Friday, February 27, 2004

Another Day in Paradise

Today is a beautiful day for February. The sun is out, there isn't a cloud in the sky (although you can see the smog on the horizon, if you want something to be picky about), and it's warm. Not April-warm, you know, but February-warm. It's currently 41° where I work (according to, which is downright agreeable when you consider that I had to defrost my car before I could go anywhere this morning.

Unfortunately, for the next 3.5 hours I'm only going to be able to enjoy this beautiful day through the large window in my office. Of course, I can't really complain too much. If I wasn't at work, I'd likely be enjoying this beautiful day through the windows of my apartment, as I sat on the couch playing NCAA Football on PlayStation2.

I did get to enjoy the day for a few minutes on my lunch break, at least. I still had a few minutes left when I got back from Wendy's, so I rolled down the windows on my car to feel the breeze while I listened to some music. The CD in my car stereo right now is the greatest hits of Huey Lewis and the News, which I think is perfect for days like this. It's feel-good music. I only had a few minutes, but it was nice to have those few minutes to myself, to sit and revel in the music and the day.

I just wish the rest of my lunch hour was like that.

Today I ate at Wendy's, which generally makes for a good lunch break no matter what else happens. The food and service was good today, so I have no complaints about that. What got on my nerves is that today was apparently "Bring Your Three-Year-Old to Wendy's" Day, and no, I didn't get that memo. If I had, I would have visited another Wendy's (lucky me, there are two of them nearby).

Children drive me crazy. The high-pitched voice of a toddler is piercing: it cuts through the din of a crowded restaurant and assails my ears like fingernails on a chalkboard. That's just when they talk, which they rarely do. Normally they scream and yell, which makes me want to puncture my own eardrums to lessen the suffering.

Never, even if I sat in front of my computer screen for a million years, could I describe my feelings about children any better than ESPN's Sports Guy, Bill Simmons. Take it away, Bill:

Here's the deal with kids: When you get married, your other friends who have kids tell you, "It's great, you have to do it, it's the best experience you'll ever have."

And then they spend the next 15 minutes telling you how they don't sleep, they get up three times a night, their kids keep getting them sick, they haven't left the house in three months, they stink like diapers, they can't find a good babysitter, they never have sex, and they don't have time to watch TV, follow sports, play sports, go to the movies or basically do anything at all. Really, it sounds fantastic.

I have a theory on this: I think 90 percent of parents can't believe how miserable they are, so they make a secret pact and try to get everyone else to have kids, just so everyone else is in the same boat and they don't have to hear stories about four-course dinners, Vegas trips, romantic getaway weekends and everything else. They're like Jim Jones in Guyana -- "Drink the Kool-Aid, seriously, it's phenomenal! You have to try this!"

Bill Simmons, ladies and gentlemen.

While there are exceptions, it is my solemn contention that children aren't really people until they're maybe twelve or so. Until that point, any line-crossing should cause them to be dispatched with extreme prejudice. Okay, I'm kidding about that, but come on, what's wrong with some discipline? It just seems like so many parents take their kids in public and then become totally oblivious to them, while the kids are running around, screaming, banging into things and people, and generally being as horrible and annoying as is humanly possible.

Now I'll let you in on a little secret, which compounds my problem: babies stare at me. By babies, I mean anyone under, say, five years old. Most guys want to be babe magnets; I appear to be a baby magnet. For some inexplicable reason, they're attracted to me. Not in any sort of reverse-pedophilic sort of way, but in the sort of way that insects are attracted to light fixtures. Or like cats always seem to flock to the person who is allergic to them. They just know I don't like them, and delight in making me as uncomfortable as they can.

As a sidenote, animals also tend to really like me. I don't mind that, though, as I actually like animals.

And okay, I really don't mind it when babies stare at me. I think it's funny. Everything else I talked about is truly annoying, though.

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