July 10, 2014 - 7:16 AM
I do not pretend to understand persons of the opposite sex any more than I pretend to understand quantum physics or other equally impenetrable mysteries of the universe. And the one thing that baffles me every time is their bizarre behaviour around babies. To a rational observer there is nothing less attractive than a mewling, puking infant. And yet they seem infatuated.
The other day I was the only male waiting in line at a store into which a person of the opposite sex had wheeled her new child. The normal daily practice of buying things came to a complete halt as all the opposite-sex persons, including those whose job it was to see to the needs of the waiting customers, gathered round to coo at it.
“Congratulations!” they all chimed. I considered adding my own approbation: Yes, well done! You’ve managed to reproduce, like almost every other mammal on the planet! You must be so proud! But never having considered public lynching to be a fitting end to a life well lived, I kept my mouth shut.
“She’s adorable!” exclaimed one of the admirers. I moved closer for a look and almost recoiled in shock. Babies are seldom anything but ugly, but this one could have had its own horror movie franchise.
“She’s so beautiful,” cooed an elderly person whose eyesight was obviously failing. Well no, dear, she isn’t. She looks like a wart.
“How much does she weigh?” asked another. Why do they always want to know this? Are they planning to roast it?
The next question was directed at the child itself: “What’s your name Sweetie Pie?” Keep in mind this thing was no more than a couple of weeks old. To make it worse the question was asked in one of those mock-baby voices, as if that would make it easier for Sweetie Pie to understand. Amazingly, there was a pause. Were they really waiting for the newborn to reply?
“Her name’s Brandi,” said the mother, “with an i.” I barely managed to turn my snort of amusement and derision into a mock sneeze before attracting the inevitable stares of disapproval. Why do children have to be given ridiculous names from Harlequin romances or bad television shows? Whatever happened to the sensible names like Emily or Catherine? And if the misguided parents really intended to label their first-begotten after a beverage, why not pick something original? Like Stinger, or Gimlet. Or just go all-out and name the poor thing Captain Morgan, it’s still better than Brandi. And what happens when it grows up? Nobody over the age of six wants a name that ends in “i”.
The child itself was of course completely impervious to all the nonsense going on around it and just sat there lolling and drooling like an old sot after too much… well, brandy. With a “y”. And that’s behaviour I can understand perfectly.
— The Grumpy Old Git only speaks in a mock-baby voice when he wants an extra dose of medicine.
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