Special shout out to my sister Julie for doing such a superb job running interference with FPL all those years ago. Happy birthday, old lady! Did I mention that you’re old? Because you are. So, so old.
Thanks to The New Southern Fugitives for giving this essay a home that feels just right and, as always, thank you all so, so much for being freaking awesome.
Look, maaaybe I’m guilty of blocking children’s view of the otters at the marine conservation center. What is that? A CRIME?
(Please note in advance that this post is what is often referred to as “a joke”. Your children are adorable, some of my favorite people are children, blah, blah, blah, etc. Do not send a Mom Mob after me. I’ve got enough problems trying to get the Beauty Battalion off my jock for insulting their lie-brows and suggesting that “contouring” is over. They already wrote “You’re dead, bitch” in bronzer across my driveway and came back later with highlighting powder to really make it pop.)
I get way more enjoyment out of the otters than your kid ever will, and I can say this because your kid can’t be bothered to put down his Nintendo Switch long enough to notice the otters to begin with. Ignoring otters?! THAT should be a crime.
My attention to otters can best be described as utter otter devotion, and should be rewarded as such by naming me “Honorary Otterkeeper” for the day, where I will get to wear a glittery badge and feed shrimp to the otters from a souvenir bucket that I get to take home with me that says, “That’s an-OTTER story!” on the side with a picture of two otters reading books and wearing glasses.
I would get a personal invitation to the birthing of all baby otters and unlike SOME PEOPLE who have “Little League practice”, I would actually show up every time.
I would give the baby otters interesting names, too, like “Ottermatic For The People”, “And Then There’s Maude-er”, and “Genesis But Before Peter Gabriel Left The Band”. I wouldn’t give them some totally lame name a kid would give them, like a cat with white paws named “Socks” or the tiger-striped cat named “Tiger”. You’re really breaking the creativity bank there! What are you, 8?
Don’t worry, you’ll get your turn at the otter tank, Bryson/Greyson/Flotsam – not that you even care! Your parents are the only ones who are having a conniption over me blocking the tank, anyway. You were probably here last week and you’ll be back again the next week because for some reason children get to do all the vacation things ALL THE TIME now.
Know where we went when I was a kid? School. If school was out? Home. You only got taken to an otter tank if your parents had some kind of hideous news to spring on you, like you were moving to Goober, Idaho (Shout out to my fellow Overboard fans!), or had an incurable form of Leukemia.
Curable Leukemia would only warrant a trip to the McDonald’s drive-thru at best, and there would be no special orders. You’re getting crushed peanuts on that hot fudge sundae even though you don’t want them, because THAT’S the way it comes. Hell, you’re getting them even if you’re allergic to peanuts! “Toughen up, Sally!” is what they’d say as you turned purple and lost consciousness.
If a kid had asked to go swimming with dolphins, any of our parents would have just pointed to the open ocean and said, “Go for it, asshole.”
If you ever, ever made the mistake of saying, “I’m bored!” it was immediately met with, “Then go clean your room.” (This was a brilliant parental move, by the way. We figured out pretty quickly to stop complaining that we were bored.)
I mean, for the love of Mike, people. Otters don’t cut it with these kids? If your kid is non-plussed by the glorious sight of frolicking otters, I have serious concerns for how they’re gonna feel someday down the road about doing their taxes.
Come to think of it, if I took a kid to an otter tank and they rolled their eyes like, “Whatevs!” I would make them actually do my taxes that year as punishment. You think third grade is hard? Wait until you see U.S. tax code. And I better be getting a fat refund, kid, or your ass is grass. Orphanage City, sonny boy!
Now, I have heard it’s good to provide children with “motivation”, so I would at least be kind enough to leave my to-do list next to the tax papers:
Take ungrateful kid to that orphanage in the sewer with the scary clown in it
Pick up dry cleaning
Order cake for celebration now that ungrateful kid is living in that orphanage in the sewer with the scary clown
Turn ungrateful kid’s room into otter habitat
(The foregoing are just several of the many reasons I am not permitted to have children.)
All right, hate-mailers, put down your weapons. I’m sure your kid who can’t be bothered to fawn over otters is going to turn out just fine. Everyone knows that bored, demanding children only become more pleasant to be around when they become teenagers. Enjoy your time in Hell, is what I’m saying.
Fine. So like all old, childless people, I think a lot of “kids today” are spoiled. That’s a new one!
“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room.” – THIS IS AN ACTUAL SOCRATES QUOTE FROM LIKE 450 B.C. SO GO BLAME HIM FOR STARTING THIS
If you want to get uppity about it, just know that for my punishment I will have to train an otter family to change my diapers for me when I’m old, I’ll die with no heirs and will be tossed into a shared hobo burial pit, and the only proof that I even existed will be a souvenir bucket with “That’s an-OTTER story!” on the side with two Winger cassettes inside, so relax. I’ll get mine.