Posted 08-28-2004 at 17:59:50
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We live in strange times. Our sons are wearing their pants down to their knees and our fathers are wearing theirs so high they have to cut the pockets out to stick their arms through.
Our daughters tell us we don't understand them but we can't understand them because their pierced tongue makes them lisp and spit all over us. We stare at their pierced eyebrow as our fatherly side urges us to be patient and try to understand them while the other side tells us that if we were to reach up there and rip it out it would hurt really bad and they probably wouldn't want to put another one of those things up there--or anywhere else. They would, however, probably report you to some piercing advocate group who would picket your house.
Supposedly we live in an age of communication, but it's getting hard to understand anyone. Daughters talk so fast that it's a blur. The only thing you can do is take a 50/50 chance and nod yes or no. Believe me, that's not a good policy.
Boys are easier to understand because what few words they exchange with you are limited to "What?" and "That's a rip-off" and my favorite one: "No fair."
Now, with age comes wisdom so we use what patience we have to at least try and sort things out. We ask the inevitable question "Did I act that stupid when I was a kid?" (Something, by the way, you never say aloud in the presence of your parents.)
As we get older we find more subtle ways to handle all these questions. Newer parents go directly into anxiety but we older parents find ways to deal with it. I prefer to go to the basement and talk to the dogs. There's nothing like having a cigar and complaining to the dogs about your kids.
Lately I've heard more and more people use the phrase "In a perfect world." In whatever situation they find themselves in, they ultimately say "Well in a perfect world, these things wouldn't happen. In a perfect world, there wouldn't be crime or starvation or kids wearing their pants down to the knees or so many reality shows." Why do you even need to bring it up?
The other day someone said: "You know, in a perfect world, we wouldn't have so much crime and hate."
Who are you fooling?
In a perfect world the first thing we make perfect is us!
In a perfect world the hair on my head would grow and the hair in my nose would stop or at least slow down its rapid growth pattern.
? My knees would quit making that grinding sound.
? I could ask the store clerk where the size 32 waist jeans are located.
? The Braves would call.
? The Cubs would call.
? John Wayne would make another movie.
? Bo Derek would call.
? The lotto guys would call. Twice. No, three times.
? The guy who broke into my car would call and beg to have the curse taken off.
? The boat would clean itself, then, as if by magic, increase in value.
? That guy from FOX would call and ask me what I think of that whole little-people-vs-camel race thing they're showing previews of. I know it's weird but for some reason I'd like to discuss it.
? Mel Gibson calls and says he's sick of people comparing us.
? Jeff Foxworthy calls for creative influence.
You see? It just makes things worse. There's nothing tangible to hope for.
I have to go. It's the phone. Let me guess: My daughter stapled herself to her door or my son got his pants caught in the escalator or Foxworthy reads this stuff or Bo's in town, or, just maybe, it's the little people. I better take this call in the basement.
Tell the dogs to bring my cigars.