Well it was bound to happen that all the prank calling that I have done in my life would catch up to me. The worst part was that I was tricked by a prerecorded message.
For years I have decided to wage a war, one comedic journalist on a crusade to fight the good fight against “doing it yourself.” I have noticed a rising trend of having to do things yourself and still paying for it. Take for example the self-serve yogurt shops that seemed to pop up overnight. It is a fact that yogurt shops are one of the fastest growing small business industries in the United States. They are a simple business to run. You simply have to purchase the frozen yogurt machines, run down to Costco (or drive, it’s your choice) to pick-up 30lbs of assorted toppings, pick up a scale and then find some teenager that looks annoyed and say to him/her, “How would you like to look pissed while earning minimum wage?”. As a consumer, if you are not careful you could easily spend twelve dollars on one cup, and all because I put honey on the bottom of the cup to brag to everyone that I am a genius influenced by Winnie the Pooh! Who knew that all of the toppings are that expensive? We should have a price break just because we have to do it ourselves. Isn’t that why we walked out of our caves and stopped hunting and gathering our own food? We got tired of doing it ourselves. Imagine all of those countless hours looking at the ground asking ourselves, “Can I eat this?”
This trend has extended to checking things out on your own at the store. At my local grocery store there is a bright sign that says “Speedy Self-Check Out”. There is nothing speedy about doing something that I have never had any training or experience on. I don’t know the code for onions, half the time I barely know my pin. I am thankful that I was decent at the matching game as a child or else I would end up just standing there sobbing uncontrollably holding up the line and waiting for the attendant to help me. I could see it now, as I wait to cry on the clerk’s shoulder I bellow, “I just don’t know!!!!” There is also a sense of fear that sparks in me when I use the self-checkout machine. That fear is that I am stealing something; I have had this fear ever since I was a little kid and was caught stealing a Ninja Turtle motor cycle at a Chinese restaurant with my parents and my best friend’s parents talked about learning a life lesson. Still though, evil cheap Don sometimes whispers in my ear, “Go ahead, punch in the code for regular strawberries, they won’t know they are the expensive organic kind. Its only $1.79 more in price, no jury in the world would convict us. If you get caught just tell them that you are not good at matching.”
“An attendant has been notified to assist you.” What am I supposed to say? “Sorry I didn’t put the pack of hot dogs on the scale fast enough and now you have been notified. I feel bad.”? Then here there is the big issue of how much can I fit in the bag? Now this is a real-life Tetris situation. What about the weight capacity of the bags? I want to only take three trips to the car from the kitchen when I get home. I am not shopping to burn calories people!
One product that has me baffled is the make-your-own soda machine. I like soda; I just don’t want to make it. The reason that soda is so good is because they have the recipe down to a science. Plus walking into a supermarket and asking the clerk, “Hey, where is the phosphoric acid at?” could give homeland security a reason to knock on your door. I can only imagine the look on the urban assault team member’s faces when you tell them that you were only making soda. These are fears that we as a nation and a society are going to face once we start doing things ourselves. Like any good conservative libertarian can see, it all started when we invented drops to flavor our water. Yes, it was the drop that broke the camel’s back, sending us back to the dark do-it-yourself ages. What next, I have to make my own water?
To sum this up, for millions of years we have survived the clutches of nature and hundreds of years ago we threw our hairy hands in the air and shouted as one species, “Me mad as hell, me not do it myself anymore!” We enjoy the soft hug of convenience and we need to stand upright, as the species we are, and look the corporations in the bar code and say, “I will hunt your products, but I will not gather them to make the completed product.”
This photo says everything about a father with a newborn. The figure is a man walking away in a fast motion looking down; you can almost see his stress level. Everything in this photo sums up how a new father behaves: tired and always in a hurry. At least this stressed out father put the car seat in the right way! I found this sign as I walked into a Wal-Mart and I would like to have been a fly on the wall at that Wal-Mart lawyer’s meeting, “Next on the agenda: we have been having a lot fathers leaving their children in the car, we should put up a sign.”
Today is my son’s first birthday. I am shocked he made it to age one and that we made it to his birthday with only a limited amount of mental scars. There are times that I look back to and I can still hear the sarcasm bouncing around in my head. There was this one day that my son cried all the way through the movie Super 8 and I just stood there rocking back and forth letting the PTS take its toll. I have never cried through a movie with another person, so this was the first. It’s amazing how something so small and delicate can control an adult’s life! I can remember running around the house in a panic looking for a binky as if my life depended on it. One special event sticks out in my mind: my family and I went to Eugene, Oregon so I could do a gig. In the morning we went to a popular waffle house filled with young college kids. My son who was 4 months old decided to cry as loud as possible. Of course all the college kids snickered and complained amongst their friends. I felt my anger growing because all my son does is cry and I don’t know how to stop him from crying all the time. That was a moment where I very easily could have snapped and choked and slapped the knowledge out of their college minds with an organic waffle with tears streaming down my cheeks while screaming, “We all cried as children and some of you never stopped!” But the fear of prison stopped me. I just stood up and took the baby to the car and started laughing so hard thinking about what if I did go berserk. What would my statement to the media be: “After reviewing my behavior and actions I feel no regret about bashing the youths with a waffle. As for their families that now have to spoon feed the victims till they make a full recovery, they are lucky that the establishment did not serve pancakes, because I would have smothered the victims to death and you would be burying them. Please no questions.”
Now with having babies comes the great responsibility of changing diapers, it’s the one thing most people fear about raising a child. In fact I have heard that scientists in the nanotechnology field are working on a self-changing diaper; this is real! I cannot wait to sit as an old man and say things like, “We had to get our hands dirty, none of these self-changing mini gizmos.” I have come up with a hypothesis on why some people have a longer leg than the other; I believe that this disorder comes from diaper changing. I realized that I always lift my son up by the left leg when I change him. All of a sudden I thought, “My god I could be stretching his leg and now he is going to stand lop sided and it’s all my fault.” These are the fears that I have been facing so far this year. Then there is the fear of dropping your child in public. Now I have never had that happened to me, but I have been close. I remember when he fell off the bed and I thought, “Well looks like he’s not going to be a doctor and it looks like a couple of his brain cells are now on disability.” I have witnessed a baby drop in an airport when a mother dropped her child off of a chair right on to concrete, it was the kind of bump that echoed and was heard around the entire terminal. Everyone stopped and stared. I just scoffed and called her a rookie under my breath. The best part was watching the expressions on the face of people who have no experience with children. The ones that have served time with babies can tell you that babies are durable and they are constantly hitting their heads and can take a fall.
There is also a lot of interesting things that make me laugh about babies. For example, you can take their arm and raise it straight up and compare it to their head and you will see that the top of the head will be leveled with their wrist and if you do the same the top of your head will be level with the middle of your bicep. Could you imagine if your head was that size your whole life? Just sit back and imagine how funny that would be. Also I learned at infant massage (I know I was thinking the same thing, so yes infant massage is real) if you rub a babies stomach in a certain way that they will be instantly cured of constipation. This knowledge in the wrong hands could be very dangerous.
One particular day I was feeling a bit defeated and started to think that it is all going to be downhill from here, but then I looked up and said, “Forget that, I like a challenge!” Later that day he spoke his first word (that I could understand) and it was, “Uh oh.” I like the feeling of a challenge, my motto has always been, “Lets push the ocean up MT. Everest.” and now I can do it with a baby in one arm. A lot of people have said to me that having a child will change a person and it has changed me in a good way. I was heading down a bad path, if it wasn’t for him I would not have decided to quit the 8 to 5 to follow my destiny to be a comedian. I want him to have a happy father. When I was 21 I was in a blockbuster movie store and there was a father chasing his young son around the store and his son was screaming in happiness, most of the customers looked annoyed and all that mattered was that his son was having fun and laughing. I thought that’s the father I want to be. I want to teach him to laugh and have fun throughout his life and to not care about the people with sour faces that have no lust for fun and happiness.
To sum it up this what I have learned: baby food is awesome in the capri sun packaging, when walking around the casinos in Las Vegas always have a Corona in the cup holder of the stroller and toast other people with strollers, make sure that when looking up at fire works on the 4th of July that your baby isn’t suckling on your beer bottle (it inspires bad looks from other parents), never grow up, and always read children’s books in funny voices. Good people should be having children.