, which sounds like the pinnacle of pathetic-ness, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If loving Scully is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but this fall some friends recommended some shows, specifically the X-Files rip-offs Fringe and Eleventh Hour. Since The X-files is obviously off the air and I’ve already watched all the episodes on DVD a minimum of one hundred times each, I have a Scully-sized hole in my heart.

So I felt a little guilty but I started watching and I was horrified to learn that there are two women trying to take Scully’s place, and I’m not having it.

First, let’s talk about Fringe. Granted, I enjoy the show, and even though she’s an FBI agent Olivia Dunham can’t hold a candle to Scully. First of all, her voice is too deep and her hair is weird. In the first episode she was naked in a vat of chemicals with electrodes and sensors taped to her and it really didn’t do anything for me. If it had been Scully I would have been freaking out.

But anyway she’s also a whiner, like “My boyfriend was a traitor. Waaah!” Let me tell you something, Olivia: Scully would’ve already shot him in the face, gotten over him and started doing an autopsy.

And I’m pretty sure Olivia has already cried. Only three episodes and you’re already crying? Girl, please. The only time Scully cried was when she figured out that aliens had tampered with her ovaries and stolen all her eggs. I know if my eggs were stolen I would be upset too.

Second, there’s Eleventh Hour. There’s only been one episode but I can already tell that FBI Special Agent Rachel Young is trying too hard. In the first episode she was running around in a robe pointing a gun at people. Tacky. And she has weird eyes. I hate to say it but homegirl pretty much looks like Kermit the Frog with a ponytail. I’m sorry. It had to be said.

Plus, she’s not that smart. She’s basically a bodyguard to Jacob Hood, the show’s Mulder-ish character. And she can’t autopsy crap.

So ladies, if you can’t stand the heat, I suggest you stay the heck out of the science fiction kitchen.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Re-recording life

I was thinking about it and thank goodness that when you’re leaving a message on someone’s phone you can go back and re-record it if you mess up.

Like when you get done you can press pound and it will say “If you’re satisfied press this key, if you want to re-record your message press this key.”

This came in handy one day when I was calling this girl and while I was leaving the message my voice cracked. It went something like this: “Hey just give me a call back when you have TiMe.”

I was mortified. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to quickly press pound and I got to go back and re-record it. Otherwise that humiliating moment would have been digitally preserved forever, cause who’s gonna erase a ridiculous message like that? I can picture it:

Girl #1: “I’m so bored. What should we do?”

Girl #2: “You wanna listen to that voicemail message again? It’s hilarious. I mean, go through puberty already! What a dork!”

Luckily I was saved by the power of pressing pound. Man, I love that feature. It’s a lifesaver. I wish I could do that with other things in life. Like, the next time I’m having a conversation with some girl and I realize “Oh, man. That sounded creepy,” I would simply press pound on my phone-of-life and give it another shot, re-recording it until I say the smoothest thing possible.

I would re-record a lot of stuff, believe you me. I would re-record all the times I fell on the ice or slipped on a wet floor or tripped on a crack in the sidewalk. I would re-record all the times I’ve tried to go in the “out” door or walked into something. I would re-record all the times I've called someone by the wrong name. I would re-record all the times I’ve asked someone when their due date was and what the sex of their child was only to realize they aren’t pregnant, just a little overweight. I would re-record the times I’ve made a “your mom” joke and then found out that the person’s mother was dead.

I would pretty much be the smoothest person ever. But I guess where’s the fun in that? I know I’d be sad if everyone else suddenly got a phone-of-life and became suddenly smooth. I like laughing at other people just as much as they like laughing at me.

Just be aware that if you leave me a message and your voice cracks, I'm never deleting it.