And other answers to unsolicited questions.
“We’re thinking of having a kid. What do you think?” — Childless Chris
Other people’s kids are great. Kids are funny and often amusing. They sometimes do tricks. When I go to barbecues, I hang out with the kids and play wiffle ball and soccer for hours. I don’t understand why adults just stand around at these things drinking beers and watching kids when you can just be dominating kids, dunking on their heads, hitting grand slams, whatever. And they love it. Even when I do go get a beer they’ll come drag me back to once again hit a wiffle ball into someone else’s yard for them. The best thing about other people’s kids is that you can give them back and someone else has to deal with their inhalers or Klonopin or whatever. My job is merely to be Crazy Uncle Jim.
I’ve never particularly wanted children. I’m not alone. The US birth rate is at an all-time low. Teenagers and people in their 20s are having children at a much lower rate than ever before. At some point we probably won’t have enough people in the workforce to pay for my social security checks. But I’ll hopefully be delirious by then and won’t be able to tell the difference. I got 25 more years in the bookstore to look forward to. Will we still have books in 25 years? That’s probably when the next Game of Thrones book will be out. Just as I’ll be too blind to read it. Thanks, George R. R. Martin!
I can respect that millennials are having fewer kids. Finally, a generation has wised up! Kids are expensive and they always break your cool stuff. If I could have lived in my parents’ basement and goofed off my whole life, I definitely would have done that. I would do that now! Get ready, Ma and Pa Behrle! Responsibility is seriously overrated and whether the US has enough people to replace the amount of crappy people we have now is somehow my problem is seriously questionable.
Relationships are harrowing enough on their own. There are very few situations in life that you’ll think to yourself “This would be going way better if there was also a screaming baby here. If it were up to me screaming babies would be banned from everywhere like cigarettes. Life is short and your howling, uncontrollable child was not in my brochure. So no kids in restaurants, subways or planes, either. Fly Parent Airlines. Or designate part of the Cargo section of planes for families.
I feel bad for parents trying to deal with their wild tots, but I think if we just build “parent towns” across our great nation, it will make things better for us all. As cool as you think it is to bring your baby up in the city, sooner or later you’ll go broke and move to Topeka anyway. Because kids are expensive. They need pants all the time. And wipes so you can clean up their vomit. And you can’t even make them work in a coal mine or a sweat shop anymore. Shouldn’t we allow the free market to decide whether little kid hands are better at most professional tasks than big adult ones?
So, build cities for parents to live in with their kids that’s far away from New York, Chicago and LA. No one wants to deal with you dealing with your kid in public. Kids ruin lots of great things, like dirty television shows. We have to not swear on songs or shows because kids might hear them or something. I love to swear! It’s one of my very favorite things! Move out to the middle of Iowa with your rugrats and husk corn, vote for Republicans, whatever. Just do it someplace where I won’t have to hear them crying all the time.
In general life is kind of a bullshit deal. You think your life gets to be about you and what you want to do with it. They literally tell you to dream high and imagine that anything is possible. But then you accidentally fall in love with the wrong person, marry them, have a bunch of bad babies, and your life is officially over. You know have to suffer through the insufferable everyday to provide for others, hoping only to someday feel happy when you start dating the nanny.
So, sure, maybe have a kid. There’s plenty of kids that are already on Earth and need your help and possibly to be adopted. But it doesn’t matter if you do or don’t. I kind of like the movie Children of Men where there’s no screaming babies in restaurants. Everyone’s infertile and British. It seems like a nice enough world. Humanity is just about to die off, which would probably be fine for the rest of the universe. So, whatever, have a kid. Just don’t think that it makes you special. The only requirement to have a kid is to get laid like once. Anyone can do that. Just go with me to the prom.
Jim Behrle lives in Jersey City, NJ and works in a bookstore.