Be Yourself


It was a beautiful afternoon and our group of boys were all giddy with the prospect of tooling around at the pool. Walking the path towards the entrance, our very sweet friend, all of seven-years old asked me, “Do you sometimes wish you never had children?”

I thought about saying, “All the time, pal!”

But then it occurred to me that seven-year olds are not exactly practiced in sarcasm, so I answered, “Not even for a second.”

He looked relieved. So relieved, I had to ask, “Why – do your parents think that about you?” Put him on the Hot Seat for a change.

But he laughed a laugh that was mature enough to be followed with, “bitch, you crazy.”

Alas, the sweetie simply answered, “No, my parents love me. But I don’t want to have kids.”

Faint sounds of fun from the pool grew louder as we got closer and the drone of the Triborough Bridge over head added an eerie quiet as I wondered if our little friend was trouble somehow.

“Why the heck are you talking about not having kids?” I asked.

Turns out his older brother – who is a mere fourteen years old – had a fully mapped out future, which included a wife, two kids and a house in North Carolina. Talk about commitment.

At fourteen, I think I was contemplating if Disco really was dead.

As for Mr. Lovable seven-year old, he confessed quite confidently that he only plans to have girlfriends for the rest of his life.

Yes, that is plural and – judging by the way he eats – probably at the same time, too. My kind of guy. A real entrepreneur, I tell you.

Not like Samu who ran past us yelling, “Girls are gross – they’re SO bossy!”

He thinks they’re bossy now, wait until he starts liking them. I anticipate slaps across the face – and possibly – property set on fire. Unlike his older brother, Samu shows absolutely no interest in the opposite sex. Zuki, on the other hand, already gets nose-bleeds and butter fingers when he’s around a particular girl.

I’m dealing with a couple of Pygmalions. While I harp on their every act of buffoonery: chewing on yogurt (with their mouth open), presenting boogers as a peace offering, drying their little wieners under the hand dryer in Target’s women’s room – all I hope for is that when they arrive at their future, they’ll inherit their parents good fate of having good friends who’ll accept them for the goodhearted gorillas that they are.

“Be yourself,” I tell them, “and be the best at it that you can be – no matter who calls you an asshole.”

Of course – all they remember is that I said “asshole.”


Sense, Sensibility and Censorship


Somehow, music over loudspeakers didn’t seem imperative for censorship. When the chorus sang,“break all the lies and defeat the fucking liars…”, I knew the boys wouldn’t have any idea how to repeat it. We must’ve played that song over three hundred times at home and in the car, and they never even noticed.

But then – they got their own iPod Shuffles. It was part of my grand scheme to get them to run around the track for more than three minutes straight. For a second, it seemed my plan worked – especially when the buffoons were so super-charged they couldn’t wait to hit the running track with uncharged mini-appliances devoid of music.

I created their playlist. Listening through my headphones as I almost uploaded “Pea” and nearly crapped my pants.

After speed-singing the song I realized I wasn’t so concerned with Flea singing, “So fucking what?…” at the end of the song. What I was concerned with was Samu saying that he’s a pacifist – because he does have a tendency to fuck our shit up. He learns by association.

Regardless, some swear worded songs managed to slip in. Our first day out, we jogged past an ancient trio of track walkers whose ages easily added up to 267 years and Samu spewed excitedly over his headphones, “He sang the Mother F word, mommy! pant-pant – You know, pant-pant- mother fuh-”

The headphones popped out of his ears. Fortunately, Apple still hasn’t figured out the design for headphones that stay in your ears.

It was damned Audioslave.

I considered going back to the drawing board. Sifting through each song like a North Korean tobacco filter.

Then I realized it would take approximately four and a half hours and what good would that do? As it is, the boys ask for pretzel rods to chew it like Wolverine’s cigar.

So I said, “Fuck it.”

There’s no sense or sensibility when it comes to censorship. The truth is, as ugly as it is, it’s always prettier than…er…a shitty nut.

And that – is what liars are afraid of. Mother fuckers.

Any chance you get – say it.

Mix nuts - no shit
Mix nuts – no shit