I'm very glad I'm not a parent. I'm also glad that my brother was the one to ensure the continuation of the MacDNA, because it sure as hell would've died with me. Two recent stories as to why...
We were eating lunch in a restaurant the other day. Nothing fancy, but not fast food. The restaurant is currently involved with a movie tie-in that gives children an animal mask. Whoopee. The table to my left had a father and son enjoying lunch as well. At least, the father was enjoying lunch. The son must've just finished his lunch of crack-frosted caffeine flakes, because he was bouncing around like flubber in a paint mixer. The father was just calmly enjoying his sammich and iced tea or whatever in the hell he was having, while Junior was getting up out of his chair every .003 picoseconds and jumping up and down whilst wearing the animal mask. Ostensibly to make the baby in the table next to him smile. Which, granted, it did the first time or two. After the 80,000th time, even the baby got sick of it. And babies have the time of their lives with cardboard boxes.
Now, I want to pause here and point out that my parents were never, ever violent with me. They told me to do something, and I generally listened. (Kinda. Eventually.) So there's no deep, dark history of familial violence that prompted the images flashing through my head when I placed myself in the personage of that kid's father. Which is: get up from the table, go into the kitchen, grab a frying pan or large skillet, walk back to the table, and give the kid a good full-on smack to the back of the head with the frying pan while shouting "Sit the F*(% down and shut the F*(% up or you will never eat anything, anywhere ever, ever again!" (I would say the actual expletive, because it's far too difficult to say all those characters in a string and still be taken seriously.)
Now I know that any parents reading this will say: "You don't know! You don't have kids! They're hard to discipline!" No, they're not. They're actually quite easy to discipline. Kids actually respond to discipline. They can also smell fear. When parents are too afraid to discipline their children, then the children are in control. Which leads me to my next story...
A 14 year old boy recently went on a little trip here in Tucson. What kind of trip? The kind where he's driving along a street full of pedestrians, motorists, and just plain ol' ordinary people. Well, that's a bit young to be driving, right? Sure is. Especially since he's driving a 40 friggin' ton earthmover! One tire of this thing is taller than your average big-ass SUV. The kid was cruising down a main thoroughfare doing 30 or 40 miles an hour, for 15 friggin' miles! He knew how to drive the thing, how to lift up the bucket to even move it in the first place, and how to back it up. Cops shot him when he tried to back over them and their cars, and the little Dr. Destructo is now in the hospital in critical condition.
Why was he doing this? Or I should say, "allegedly" doing this? Because mommy and daddy (and presumably he) were moving. Here's a tip for anyone out there who may be thinking of running away from home... don't do it in something quite so conspicuous. I think a flaming chuckwagon being drawn by a team of squid is less conspicuous than a 40 ton earthmover flattening cars and powerlines as it goes.
If I were the father and the cops hadn't shot him... I'd shoot him. Twice. Up close, personal. Hell, it's not like they're going to stay put now! Timmy had a temper tantrum because they're moving... oops! Now they have to move, because everyone will know them as "that family whose little bastard crushed 15 miles of my road and knocked out power for a few thousand people." Way to go, sport! You're bound to have pen pals!
(I just hope his greaseball lawyer is seen as the smudge of slime he is when the trial comes. But that's a whole different topic.)
So... yeah... very glad I'm not a parent. Hope I've made that apparent. (Oh, you knew it was coming.)