Of all the reasons I haven’t produced any offspring yet, music has to be near the top of the list. I can’t imagine that even the happiest parent could lie through their child-bearing teeth and say that kids’ music doesn’t suck terribly. It’s not like Christmas music, which goes away after a month or two – a parent is stuck with kids’ music for at least four or five years, or until the parent decides to start pushing Lil’ Wayne on their kid. “Listen Tommy, this is a fun song! It’s about a lollipop!”
A lot of my friends from America have kids. I see their pictures on Facebook and sometimes I think of how different my life would be if I didn’t get a divorce and head off to Asia. That could be me posting pictures in an album called ‘Sally’s First Year.’ Likewise, instead of playing my beloved Badfinger or Donovan albums, I could be living in a world of music dominated by The Wiggles.
In all honesty, I’m petrified of The Wiggles. I vividly remember friends who once were cool, now humming Wiggles songs. “Delany loves The Wiggles,” one of my friends said, “and the songs are really catchy. I can’t get them out of my head most days.” The scary thing about The Wiggles is they get your kid first, and then they convert you. One day you’re walking around in a Ramones t-shirt, and the next you’re singing ‘Hot Potato’ alone in your room like a man-child.
Being a teacher, I’m constantly bombarded with kids’ music. It was never a problem until I was confronted with the Backpack series of textbooks, which contain some of the best post-Lennon/McCarthy songwriting the world has seen. Some days when there’s time to kill, I blast the Backpack songs for my class and we jam out. I know all the lyrics. I dance. I even act parts of the songs out as if I’m in a music video. Meanwhile, on weekends when I’m out at the bar and LMFAO is playing, I stand in the corner still and silent.
People used to ask me when I wanted to have kids and I’d say, “When the music gets better.” Although I definitely don’t want a kid right now, I will at least admit that their taste in music might not be as shitty as I used to think it was.
Before I became jaded and cynical, I really wanted to have a daughter. There’s nothing in the world cuter than a little girl, with the obvious exception of an otter (they’re in a league of their own). I used to think about how fun it would be to have my own little chica; I decided that I’d nickname her ‘Sloopy’ like the girl in that old song by The McCoys. She would play with dolls and be adorable. I liked the idea. It seemed easier than trying to raise an otter.
Recently, though, I’ve changed my mind. I don’t think I can handle a daughter. To be frank, I don’t want my Sloopy growing up to be a slut. I see a lot of the young women here in Korea, fresh out of college, and I marvel at how promiscuous they are. It even bothers me when I’m hitting on them. Perhaps I’ve become a prude old man, too set in images of women that have become obsolete. Maybe I need to let go of certain stereotypes, like how a woman is supposed to tidy up or make lunches for the kids or have the same sexual partner two weekends in a row.
You know how some parents get upset when their kid turns out to be gay? I would be the proudest, happiest father ever if Sloopy came out as a lesbian. I don’t want any sleazy guys around my daughter! In fact, I might even raise her that way: “Here’s how it works, Sloopy. Guys like girls. And girls also like girls. Those girls that like guys…they’re gay.”
C-Batz and I had an interesting conversation once about whether or not a teenage girl should be allowed to have a boy in her bedroom with the door closed. I told her I would be fine with it as long as the door was glass. Seriously, though, I don’t know what I’d do. Right now I’m having lots of trouble trusting any girlfriends, so I guess I wouldn’t be able to trust a daughter either. I need a few years and a positive experience with a woman to de-jade me.
Hang on, Sloopy.
There are times, being an educator, that I’ll have a kid in my class and I’ll think, “Hmm, I wouldn’t mind having that kid as my own.” I thought that the other day with a little Asian boy named Aaron. All he does is scream and fall down all day and it’s hysterical. Yeah, his shtick might get old after awhile, but I’m betting it doesn’t. If I were to choose one kid from my school to adopt, I would pick Aaron for his pratfalls.
That made a light bulb go on over my head, and I knew exactly how I’d like to have children in the future. Forget impregnating a woman. That’s so 0-2012. Old school. I want to get my kid on a TV show. It would kind of like The Bachelor, except instead of women, it would be a house full of kids and I’d have to send one home every week until I was left with the one I wanted.
On Survivor they say, “The tribe has spoken,” and on Rock of Love it’s, “Your tour ends here.” When I kick some brat off, I could say, “I’m sorry Tommy…I’m not your father” or “Get your ass back to the orphanage.” Imagine the drama on the show. The backstabbing, the fights, the bathroom accidents. The tears of devastation when the producers drag the loser away, leaving all his toys behind. Imagine the trauma and the years of therapy my program would lead to. We could have the reunion show in twenty years, when all the reject kids are grown and have meth addictions.
All right, maybe my idea’s a little unethical. Is a nice kid and good ratings too much to ask? For now I’ll settle for teaching 12 classes of crazy children, singing songs with them, and sending them off to their parents, who presumably wouldn’t trade their child for Aaron.