• Wed, Jan 12 2011

The Misanthropologist: Babies Suck

Sometimes I like to sit in parks and have deep thoughts and look kind of tortured because I’m convinced it makes people think I’m interesting. So I’ll just sit there on a bench, maybe smoke a cigarette, have some coffee, with this kind of furrowed, penetrating, far-and-away gaze.  Most of the time I’m either thinking about where I can score some glue or I’m just not thinking about fucking anything, because I did score some glue. If you’re wondering right now, “What’s wrong with you? It’s way easy to score glue.” My reply to you is, “Not if Rite Aid has your picture on the wall.” Wiseass.

Anyway, one day, I was sitting in a park in Manhattan. I like sitting in these parks, smoking, because every two minutes, hobos or art school students or rich private school kids who are under 18 will be like, “Can I have a cigarette?” and you get to feel really important when you just shake your head slowly and look away. I live for this shit. And usually, these days in the park would be the online highlight of my otherwise suffocatingly bleak existence, but you know what I hate about parks in New York City?

Babies.

I was watching one just yesterday, its appendages sagging helplessly through a swing’s legholes, luxuriating in its finery. And I thought, “That baby must think it’s pretty great. But it looks like some horrible moon-worm rejected from its home planet. Like all babies.”

I have a pretty storied history of getting kicked out of restaurants/coffee shops/theaters/roller rinks/glue factories/arcades–basically all manner of public places, because there was a baby nearby and I just couldn’t deal with it. One time, I saw a baby at a steakhouse and the back of its head was flat enough to roll out a pie crust.  I learned later that this is usually caused by abusive negligence on the parents’ behalf and babies with flat heads have to wear corrective helmets so they can enter adulthood with normal, human-shaped heads. Normally, I would sympathize with the physically mangled, but babies have it a lot better than I ever will. I knew a baby once, he had a ball pit.

It just seems like when babies come around, your priorities change and you have to view shit differently and provide care and be concerned for the well-being of a little wrinkly creature that depends on you. It’s my understanding that women can’t even have sex if they have a baby inside of them because babies are not down to play Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! with your dick. And that makes them selfish.

Think of all the things that make people really cool, like playing guitar, or breakdancing, or skateboarding. Babies can’t do any of that. What are babies good at? You might say to me, “Turning into an adult?” And I’d reply, “Thank you for engaging in this conversation, Imaginary Friend, but unfortunately you are a dumb asshole. ‘Turning into an adult,’ why, that takes forever. I could be good at fucking anything if it was all I had to focus on for 18 fucking years.” So I ask again, what are babies good at? They run around with their dicks out, they have weird, undeveloped little bodies, they all look like what would happen if Winston Churchill started melting. Then, of course, they present legitimate problems, such as overpopulation, deforestation, global warming, and refusing to skateboard even when I put them on the board.

You know what, I’m projecting. It’s just I see babies all the time and they’re clearly focusing on becoming humans and I recall that scene in Billy Madison when Adam Sandler tells the chubby boy that he should stay in second grade as long as he can, because high school is cold and cruel. At the end of the day, I just wish I could communicate to babies that they don’t want this.

Like, I watched The Lion King a few months ago and it felt like it was five minutes long. It used to feel like an epic three hour masterpiece. But that experience of time–when the world is outrageous and fascinating and full of possibility–that feeling erodes each day and the more that pass, the more you desperately want to recover it. But you can’t. Back then, when you loved Disney movies as a baby or a little kid, you used glue for craft projects, not something you needed so urgently that the manager at Rite Aid keeps a Xerox of your driver’s license on file. You saw MTV as something untouchably cool and not deeply irrelevant. You saw 18-year-olds as something you’d give anything to be, not assholes with awesome bodies. You saw the world as full of light and nourishment and you had dreams, you looked up in the dark and saw a sky full of stars, not a ceiling with cracking paint as you lost your virginity to internet radio “chill drum and bass.”

I guess I’d give anything to be a baby again. To only have to do one thing (become an adult) and get seemingly limitless time to do it. Enjoy it while you can, babies, because it won’t last. Before you know it, those years will be over, and you’ll be sitting in a park gleaning all your enjoyment from refusing to bum cigarettes, high as a kite on off-brand White Out, smelling like a smoldering ashtray that someone put out with a bottle of Crystal Palace.

What I’m trying to say is: look at the sky, babies… lift up your feeble, malformed little arms and reach for the stars.

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  • macalny

    I officially love you. HILARIOUS!! Thanks for the genius. :)

  • Erin

    I hope you get help for the glue dependency. But the bit about the babies, you are 100% correct. Moon worms.

  • Goldie

    babies are also high on my list of top things i hate about facebook.

  • Ms. Pants

    Soul. Mate.

  • xa7q

    goddamn i love you. come huff glue with me.

  • emme s.

    aw… was someone not loved as a child?…. Do you have a flat head?

  • Amy;s Cooking Adventures

    Poor little baby in the picture,,,it breaks my heart!

  • a mom

    Don’t know how I stumbled onto this little gem. You were born all grown up then? When exactly did the narcissistic personality disorder develop? Sometime around the time your mom had another baby maybe? In public, my baby is way less annoying, disruptive and space-invading than your cigarette. Get a grip, I assume you want the species to continue.

    • Bill

      In the immortal words of Will Smith: “Parents just don’t understand”.

    • Jennifer Wright

      A mom, whenyou assume….

    • Jennifer Wright

      And who wants a world full of people who don’t understand jokes about babies refusing to skateboard?

    • Lindsay Cross

      Its situations like this where I’m thankful that Brenna has been able to skateboard since infancy.

      I’m also thankful that my sense of humor didn’t fall out with the placenta.

    • faye

      @a mom: a good ten feet away from a smoker and i wouldn’t know there’s a cigarette nearby. FUCKING ANYWHERE in a public place with a crying baby makes me want to kill myself.

  • KT

    “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out?” I laughed so hard when I read that.
    When my baby wakes up from her nap, we will have a heart-to-heart chat about the the whole seize-the-moment thing.

  • Louis

    I totally would love to sit across from you in the same park and deny people cigarettes with you.

  • Paige M.

    This may be my new favorite website.

  • NK

    you are the greatest…my favorite line was: the back of it’s head was flat enough to roll out a pie crust.
    and to think people actually take you serious