I don’t know why I’m so manly. I suppose the lord just blesses each of us in different ways. Maybe I’m so masculine because I’m so healthy with my eating habits. Maybe it’s because I regularly work out with my own little Mini-Nanook.
Or perhaps it’s something in the water down here that makes me more virile, if such a thing is even possible. Which it’s not. After all, my manliness knows no bounds. I am, as you are aware, the guy who once scissor-kicked Bea Arthur and Angela Lansbury right in their big, stupid faces.
All I know is that my rugged manliness was recently the cause of some big changes in our household. Not long ago, Ms. Nanook came to me with some exciting news: We were having pizza for supper!
Also, she was a little bit pregnant.
When the pizza was finished, I was able to concentrate on the more important things at hand. I remember thinking “what right do I have procreating?” Sure, I’ve been dressing myself for almost 8 years, but in many ways I still feel like a child myself. I still do things that would be described by some people (e.g. my wife, law enforcement, the Pope) as childish.
Just to give one example, I once decided that I could create the world’s biggest gummi bear by melting down a bag of gummi candy and pouring it into a plastic container shaped like a bear. My plan was to allow the melted gummi to cool and harden, and then cut open the plastic container and reveal the mega-gummi that lay inside. There was, in my mind, simply no way this idea could fail.
Of course, I’m not a complete idiot. Before I attempted the real thing, I thought it important to do a “test run” of the idea. To that end, I purchased one of those bear-shaped honey containers and emptied it.
I then filled a little measuring cup full of gummi bears and popped it into the microwave. The result was a tacky, viscous ooblek substance, with the detritus of incinerated gummi bears floating in it.
I was undaunted, and so with the dexterity of a [drunk] brain surgeon I slowly poured the bubbling substance into the empty honey bear. And it was here that my plan began to unravel, as I failed to take into account the temperature at which a honey container would begin to melt. As I was pouring the microwaved mucilaginous, the bottom of the plastic bear melted away and the thick syrup seeped out, dripping onto my hands and burning them before I gathered my senses enough to put the hemorrhaging, diarrhetic bear container onto a plate.
And so my plan failed, collapsing in on itself just as the melted microwaved bear had. At this point, you probably assume that we’ve reached the nadir of my stupidity.
You would be wrong.
Because, not wanting the melted gummi to go to waste, I scraped it off the plate with a spoon and began eating it. And I didn’t stop until Ms. Nanook gently reminded me that the substance that I was digesting was partly comprised of melted plastic.
You see, here’s the thing: This didn’t happen when I was a child. I was almost 30 years old when I did this, and to this day I am convinced that the idea could work. In fact, just today I was googling some images to use, and I discovered that other people have had the same idea as me, and have been successful. And I am insanely jealous over it.
Obviously, I should step up my game a little bit, maturity-wise.
But how can someone who willingly eats melted plastic be trusted to have a child? And what if, like the destroyed, melted honey bear, I mess it all up? Obviously, I’m not worried about melting my child in the microwave, but I have learned to never underestimate my capacity to make stupid mistakes. And history, after all, is littered with crappy dads: Abraham, John Phillips, Hitler’s dad, Darth Vader…
One of my best friends (for the sake of anonymity, let’s call him “Bud”) called a couple of months later to tell me that he and his wife were also now expecting a child. Which is great, because that means that me and Bud will be dealing with these new things at around the same time. We’ll be able to compare diaper bags, and provide a sort of moral support to each other.
Here’s what sucks about it. There is absolutely no doubt in my (or anyone else’s) mind that Bud is infinitely more mature than I am.
Admittedly, this would not be difficult.
Perhaps I’m being selfish, but I cannot help but feel that it really would be better for the level-headed person to go through the experiences first. My only hope is that when he calls me about some issue that I confronted a couple months earlier, I can be depended on to be calm and provide good advice.