The Bride is out of town at a lesbian bachelorette party in Vegas and The Boys and I are camping in the backyard playing “What If” games.
The 5 y/o asked what we’d do if we had one day left to live.
I went on about how we would have an awesome day camping in the woods, playing laser tag and paintball and doing american ninja warrior obstacle courses and rock climbing and then having a campfire and roasting marshmallows and telling stories, tucking the boys in for the night, telling them I loved them, telling them to be brave boys and to never stop trying their best at whatever they do in life, and then going to make love to their mother, and then I’d stay up all night writing letters to my boys to teach them all the lessons I didn’t have the time to teach them while I was alive.
They were both crying after that. Shit got real. The eight year old then says, “if it were my last day alive, I’d find a memory erasing machine, and I’d erase the memory of me from your mind and brother’s mind, and Mommy’s mind, and all my friend’s minds, so that nobody would have to miss me.”
Wow. I was impressed by that.
We often think of children as being selfish people. In ways they are. Up until about the age of six, children struggle to even hold onto the concept of other people having their own ego and self-awareness. Children see their parents not as individuals, but as extensions of themselves.
So, when a child says something like this, which is so profoundly outside of self, I find it both incredible and very encouraging about the future of humanity. In the moment, I learned from the selflessness of my child’s statement.
As I get older, I think about how I’ll be remembered after I’m gone. I’m thinking about how my children will do without me, and I worry, but I’m also aware of the fact that I will fade, day by day, from their memories, until I’m just a few speckled memories that they hang on to, dearly and preciously, as those memories become less real and pure and begin to change into memories of the memories.
This makes me sad. It makes me sad because of my own ego, and the illusion that, as an individual, I am important and that I matter.
I’m not and I don’t.
In a sense, I’m important in that my actions will affect my children’s personalities and will affect who they become and their effect on the world, and this will be passed down, fractionally, to their children, and then fractions of that will be passed on to their children, and so on. So yes, in a way, I do matter. My actions will have ripple effects here on Earth, for a long time. But I don’t matter in the sense that the memory of me as an individual holds any importance other than a sentimental one to me and my children. And that reality kind of stings.
However, my child, a child that is barely aware of the existence of a world beyond what he can see with his eyes, that child is so selfless as to answer that question in the most selfless way I can imagine it being answered. He would choose to be forgotten, so that those who love him will not have to suffer missing him.
That’s a beautiful answer, one I’d never have thought of giving, and it makes me so proud of him.
Once a year, I give The Bride a pass to take a lady-cation and she gives me a pass to take a man-cation.
I am blessed to have such a killer, cool wife.
Typically, I go international, but this year, as a new father, I felt obligated to stay close. So, I chose Lake Tahoe.
Shortly after arriving at the Reno airport and meeting up with my buddy, Gary, we learned that the Burning Man Festival was happening only one hundred twenty miles away. Without giving it any considerable thought or doing any kind of planning, we rented an SUV, stocked the car with jugs of water, and headed into the hot desert of Black Rock City.
For the layman who doesn’t know what Burning Man is, I’ll do my best to explain.
Close your eyes and imagine Woodstock. Now, move the festival out of New York and put it on a dried up lake bed in the middle of the Nevada desert, crank up the heat to Kuwait, get rid of the live music acts, outlaw bras and razors, make sure the population is at least 50% gay men over the age of forty, forbid capitalism, throw in a dust storm every twenty minutes, get a thousand naked people to glue unicorn horns to their foreheads, stampede across the lake bed, remove their unicorn horns, and assist in the building of hundreds of giant art structures that are several stories high and will be torn down only days after being completed. Lastly, sprinkle in some fairy dust and hallucinogenic drugs, make it mandatory to say, “have a great burn” to a stranger at least once every fifteen minutes, and be sure to include dozens of crazy, home-made “art vehicles” which are essentially giant motorized Scooby Doo and Papa Smurf sculptures that have dozens of hippies hanging on them, dancing to the music blasting from the vehicle’s stereos which are the loudest stereos on earth and never stop blasting music regardless of the GD hour.
That’s Burning Man in a nutshell.
It’s the greatest thing of all the great things I’ve ever seen. And yet it sucks harder than anything has ever sucked before.
Burning Man is the ultimate embodiment of the duality of man.
I had the best time of my life—
Until I had a stroke.
We arrived at Burning Man at 4 AM, and being virgins to the event, we were completely unprepared for what we were taking on. Most people go to Burning Man in large RVs so that they have comfortable sleeping quarters and a place to shower. Without an RV, we had to sleep in our SUV, and our sole option for bathing was in Burning Man’s only public shower—
The Human Carcass Wash.
Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like.
At the Human Carcass Wash, you strip down to your bare nothingness and then walk through an assembly line with dozens of other naked, smelly strangers who are also in dire need of a bath. First, you’re hosed down, and then some completely random person scrubs your body.
Every nook and cranny.
After you’ve been scrubbed, you’re herded like cattle to the next station where you are hosed down like farm animals. This cleans you, but makes you feel dirty on the inside. It’s another example of the duality of Burning Man.
However, before all this, before you are permitted to go through the Human Carcass Wash, you must first work at the Human Carcass Wash.
Now, before you get any excitable delusions about scrubbing the bodies of dozens of naked strangers, let me assure you, there is nothing sexy about this. Everyone stinks from being in the desert for days, unshowered, and everyone has dirt caked in the darkest recesses of their bodies.
And it’s your job to get that dirt out.
Yes it is true that you may get to wash the perfect breasts of a 23-year-old hippie chick, and you may enjoy that, but the very next moment you will be scrubbing the hairy buttocks of a 57-year-old gay man with a curious smile whose saggy, old-man sack has been dragging in the sand all day.
(Side Note: for the record, Gary did not participate in the Human Carcass Wash. Instead, he played a game of sweaty dodgeball with our new gay friends. I feel the need to share that info so that his wife doesn’t divorce him.)
The reason I decided to participate in the Human Carcass Wash was because I was feeling off, and I was hoping that a cool shower might help me feel better.
Let me back up a bit—
When we arrived at Burning Man, at around 2 AM, it was the middle of the night. I was tired and Gary was freaking out from a brownie that was a little too strong for him. Thus, by the time we got in, around 5 AM, I wasn’t picky about finding a good spot and just parked in the first open spot I saw. After parking, we climbed in the back of our SUV to squeeze in a little sleep. We were awakened by Puff The Magic Dragon about an hour after parking. Puff was an art vehicle that was blasting techno music for the dancing, naked, fairies and elves who were riding him.
After clearing the sleep from my eyes, I noticed about a half dozen naked, middle-aged men standing outside our windows.
We got out of the car, talked to the friendly, naked men, and got a run-down of the day’s activities. An hour later, I was in a tent, wearing nothing but a pair of tightie-whities, while a gentlemanly artist painted my underwear.
When we arrived at Burning Man, I decided to check all my reservations at the gate. I wanted to experience Burning Man to the fullest. Thus, I participated in as much as possible, starting things off at the first tent we came across, which was the underwear painting tent.
As I was getting my tightie-whities painted, I noticed a severe imbalance in the male to female ratio. The ratio was forty-seven to one… or possibly forty-eight to zero. I wasn’t completely sure about the long-haired, sun-dress-wearing, hula-hooper with the hairy legs.
At any rate, everyone present was behaving like they preferred the intimate company of other men. I couldn’t help but think that some of them were assuming that I played for their team, especially when considering the fact that I was having my tightie-whities painted by another man.
To be clear, I do not, nor have I ever, played for their team.
And though I didn’t actually say this out-loud to the naked man with the semi-erect penis who was staring at me like he wanted me for lunch, I did politely ask him to take a few steps back to give the artist a little space.
As soon as the artist finished, we left the tent. I was a little irritated that Gary didn’t go through with the painting ritual, but not as irritated as I was that he let me parade around Burning Man for half an hour before telling me the artist had painted the words “Pound Cake” on my buttocks.
At that point, I decided to go back to the SUV and change. There, Gary and I discovered that we had parked our car and set up camp at the intersection of 7 o’clock and “Cumming Out Street.”
We were two men, sleeping in the back of an SUV, parked in the heart of the gay district of Burning Man.
This was how our Burning Man experience started.
Just a few hours later, Gary was playing dodgeball, and I was at the Human Carcass Wash.
After the Carcass Wash, I found a quiet spot to gather myself, get dressed, and light up a gigantic joint in an attempt at permanently erasing my memory of the traumatizing mental imagery of last fifteen minutes. Wearing nothing but a bandana I began digging through my backpack in search of dry clothes when I started feeling nauseous. This may have had something to do with the extreme heat and the fact that I hadn’t had any water, or maybe it was from the marijuana, or maybe it was the result of scrubbing smelly, old-man balls. However, most likely, I was feeling off because of the fact that I’d stopped taking the blood thinner my doctor had prescribed.
I guess I need to explain.
Just three months earlier, my neck was surgically fused at three vertebral levels. After the surgery, I developed a blood clot in my armpit. I was put on blood thinners to prevent the clot from causing a stroke or heart attack.
My doctor warned me not to drink alcohol while on the medication. At Burning Man, I stopped taking the medicine so I could consume alcohol. This seemed completely rational decision to me, despite the fact that I actually work in the medical industry.
Yes, I am embarrassed.
At any rate, after the Human Carcass Wash, feeling unwell, I reached into my backpack for a banana, hoping the potassium might help. As I was about to chomp into it, a beautiful pixie appeared before me on a bicycle. I didn’t see her coming and, for a moment, I considered the possibility that I was having some kind of out of body experience. She was stunning and she was naked except for the butterfly wings on her back and the pixie glitter sprinkled all over her supple breasts and stomach.
“Can I bite your banana?” she asked in a sultry voice.
I would’ve giggled, because I was still naked, and her question sounded like something that would be said in a bad porno. However, I was too dizzy and weak to laugh, so instead, I thrust the banana forward and said, “Uh huh.”
Then she bit my banana.
Seconds later, two more naked pixies showed up. They were either identical triplets or real pixies.
Either is a real possibility.
They talked to me for a few minutes. I don’t remember any of what was said. Except this—
“We’re polyamourous. Are you into that?” asked the banana biting pixie.
I had ideas, but I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant. So, I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Uh, I’m married.”
They smiled, got on their bicycles and began peddling away. About twenty yards down the dusty road, they all simultaneously looked over their shoulders and waved in such perfect unison that you’d think they’d choreographed the move. The banana biter shouted out the location of their camp, “9 o’clock and F Street, if you change your mind!”
And then they were gone from my life forever.
“Was that God?” I asked myself.
Then I fell down.
Lying there, on the ground, I knew something was very wrong. The SUV was about a mile away; so, I picked myself up and began walking. Though I felt worse with every step, eventually I made it. I got into our vehicle, turned the AC to full blast, found a bottle of Gatorade, drank half, and poured the rest over my head to cool down. I thought I was over-heating.
I was having a stroke.
The Gatorade and air conditioning didn’t help, and I was beginning to fear I’d die there, parked on Cumming Out Street.
Dying like that would eclipse all the accomplishments of my life up to that point. The first line in my obituary would mention my dying on Cumming Out Street, which would confirm my father’s worst fears about me moving to California.
Even if I rose from the dead, lived a long and productive life, went on to invent the hovercraft, discovered a cure for narcolepsy, isolated and eradicated the gene that caused douchebaggery, was voted President of the world, and became the first man to walk on Saturn where I made contact with aliens, still, upon my second death, my obituary would read—
J. Matthew Nespoli died again yesterday. The first time he died was in his car, on Cumming Out Street, in the gay district of the Burning Man Festival, where he was sleeping in the back of an SUV with his buddy, Gary. If you’re trying to picture this scene, think Brokeback Mountain, in the desert, only instead of being surrounded by mountains, imagine them surrounded by a bunch of naked, sweaty dudes. J. Matthew also rose from the dead once and was President of the world, but let us not gloss over the fact that he died on Cumming Out Street, that’s what’s important here, people.
I couldn’t go out that way. I had to fight to live. So, I grabbed a water bottle, got out of the car and began walking, trying to talk myself into not dying. I made it about a hundred yards before I fell again. There, while trying to get back onto my feet, a giant, glittery, stiletto heel art vehicle drove by. It was manned by a single naked man.
“Please help,” I muttered, raising my hand.
The nice, gay man stopped his stiletto heel, got out, helped me to my feet and into his stiletto.
“Medical tent,” I said, pointing.
Those were the last coherent words I was able to get out, because, minutes later, I lost the ability to string together words in any kind of logical way. I knew everything I wanted to say, but I couldn’t form the sentences.
I was having a stroke, and a naked, gay man in a giant stiletto heel on wheels probably saved my life.
So, if you own a giant stiletto heel car, please get me your address so I can send you an appropriate thank you gift, like maybe a giant bag of rhinestones to put on the tires of your stiletto heel car.
Anyway, the next thing I remember is lying on a stretcher in the medical tent while a young girl with a comforting face held my hand, telling me I was going to be okay. There was also a middle aged man and his naked wife, both of whom were doctors.
I was scared and knew I was having a stroke, but I couldn’t communicate this, therefore I was going to die. Dying would suck because it would totally mess up my plans to never die. The Bride would hate me for not being responsible, and my child would grow up fatherless.
Luckily, the doctor was a neurologist and he was able to diagnose my stroke fairly quickly. Unluckily, we were in the middle of the fucking desert, and they had no real medicine.
The doctor radioed an ambulance to pick me up and take me to another medical tent on the other side of the lake bed. Supposedly this tent had air conditioning and actual medicine. Until the time that the ambulance arrived, the girl with the comforting face sat by my side, holding my hand, telling me I’d be okay.
Somehow, I managed to show her a picture of The Bride and Keller. I was trying to explain that she couldn’t let me die because I had to take care of them. I couldn’t explain it, but she got the message.
“You’re going to see your beautiful family again.”
I loved them so much—All of them. The Bride, Keller, the girl with the comforting face, the naked neurologist and his naked doctor wife, and the gay man in the giant stiletto heel car. The feelings of love were overwhelming and since I couldn’t speak, I began to weep.
The ambulance took me to the air conditioned tent. The girl with the face rode with me, still holding my hand. Her face was the only thing keeping me sane and her hand was the only thing anchoring me to the real world; without it, I felt like I would’ve floated off into the dark void of space. Sometimes, my vision would start to close out, and I’d concentrate with all my might on her face.
In the air conditioned tent, a doctor gave me some medicine. Slowly, my symptoms began to subside.
Two hours later, I was able to complete coherent sentences.
Four hours later, I felt about 50% better.
A day later, back in Lake Tahoe, a CT Scan confirmed that I’d had an acute TIA (transient ischemic attack), which is basically a small stroke. The TIA was in the speech area of my brain. For a couple weeks, I still had a few problems with verbalizing exactly what I wanted to say and my tongue tasted like an old piece of shag carpet taken from a house occupied by a thousand cats in heat, but eventually, everything returned to normal.
Essential Rule of Parenting — Once you have children to take care of, don’t stop taking your blood thinners so that you can drink alcohol. And purchase life insurance.
I can’t recall ever feeling more relieved than I felt, upon returning home, as my beautiful wife and son hugged me. After our embrace, Keller ran into his room and returned with a book.
“Ba,” he said.
My son’s books are kind of boring. They have only about twenty words in them, there’s rarely any dramatic arc, and the endings are completely predictable. Sometimes, when reading them, I secretly wish his tastes would mature and he’d become interested in something with more of an adult theme. However, on this day, I read him five or six books in a row, and relished every single second of it. That day, I made a promise to myself to never again wish for him to grow up faster.
Today’s Advice Request FROM The Dad-
Sometimes, I get on here and doll out advice that is thinly veiled behind some crass humor. This is my clever little way of acting out my agenda on the world. It’s the first step in my 72 step process of achieving world domination (muwahahahahahaha).
At any rate, I’m mostly bull-shitting and my advice is garbage. I don’t know too many things about too much stuff. Today, I’m tucking the bull-shitting skill in my back pocket for a minute to reach out to you guys, with an open mind, to ask for some advice from the rest of you. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the process of running this page is that ALL of my fans?followers? (whatever) are beautiful people with high IQs, infinite life experiences, and the ability to tackle sensitive world issues in a rationale, logical, calm, and considerate manner. You are better humans than me.
You’ve taught me so much. And now, like Scott Staff from Creed, I’m reaching out, with arms wide open, asking for you to wrap your big strong arms around me to keep myself, The Bride, and the boys on the straight and narrow.
These are important life questions. So-
At what age is it considered to be no longer appropriate for my boys to spend time together, in the bathroom, laughing and giggling, while one of them is pooping?
If I hate it when people eat off my plate, and The Bride has known this for ten years, and we are out for an expensive dinner, and when I’m in the bathroom she eats off my plate, and I know she ate off my plate because I calibrated my plate before I went to the bathroom, then is it too much to ask the prosecuting attorney to go for the death penalty?
If I’m stuck in traffic, and a cute girl catches me picking my nose, is it okay to roll down my window to tell her that ‘I had an itch?’
If we’re having dinner with friends that happen to be people with a higher concentration of melanin than us, and the 5 year old asks their young son, “at night time, when the lights are out, do you become invisible” what is the appropriate way for a parent to handle this situation?
If my son is good friends with a kid from school and that kid’s parents are constantly wanting to have “play-dates” but that kid’s parents are the most annoying people in the history of the Universe and I’ll probably have to kill them if we have to hang out with them even one more time, then did I not ‘save a life’ when I made my child change schools?
Is a BJ and some ‘butt-stuff’ not a fair trade for saving lives?
Would it be better to state this case to The Bride in an emoji? An Instagram story? Or an old fashioned letter?
If The Bride refuses to engage in a threesome for about eleven different reasons, and I go out and find a working girl to pretend to be a civilian and to approach The Bride and woo her and seduce her, am I breaking any rules?
If Filipinos are considered to be the **ggers of the Asian community (and I’ve been told by various black people and Asians that this is the case), then is it acceptable for my Filipino sons to sing all the words to Kanye’s “Gold Digger” out loud, in mixed company?
Since I’m their Dad, is the same okay for me?
If I’m using a restroom at a McDonalds and after I stand up to put my pants on (before I flush) I drop a twenty in the toilet, is it okay to fish it out?
And if so, it okay to then give that twenty to the pimple faced cashier for some lunch?
If I haven’t had a “release” in a week because The Bride is a liar and has had a cold all week, and I have to use my memory and imagination, while in the shower to resolve the situation, and I go all the way back in time to high school, do I have to do my best to age the classmates in my imagination (even though I haven’t seen them in twenty years) or is it acceptable for them to still be juniors, if I too am a still a junior?
If one of the boys makes a tragic mess and I’m the first to come across it and I pretend not to see it, and The Bride later sees it and gets mad at me for not noticing it first, is it a lie to just shrug my shoulders?
If my boys think I’m the strongest man in the world, but, in reality, I’m only like second or third strongest, is it lying to allow them to this think?
If, at Christmas, I go out for bagels early in the morning, and while I’m out for bagels, Santa shows up with a sack full of presents for my boys, and by the time I get back Santa is gone, and this has now happened five years in a row, am I an absentee parent?
Also, do you think Santa is fucking The Bride?
If our niece is at our house and she poops in her diaper and The Bride isn’t home, and I have no experience changing little girl’s diapers, and I’ve read some things about infections and such, and I decide to be a good uncle and go for it, but when I get her diaper off there are all kinds of folds and crevices and nooks and crannies that I’m unprepared for, should I:
A- hose her off in the backyard
B- ask our elderly neighbor to come over and help
C- wipe her as best as I can and hope for the best
D- Put her in a basket and drop her off at the police station?
If The Bride is lactose intolerant (she is), and she eats ice cream for the one millionth time in a row despite my suggesting that she shouldn’t, and then she farts in public and it smells incredibly bad, and then I tell everyone it was me, then am I being hyperbolic by suggesting to her, that night, that I was a hero?
Is it ridiculous for me to try to parlay that into a threesome?
If she says no, is it not bigoted for her to say, “I’m not attracted to women.”?
If I’m playing laser tag with my boys, and I reset my vest (when nobody’s looking) to give myself more lives, and it’s done as part of teaching the children a lesson, and that lesson is that their Dad is better than them at laser tag, am I a bad dad?
If The Bride comes into the living room, at 1230am, while I’m in the final five minutes of an episode of my favorite show, and she proceeds to ask exactly 17 questions, and she insists that I answer every single one, and I do this, and then she falls asleep with four and a half minutes remaining in the show, only to wake up when it’s over to ask me exactly 14 more questions, and she miraculously does this 100% of the time that I ever watch anything on TV, then, should I not get custody of the children in a divorce?
Thank you all for your love and support, and thank you for taking the time to answer these very pressing questions.
I love you.
And this has been Today’s Advice FROM The Dad.
Fourth of July weekend in Hermosa Beach, California is the Southern California equivalent of Brazil’s Carnival. From 2002 to 2010, I lived in the heart of the action, and every year that I woke up on July 5th in any place other than jail, I was proud of myself. If I could stand up without vomiting, I’d give myself a gold star. And if I could find my pants in less than sixty seconds, then I’d be automatically nominated as a candidate for the Hermosa Beach’s annual “Mr. Responsibility” award.
On this July Fourth holiday, with Keller, we chose to hit the beach in lieu of beachfront keg parties. Taking an infant to the beach requires more gear than Neil Armstrong needed to go to the moon, and I’m considering the purchase of a Himalayan pack mule to make the process easier. As we strolled down to the beach with our gear stacked on top of a red wagon, scores of women passed by us sporting patriotic red, white, and blue bikinis.
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
“Matt, close your mouth, your tongue is getting sunburned.”
By the time we finally made it to the water, I was hot and tired from dragging all Keller’s crap through the sand, so I swooped Keller up into my arms and headed into the surf. Keller had a great time splashing in the ocean. However, after about ten minutes, he started shivering, so we got out. Lifting him up was like lifting a bag of wet sand. The ocean level dropped at least an inch because Keller’s diaper had absorbed about 25% of the Pacific. His ass looked like it had swallowed Kirstie Alley’s, and he was having a hard time walking around, so I took off the diaper and let him fly his freak flag. After all, it was the Fourth of July.
As soon as his diaper was off, he ran back into the water. I caught up to him and took him in for another swim. Now, I don’t know many things, but one thing I know for sure is this: if you want to be surrounded by beautiful women in tiny red, white, and blue bikinis, then find a naked baby and take him swimming on the Fourth of July.
Within a minute, Keller and I were surrounded by giddy girls, all of whom were losing their collective sanity. They were smiling, giggling, cooing, pinching, and prodding my naked child. One girl actually took my son’s little baby foot, and began nibbling on his toes. If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have believed it, but it happened. I mean, who does that? Who grabs a stranger’s foot and puts it in their mouth? The look on Keller’s face said it all: Listen, lady, I’m a kinky baby, but not that kinky.
One girl asked to hold him, and, of course, I let her. Soon Keller was being passed around like crabs in a frat house (Coincidentally, I just learned that Pthirus pubis—i.e, crabs—are now on the endangered species list, due to, ahem… a loss of natural habitat.)
Anyway, Keller enjoyed the attention so much that he lost control of his bowels—all over the white stars of a girl’s American flag bikini top. The girl screamed and thrust my son into my midsection like he was a bag of medical waste. People love babies when they’re cute and clean and quiet. Once they get pooped on, their perspective tends to change.
Single, childless people, I’m talking to you.
In America, making babies is celebrated like nothing else, except winning the Super Bowl or American Idol. This societal enthusiasm encourages people into baby-making before they’re ready.
After Keller was born, people were congratulating me with such gusto you’d think I’d discovered a cure for cancer. Though their praise made me feel good, making a baby required very little skill on my part. All I did was make love to a sexy woman; this was hardly praise worthy. If my kid completes high school without stabbing any classmates or blowing any perverted old men in public restrooms as a means to support his drug habit, then maybe I’ll deserve a little praise.
Because of the giddy praise new parents receive, some tend to exaggerate how “beautiful” their birth experience was. They’ll make you believe their baby came out of the vagina wearing a flowing white robe while a choir of angels rejoiced as three sandal-clad strangers showed up bearing gifts. These parents tell friends that their birth experience made them realize their entire life, until that moment, had been a vapid waste of time, and unless you’ve had kids “you couldn’t possibly understand.”
This false portrayal of the birth experience contributes to the already overwhelming pressure on girls to procreate. That brings me to the point of this chapter: many people think they want a baby, but have no idea how much this will change their life.
Some young people have unprotected sex with strangers without considering the consequences. This needs to change. Nearly everything we do in life is regulated, either by our parents, our schools, our employers, or our government. Our government alone regulates alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, marriage, fishing, construction, breeding dogs, etc. At the rate things are going, it won’t be long before you’re required to get a permit before going number two. However, making a human doesn’t require any license whatsoever. All you need is a fertile womb, a little sperm, mood music and voila!—you’ve got yourself a brand new, miniature human.
It’s one of the great paradoxes of mankind that it’s illegal for a responsible 20-year-old college student with a 4.0 GPA to tip a few beers on a weekend, but it’s legal for two 28-year-old, glue-sniffing, crystal-meth-cooking, high school dropouts to procreate. Rapists, sociopaths, and crackheads are making humans and spreading their DNA all over Earth every single day. We’re allowing these degenerates to dictate the evolution of our species because they’re out-breeding the rest of us. Other animals refine their genetic code by preventing the weak and diseased of their species from reproducing. However, humans are compassionate beings who believe everyone has the right to reproduce, even pedophiles. As a result, too many damaged and incompetent people end up with babies they won’t properly care for, which creates more damaged incompetent people.
Fortunately, for the sake of the world, I have a solution to this problem. I hereby declare a new world law—
Before having unprotected sex, people are now required to apply for a baby-making license. To get said license, apply to the office of The Decider. I’ve decided that The Decider will be me, not because I’m the most qualified candidate, but because I thought of it and I’d like to have one of those high-paying, cushy government jobs with fantastic benefits and little accountability.
So, if you’re interested in making a baby, you can apply for your baby-making license by snail-mail or email. No license, no unprotected sex, no baby-making license for you.
The first step in applying for your baby-making license is to complete and submit the following test:
• Have you ever spent an entire paycheck on fireworks?
• Are the rims on your car worth more than the rest of it?
• Are you Miss Teen South Carolina, Sarah Palin, or Kim Kardashian?
• Do you have a lithograph of “Dogs Playing Poker” hanging in your home?
• Have you ever lost a tooth while trying to open a can of beer?
• Do you believe that men rode dinosaurs, or that the Earth is only 10,000 years old?
• Does your Mom refer to your Dad as her “Baby-Daddy”?
If you answered yes to any of the above, your test will be returned to you with this letter—
You suck at life. Your application for a baby-making permit has been denied. We’ve decided to protect humanity from the propagation of the genetics that created the disaster that is you. You are hereby required, by the office of The Decider, to report to the nearest doctor to have all your eggs/sperm destroyed.
If you pass the test, the in-person interview, and all subsequent steps, you will be given baby-making privileges by the office of The Decider. However, before procreating, it is advised that you get yourself educated about the responsibilities of parenthood.
So, as a new father, I’d like to share some information about how parenthood will change your life:
First of all, if you have hobbies, having a baby will bring a swift end to them.
I used to have hobbies and interests and personal ambition. Now, the first thing I do when I get home is take off my pants. The time I used to spend on my hobbies is now spent playing Legos and trains with my son or watching Nickelodeon Junior and listening to the Fresh Beat Band sing about vegetables while sporting smiles that can only realistically be achieved by ingesting massive quantities of Xanax.
Another way parenthood will change your life is that it will cause a total shift in your thought process. Once you bring your baby home, your number one responsibility in life becomes keeping that baby alive. This is not as easy as you might think. To demonstrate how easily you can screw this responsibility up, I’ll tell you a story:
During Keller’s very first week home, I took him to my local breakfast spot to show him off to the leggy Bolivian who makes a cup of coffee that tastes like it’s been touched by God. After finishing my coffee and croissant, I got up and left. Halfway out the door, Miss Bolivia yelled, “Hey Matthew!” At first, I was excited because her accent makes my name sound sexy and I thought I was being flirted with. However, this excitement was quickly replaced with embarrassment and shame.
“Forgetting something?” she asked. It took me a beat or two to realize that she was referring to my sleeping son, whom I’d left behind in the booth.
Sadly, I’d momentarily forgotten I even had a child. Had the leggy, Bolivian coffee goddess not pointed it out, I may have left him. This would’ve sucked because I would’ve had to go to the hospital to steal another baby and then find a way to convince The Bride it was hers.
“No baby, you’re wrong, Keller was totally black when he came out of you.”
Though I am ashamed about forgetting Keller, I guarantee that most new parents have done something like this at least once. You were in the living room, watching Ellen, snacking on frozen Snickers bars when suddenly, you were like, Oh shit, I totally have a baby. Where is he?
If you haven’t had that moment, then you’re the greatest parent of all-time… or a liar… or you’re not a parent… or you don’t think you’re a parent but you actually had a child nine years ago and you completely forgot about him so he waddled out of the home one day, and now he’s living with a Chinese couple in Vancouver and he’s addicted to the Adderall his Chinese parents put him on because they think he has ADD; however, he doesn’t have ADD, he’s just really wound up and pissed off because you forgot he exists.
Another life change that parenting will bring is the increased frequency with which you find yourself in a state of boredom. Subsequently, your boredom will lead to morbid obesity because you’re constantly eating to kill the boredom.
I love spending time with Keller, but Keller is a baby and babies have lame hobbies. Keller’s hobbies include: eating Mommy’s face off, playing bongos, smashing Legos, and splashing in the bathtub. After an evening of smashing Legos with Keller, once he finally goes to sleep, our entertainment options don’t get much better because we have to stay home. So, I write, I watch movies, I sexually harass my disinterested wife, I read books, trim my fingernails, surf the web, and so on. After a while, the boredom becomes crushing.
And then I eat—
I started out with a bowl of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes every night, but soon one bowl wasn’t doing it for me. So, I began eating two bowls. Unfortunately, that required getting off the couch for a refill, so to solve this problem, I bought a bigger bowl. Eventually, I was eating two of the big bowls. Finally, I threw out all pretense of pretending that I was capable of behaving like a human person, and I started using the kind of bowl that salad is tossed in.
By the time Keller was 3-months-old, I was eating half a box of Frosted Flakes per night. In my college days I could get away with this. I’d eat half a jar of peanut butter every day because peanut butter was a cheap, high caloric food that I could afford without selling plasma and semen. However, I never gained weight because I could metabolize an entire peanut farm just by thinking about it. That’s no longer my reality, and I was beginning to pack on a layer of fatty warmth in my mid-section.
I was so addicted to Tony the Tiger’s delicious flakes that I’d sometimes get up in the middle of the night to party with him. One night, The Bride caught me sitting in the kitchen at 3 AM, with the lights off, wolfing down a bowl in my sleep. I realized I needed to make some lifestyle changes.
So, I quit. Kicking Tony’s delicious, sugary flakes was tough, but I did it, cold turkey.
Two weeks into my sobriety, I had a relapse while sleep-walking.
And it was ugly.
The Bride jumped out of bed, “Oh my God, Matt, did you shit the bed!?!”
“What? No,” I replied, half asleep and a bit startled. “I haven’t done that in at least six or seven years!”
“Then what’s all over the bed and walls?”
I put my fingers in some of the brownish-blackish goop on my pillow and brought it to my nose.
“It’s dark chocolate,” I said.
“Thank God,” The Bride said… “Wait, why is there dark chocolate in our bed and on our walls?” she asked.
There wasn’t any chocolate anywhere in our house. I know this because two days after quitting Frosted Flakes, I had withdrawal shakes, so I scoured the apartment in search of something sugary. There was no chocolate, and the best I could do was a bag of brown sugar. I added a little oatmeal to it and dug in. Though it satiated my sugar needs, some dark chocolate would’ve totally hit the spot.
“Where did you get dark chocolate from and why would you smear it all over our walls? I mean, that’s just creepy. This is weirder than that night, on our honeymoon in Belize, when you took too much Lunesta, got in our golf cart, naked, at 3 AM, drove it to the pharmacy, left it there, and walked back to the hotel.”
“That’s not true,” I said. “I wasn’t walking. The security guard said he saw me running.”
“You’re entirely missing the point!”
“I’m sorry, love. You are right and you are awesome and I am wrong and completely unawesome.”
“You’re just so friggin’ weird sometimes.”
“I obviously have issues,” I said.
The dark chocolate was smeared so deeply into the paint that we were unable to wash it out without causing the paint to come off. So, we’ve been sleeping in a room with chocolate spattered walls ever since.
I obviously hadn’t resolved my sugar addiction. If I was going to kick sugar, I had to first get off sleeping pills so that I’d stop sleep-walking and sleep-eating. When a doctor prescribes you sleep medication, he doesn’t tell you all the weird side effects that can result.
After I stopped taking the sleeping pills, I was able to entirely (i.e., mostly) kick all sugary foods (not including my morning breakfast cookie). The next step was to find a calorie burning activity to get my body back into shape. Unfortunately, I’d let myself become so deconditioned that I actually injured myself while playing Wii bowling.
I knew I needed to make a change. So, I decided to take up paddle boarding. I went to the surf shop across the street and rented a board. As I carried the eleven-foot board towards the ocean, it acted like a giant fiberglass kite, catching the wind and knocking me around like one of Chris Brown’s girlfriends. By the time I made it to the water’s edge, I collapsed from exhaustion. I rested for thirty minutes and then carried the board back to the shop without ever doing any actual paddle boarding.
When I got home, I sat down with The Bride for a talk. We were bringing one another down with mutual sloth. My waistline was rapidly expanding, and I knew I was mere days away from having to buy new pants. Everyone knows that once a man buys new pants he never gets back into his old ones. It would’ve been the beginning of a downward spiral of gluttony that would’ve gone on until I could no longer see my dick in the shower.
It happens, guys, you’re a single, lean, mean, fucking machine, you go to bed, and you wake up married with a kid, you weigh six hundred pounds, and you need the fire department to cut you out of your house after you suffer a heart attack in your living room. So, if you and your partner decide that making a human is something you want to do, you better have a plan to fight the boredom, or else put the fire department on speed dial.
If you read all of the above and you’re still thinking about becoming a parent, then you’re a brave soul. Being a parent is a gift and a blessing, but this shit ain’t easy, and if you aren’t ready for it, it will be the death of you.
So, if you’re ready to start the process, send your baby-making application to the Office of The Decider.
“Ouch. The contractions are getting stronger and longer. I think it’s time to go to the hospital,” The Bride said.
“Oh, baby… Really? I have Pearl Jam tickets tonight. Can you maybe just do your pussy clamp trick and keep him locked down until tomorrow morning?”
In the interest of full disclosure, I must state that I’d already seen Pearl Jam the night before. However, Chris Cornell had not made a surprise showing to perform my favorite song, Hunger Strike, with Eddie Vedder and the gang. In fact, in the approximately three dozen times I’ve seen Pearl Jam, this had never happened. Rumor had it tonight would be the night.
Now, before you write me a letter to tell me what a horrible person I am, in my defense, I must state that, at the time, I probably loved Eddie Vedder more than my unborn child, so this was a totally logical thing for me to ask The Bride. I mean, I had crazy man-love for Eddie. In fact, if presented with that hypothetical scenario in which I were being sent to a deserted island and could take only one person, I’d take Eddie. I realize that most guys would choose their wives, or maybe Mila Kunis, but neither of them would sing Yellow Ledbetter to me, and even if they did, they’d probably suck. Also, Mila Kunis has very narrow hips, and if she got pregnant on our island, she’d probably die during the birthing process, and that would leave me alone with a newborn baby, which would end very badly for both of us. Even if Mila survived, her ridiculously big, beautiful eyes would start looking pretty fucking crazy after a few years together on a deserted island. As for The Bride, I love her with all the tiny little parts of my heart, but… well, we’re talking about Eddie Vedder. I’m sure she’d understand.
Besides, I’ve always believed that if I were to get an hour alone with Eddie we’d have tons to talk about and would become best buddies. So, after being on a deserted island for years and years with my BFF, exchanging ideas and philosophizing, once we were rescued the two of us would probably save the world.
If we weren’t able to save the world, at the very least, after a decade of listening to me play percussion on coconut shells, Eddie would fire Matt Cameron from the band and put me on the drums. I mean, I love Matt Cameron, but let’s face it, we all know he’s the weakest link of the Pearl Jam crew.
Now, let’s not conflate issues. By choosing Eddie Vedder over my wife and Mila Kunis, I am not choosing music over sex. In a head to head battle, sexual gratification defeats music every single time. However, on the island I’d have my right hand and an endless supply of coconut oil. Also, considering the fact that it’s a deserted island, there’s probably not much to do, so I could probably convince Eddie to sit outside my cabana and mumble mood music while I made love to myself.
Needless to say, The Bride’s answer to my question was, “No, I can’t do the friggin’ pussy clamp trick until tomorrow morning. What the hell is wrong with you, Matthew?”
The Bride and I arrived at the hospital at 7 AM, ready to pledge our eternal love to the seven pound human that was trying to break out of his little padded cell.
“I need medication!” The Bride yelled, no more than a minute after being put in a room.
An anesthesiologist came to deliver the epidural with a needle so HUGE I could’ve defeated Darth Vader with it. As soon as he administered the medication, The Bride fell sound asleep. She was mere hours away from pushing a football ball-sized human out a quarter-sized hole in her body, yet she seemed to be comfortably numb, snoring away like a drunken lumberjack.
“Umm, could I maybe get one of those epidurals?” I asked.
Once The Bride was sawing logs, the anesthesiologist and nurse exited, leaving me alone with my thoughts.
This is crazy. In a few hours, a person will come out of my wife’s vagina. They will hand it to me, and it will be my job to make sure it doesn’t die.
I became filled with dread. Would I be up to the responsibilities that fatherhood entailed? I imagined my child getting into mischief: I saw him running with scissors, taking food out of a Rottweiler’s mouth, and falling into a swimming pool. I played these scenarios out in my head, over and over, and each time they ended badly.
If I was failing him in my imagination, what would happen in real life?
Zzzzzzzzz. The Bride’s snoring got louder.
If I succeeded in keeping our baby alive through his childhood years, he would become an impressionable teen that would eventually become an adult that would effect either a positive or negative net impact on society. It would be my responsibility to help him find his way and make sure he didn’t end up becoming the proprietor of a meth lab, or the owner of an adult book store, or an ambulance-chasing, personal-injury attorney. And while waiting for him to come out of his cozy baby-cave to join us in the fluorescently lit hospital room, all that responsibility felt like a metric fuck-ton of pressure that was likely to cave in my chest and kill me before I even met the little fella.
Sitting there, waiting nervously, I needed a distraction. Eventually, curiosity got the best of me, and I peeked under the covers.
I will forever regret this.
The Bride’s vagina looked unlike any other I’d ever seen. It was swollen, wet, and bloody, like road kill on the side of a highway on a rainy day.
God, if you’re listening, please let me un-see that.
An hour later, The Bride awoke. After she got her bearings her food cravings kicked in.
“Matt, I need you to get me a burger.”
Before The Bride was even pregnant she had the appetite of an eight-hundred pound gorilla. She’d eat about five meals a day, but miraculously never gained a pound. I heard stories about weird pregnancy cravings and ridiculous appetites, and I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if The Bride’s appetite got bigger. Then, one day, I came home and found The Bride eating a salt, mayonnaise, and pickle sandwich… for dessert, after she’d already consumed an In and Out Double Double.
It became obvious that I was going to have to get a second job to keep my little Asian gal fed.
“You’re dilated to ten centimeters. You don’t have time for a burger,” said the nurse.
She was lying.
Sure, The Bride was dilated to ten centimeters, but we had plenty of time for a burger. In fact, in hindsight, we had time to nurture a baby calf through adolescence and into adulthood, slaughter it, grind the meat into hundreds of burger patties, create handmade invitations, mail them to all our friends, and have everyone join us at the hospital for a good old fashioned birthing bar-b-que.
The nurse told The Bride she was almost ready to start pushing, but then, instead of doing actual nursing stuff, she sat at a computer and began typing. I don’t know if she was requesting Facebook friends, surfing the Internet for weird German porn, or Skyping her incarcerated pen pal; regardless, I became agitated.
Half an hour later, the nurse briefed me on how to read the electronic jiggy-ma-bob with the red flashing lights that was connected to The Bride. When the machine beeped, it meant The Bride was having a contraction and I needed to help her push.
Then she left the room.
Are you kidding me?
I was ready to raise hell, but The Bride was relaxed from the dope, and I didn’t want to be the one freaking out. While I was trying to calm myself, the electronic jiggy-ma-bob thingy beeped. We were all alone, and it was time to push. I had to man up.
“Okay, baby, are you ready to do this!?!” I yelled, in an over-adrenalized voice, as if she were getting ready to step into a wrestling ring to fight Andre The Giant.
“I’m ready,” she said.
“Good, now push!”
Grrrr! She growled, pushing.
“Yes, baby! Yes! Great job! Okay, now give me another big push! Do it!”
“Stop yelling at me!”
“Sorry! Okay. You can do this! Push that little guy out! Push, push, PUSH!” I yelled.
And she pushed. After just the second push, I could see the top of his head.
“Holy fuck, that’s a baby head!” I pointed and yelled. I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. When I saw our baby’s hairy head, things became very real. I kissed The Bride, excused myself, walked to the nurses’ station, and had lapsed into what murderers sometimes refer to as “temporary insanity.”
“There’s a person coming out of my wife’s body RIGHT NOW! Go in there and get it!”
“Your wife’s going to be pushing for a while. He’s not coming out yet, and we’re short staffed,” the nurse said.
I couldn’t believe it. While walking back towards the room I gave myself a pep talk in attempts to gather my composure so I could help my wife. I stopped outside the door, took a few deep breaths, and then entered the room to help The Bride push.
After three or four pushes, the nurse finally entered. “The doctor just finished surgery and he’s going on break,” she said.
“You’re screwing with us, right?”
“The top of the baby’s head is right there!” I said, pointing between The Bride’s legs.
“His heart rate is elevated so we want her to stop pushing and rest for a while,” she said.
“His heart rate is elevated because his head is stuck inside a vagina! I’ve never been in that position, but I imagine it’s fairly stressful.”
Much later, after hours of fruitless pushing, the doctor finally showed up. “Hey, look who made it. Who won the big USC game, doc?” I asked, making no effort to hide my irritation.
The doctor ignored me and went about his business with a disinterested demeanor. He looked at the mess between The Bride’s legs in the same bored manner that a plumber looks at a clogged toilet.
“Push, honey,” the doctor calmly said.
With the doctor in charge of the pushing, I was demoted to the foot of the bed where I squatted into the ready position, as if I was going to be the one to catch the baby. As she pushed, her vagina stretched to ridiculous proportions; it was red and swollen and bloody and I knew there was a good chance it was permanently stretched out and deformed. I was going to have to put my penis on some quality Mark McGwire level steroids and feed it nothing but raw meat if The Bride was ever going to feel it again. As she continued grimacing through the push, the baby’s head inched out stretching The Bride’s tiny, fragile little taint at both ends like a man hooked up to one of those medieval torture devices. I didn’t see how the baby could come out without ripping her open, and I felt queasy in my stomach and toes. All I could think was, thank God she took the epidural.
After only two pushes, the doctor sat back and concluded, “He’s stuck.”
The doctor rummaged through his surgical tools until he found a pair of giant scissors that looked like the same ones our mayor used to cut the red ribbon outside the town’s new library the day it opened. “Whoa, what are those for?” I asked, trying not to die.
“She needs an episiotomy.”
Without hesitation, he grabbed The Bride’s vagina and began cutting through it. It took exactly three slices, and I’ll never forget the sound. It was the same sound my grandmother’s poultry shears made as she cut through raw, whole chickens on Sundays after church.
By the time the doctor finished slicing and dicing, my sweetheart’s pretty little petunia and her no-no hole had become one giant, gaping wound.
Next, the doctor pulled out my grandmother’s giant salad-tossing fork (I had really expected his tools to be a bit more sophisticated). He put the salad-tossing fork inside The Bride and said, “Push.” And just like that, after hours of drama and fruitless pushing, The Bride bore down and grimaced through one hard-core push that popped the baby’s head out.
It was terrifying.
This baby didn’t look like any human I’d ever seen.
The Bride’s baby was a mutant.
With a colossal sized head.
He had crossed eyes that were blacker than Wesley Snipes after losing a fight against a giant ink-squirting squid; his face was wrinkled like he’d spent all day in a YMCA steam room, and his giant head was badly misshapen, like it had been molded out of clay by a kindergartener who’d lost his thumbs in a see-saw accident. I felt a dizzying wave of confusion and horror swelling inside me. I feared I might vomit. Or spontaneously impale myself on The Bride’s IV pole. Or excuse myself from the room, get in my car, and drive to Canada where I’d learn to love curling, Tom Green, and the Barenaked Ladies.
“A couple more pushes and he’ll be all the way out. Push!” he yelled. The Bride pushed, and as she did, our baby’s giant head twisted around 180 degrees, like Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist. I was positive his head was going to pop off and fly across the room, laughing at me during its flight.
But that didn’t happen.
The Bride pushed again and out came his disproportionately waifish body.
4:50 PM, 21 inches, 7 pounds 4 oz. (which was mostly head) Matthew Keller Nespoli is born.
Unfortunately, I knew our crappy HMO would only cover a portion of the bill, so we were going to have to sell The Bride’s new baby in order to pay for all this. I decided to wait a few hours to dump this news on her, because in the moment, she looked happier than I’d ever seen her.
While The Bride cried tears of joy, I cut the cord and took inventory of all the baby’s parts. He had four limbs, ten toes, and ten fingers. Still, he was far from normal. His shoulders were covered in long, brown hairs, which made me suspect that The Bride might have had an affair with Chewbacca. Also, he was covered in blood and a mysterious white goop that may or may not have been cottage cheese. I wanted to feel proud of the boy, but it’s hard to be proud of a baby who comes out of the vagina looking like Benjamin Button after swimming in a vat of cottage cheese and blood.
“I’m sorry, but this baby is hideous. For the sake of humanity, I’m going to put him back inside you,” is what I was expecting the doctor to say.
However, he didn’t say that. He took the baby and handed it to the nurses so they could rinse all the cottage cheese and blood off his hairy Chewbacca shoulders. While watching, it occurred to me that it might not be safe for such a huge head to sit atop such a little body. I’d read in National Geographic that the warthog has the most disproportionately large head in the animal kingdom. I’m pretty certain that had just changed. His arms were rail thin and his shoulders came to sharp points like that of Boston Celtic’s forward, Kevin McHale. It’d be incredible if my son grew up to become a professional basketball player like Kevin McHale; however, I considered it highly unlikely because his neck would never be strong enough to support the weight of his giant head when running down the court.
Plus, he’s half Asian, and as far as I know, he has no relation to Jeremy Lin.
As the nurse began cleaning his face, he started screaming, and the noise grated on my nerves almost immediately. I didn’t feel an affiliation to the critter; I didn’t feel new purpose in life; and I didn’t have an epiphany. All I wanted was a silent, empty room, an oxygen tank, and maybe a few beers, or a giant needle full of epidural juice.
“He’s looking at you!” the nurse said, excitedly.
“Really? With which eye?” I asked.
The nurses ignored me, and for the next couple days, they behaved as if I didn’t exist.
Over the course of the next year, I came to realize that I had, in fact, stopped existing.
After they finished cleaning him, they laid him on The Bride’s bare chest. “Hi son,” she said, in a nurturing tone that I’d never heard before. Keller started suckling, pulling life from her breasts.
And I haven’t touched them since.
While she held her baby, I watched as the doctor took a hook and string and began sewing my wife’s perineum back together, separating her butt from her vagina, once again, like a normal person. When he was done, it still didn’t look right, and all I could think was, Yeah, that area’s gonna be out of commission for a while.
As Keller enjoyed his first meal, The Bride nuzzled his face with hers. “He’s so beautiful,” she said.
And that’s the day I stopped trusting her judgment.
Her baby lay on her chest, completely innocent and helpless, totally dependent on his mother. The Bride stared into her baby’s eyes with a peaceful look of contentment on her face. The love she felt for him was palpable.
I could write about the science of how a mother-child bond is instantaneously created by hormones secreted in the mother’s brain during the birthing process. I could write about how women have evolved into nurturing creatures so that babies will survive and the human race can thrive. However, none of that is very entertaining, and this isn’t that kind of book. So, I’ll just say this:
Watching The Bride feed her baby, I witnessed a kind of love I’d never seen before, a love that said, If you try to harm my baby, I will rip your limbs from your body, stick the severed limbs up your ass, then hook you up to machines to keep you alive so I can torture you every day until the end of time.
After The Bride fed him, they took him to that big room where they keep all the newborns. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I was secretly hoping they’d mix him up with another baby. Maybe Alanis Morisette or Serena Williams had also given birth and we’d end up with their baby in some hilarious hospital mix-up like you’d see on a 1980’s style sit-com. But really, I’d settle for anyone’s baby, so long as they brought us one that didn’t look like the spawn of Chewbacca and that warthog from the LA Zoo.
Basically, what I’m saying is that, overall, the birthing experience was … I dunno … surreal. The most upsetting part was that I didn’t feel an immediate connection to my child, which made me feel guilty. Society expects fathers to feel an instantaneous and magical connection to their newborn. These expectations are unfair. Unlike our partners, we don’t carry the baby inside us for the better part of a year; so, when our child is born, we need a little time to develop a bond.
Later, once he was finally in my arms, he felt like the most fragile thing I’d ever held. I pressed him to my body and smelled the top of his head. It was the greatest smell I’d ever experienced and it gave me a weird fuzzy feeling in my head. Holding him tightly against my chest, I felt him growing roots into my heart.
“Hey, son, I’m your daddy,” I said. “We’re gonna be best buddies. Did you know that?”
As I touched his hand he wrapped his little fingers around my index finger, and just like that I was hooked. In that instant, I knew I loved him, and that I’d never love anything more. I put Keller’s lips to The Bride’s and then joined them in our first family kiss. And in that moment, for the first time in my life, everything was perfect.
Later that evening, I got a text from my buddy who’d gone to the Pearl Jam show. Yes, Chris Cornell showed up, and yes, he performed Hunger Strike with Eddie. However, as it’s turned out, Keller’s a pretty dope little kid, so I’m certain I came out ahead.
This is an excerpt from my second book, “Daddy Versus The Suck Monster” – you can get it for $.99 here:
Today was a very special day.
Today, I participated in one of those special, time-honored, father-son traditions. There is a father and son playing catch in the backyard, the excitement of a boy being taken to his first professional sporting event by his dad, and the thrill of a boy being taught to ride a bicycle.
Today, I taught my son to ride a bike, and it was glorious.
I’m 44 years old.
I have the memory of a man twice my age.
I’m pretty sure that means I equate my memory to that of an 88 year old man, but I’m not positive, because I’ve forgotten how to do almost all the math.
My wife will send me to the store for a gallon of milk, and by the time I get there, I can’t remember what I was supposed to get, her phone number, or the way to get back home. I’ll drive around the neighborhood, in circles, for hours, trying to remember the meaning of everything, contemplating my existence, until, eventually, I remember my wallet in my pocket, pull out my driver’s license, and look up my address.
I’m a walking disaster in the memory department.
As far as I can figure, I was born around the age of sixteen. I can’t remember much happening before that. I’m not sure how it’s possible to be born at the age of sixteen, but I’m certain that is the case.
Maybe I was part of some high end government science experiment that was conducted for the purpose of creating teenage soldiers, in the 70s, to go to war in Vietnam, or maybe to infiltrate the hippie lifestyle so that we could bring those sandal wearing weirdos to justice for all their illegal drug partaking and lewd sexual acts. Damn you hippies for having so much fun! We shall destroy you!
Unfortunately, in my case, the government experiment went awry because I came out looking more like an AIDS riddled stork than a muscular soldier, and they really didn’t know what to do with me, so they pawned me off on a couple in Pennsylvania to raise me, and in exchange for that couple’s silence they gave them a million dollars.
But that can’t be true because I grew up blue collar, and come to think of it, I couldn’t have been created by the government at the age of sixteen because I do actually have a memory of my childhood.
That memory was my dad teaching me to ride a bicycle.
I remember it vividly.
I was seven.
My dad, that day, had loosened the training wheels on my bike without telling me. He took me out for a ride, and half a mile into it, on Line street in a small town in Pennsylvania, the wheels fell off, and my dad jogged alongside me, assuring me, “I’ve got you, just ride.”
And I did.
Today, I took my son to the park. He was scared and said he didn’t want to learn to ride his bike.
I assured him that I had him, that I would protect him, that I would never let anything bad happen to him.
I asked him if he trusted me, and he gave me a half-convincing, half-enthusiastic “yes, Daddy, I trust you.”
“Then, let’s go.”
I probably should’ve put a helmet on him.
I probably should’ve put knee pads on him.
I probably should’ve given him training wheels.
But I didn’t. We were doing this old-school, and it was going to be a moment he’d never forget.
He began peddling, and I ran behind him, holding his seat, keeping him upright. I was jogging in a bent over position because I couldn’t stand fully erect and still hold his seat; he’s barely five years old, and it’s a tiny bike. Given that I’ve had nine neck and back surgeries, it may not have been my wisest decision, but wise decisions have never been my specialty. I’m a romantic and I like to ride the wave and momentum of a moment when one presents.
He began peddling faster and faster.
I began running faster and faster.
My back began aching.
His arms were wobbly and the bike was wobbly and he was probably going to crash into the tree up ahead, around the curve, and because I elected not to put a helmet on him he’d probably break his brain and as a result he’d have to wear a helmet everywhere he went for the rest of his life. His mother would divorce me, take half of everything, and I’d only get to see my boys on Tuesdays and every other weekend. Life would be terribly depressing, I’d get addicted to heroin, I’d lose my Tuesdays, and then, completely distraught, I’d hit rock bottom in Tijuana, get robbed by a prostitute at one of their infamous donkey shows, and then, when trying to get back across the border with no money or papers, I’d get picked up by the police, with heroin on my person, and I’d end up living out the rest of my days, in a Tijuana prison, in complete anonymity, while my children grew up never knowing their father.
Shit, I really screwed the pooch here. I just should’ve made the responsible decision and put a helmet on him. Why do I always have to do things my way?
We were picking up speed.
The tree was getting closer.
My boy was getting more and more wobbly.
My back was burning and my knees were about to give out.
Our best bet would probably be to wipe out, now, in the grass, before we had to go around that turn where we will most certainly crash into that tree.
Yes, that’s it, I’m going to have to force a wipe-out here. It’s for the best. See the big picture, Matt.
“Daddy, I’m doing it!” My son said. He was so excited. So proud.
He wasn’t doing it, I was keeping him up, but what the hell did that matter?
Truthfully, it didn’t matter. All that mattered was that he was having a blast, he was building confidence and self-esteem; this situation was a winner.
We couldn’t stop now!
And so, we forged on, building speed, building confidence. I gritted my teeth, ignored my pain, and told me knees to suck it up. My son was having a moment, and dammit, we were going to do everything we could to make this happen.
He wobbled left, he wobbled right. I loosened my grip hoping that he would feel his center of gravity moving from side to side so that he could control it, and manipulate it.
He could not.
He lost control.
Right before the bend with the big evil tree at that end of it that I should’ve scouted out before sending him on this DeathWish, but alas, I did not.
I’m the worst father alive.
And now my child is going to be disfigured.
He had one of those big wobbles that we’ve all seen and felt; one of those giant wobbles when you know you’ve lost control. One of those giant wobbles that, when you see it, you know the person in that wobble is going to over-correct, bringing the wobble in the other direction, making the corrective wobble twice as large and twice as likely to end in an accident.
And that’s what he did.
His over-correction on the wobble was strong. I couldn’t see his face, but I knew it was ravaged with panic.
Mine certainly was.
I was no longer holding his seat. His over-correction had caused his seat to break free from my aforementioned loose grip.
He was free riding now.
He was on a solo mission.
He was on a solo mission to “Mommy’s gonna get a new Daddy after this” city.
I wanted to close my eyes, but I didn’t.
I watched as the second corrective wobble began about twelve feet away from the tree.
For a brief moment, I considered sprinting at him and tackling him, just to keep him from crashing into that ferocious tree of death.
But I didn’t.
I chased behind, ready to pick up the pieces, ready to carry his bloody body to the car and rush him to the hospital.
But then, right before impact, something miraculous happened.
He found his center and regained control.
My boy manhandled that bicycle and let it know who was in charge.
My boy became a man.
I mean, sure, he wet his pants a little bit, but whatever, fuck you.
“Daddy, look, I’m riding a bike!”
You certainly are, son. You certainly are.
And I’ll never forget seeing it. I hope you remember it forever too.
A very GAY moment, from The Dad-
At the Costa Ricafort plantation, I went to order pineapple ice cream for The Bride and kids.
“Can I help you,” asked the stunning Hawaiian girl at the counter.
“Oh wow,” I said, not faking it.
“Your eyes are amazing. I’ve never seen eyes like yours. They look like your tropical ocean, but with emeralds floating in it.”
She giggled and blushed.
Behind me, The Bride was cracking up, losing her shit. I assumed it was because she thought I was being cheesy. Anyway, I placed my order and joined The Bride with the ice creams. She was still losing it.
“What is so damned funny?”
“You were flirting with that baklat.”
“What’s a baklat?”
“The tagalong word for gay Filipino man who looks feminine,” she said.
“That was no dude.” I said, emphatically.
“He was a dude.”
“She was most definitely not a dude.”
I walked back over to her. “May I ask what your name is?”
“Makai,” she responded.
I walked over to The Bride. “Is Makai a boy name or girl name?”
“Shit, I was flirting with a baklat.”
The Bride snot-bubble laughed.
“He was a beautiful man. This is confusing. What is happening?”
The Bride, now bent over in laughter.
“Am I gay now?”
“No, just stupid,” she replied.
I wouldn’t exactly call my son’s conception an accident. I mean, I didn’t trip and fall into The Bride’s vagina. However, it was a surprise. In fact, I was unaware we were even trying to make a
person. Granted, The Bride had been making many more sexual
advances than normal, but I attributed her newfound sexual assertiveness to the better than average hair days I was having as a result of a humidity-free, California winter.
As it turns out, The Bride was much more interested in my DNA
than my hair, and a few weeks into our torrid winter love affair,
everything became illuminated.
I was pouring myself an adult beverage when The Bride came out
of the bathroom with blood lust in her eyes. As soon as I saw her, I knew I was in you’re sleeping at a hotel kind of trouble.
“You suck at marriage!” she yelled.
“I know, and I’m sorry,” I said. Those five words have served me well in our relationship.
“I can’t take it anymore!” screamed The Bride.
“Umm, sweetheart, I know I should probably know this,” I said, treading carefully. “But, umm, why exactly do I suck at marriage?”
The Bride’s jaw dropped open the way a boa constrictor unhinges its jaws right before devouring its prey. She let out an unearthly primordial scream, cocked her arm back, and began firing toiletries
at me like Roger Clemens’ fastballs. The toothpaste whizzed past my ear and splattered against the wall.
“You left the cap off the toothpaste, you used my towel, and you
peed on the toilet seat! Again!”
After a bottle of hair conditioner hurtled past my head and
exploded against the front door, I knew I wasn’t dealing with the average, garden-variety, menstruation-inspired outburst. I’d left the toilet seat up exactly 41,238 times since we’d been married, and though it always irritated her, this over-the-top, violent expression of anger was out of character for my little Filipina bride.
“Are you pregnant?” I asked. The words came out of my mouth
before I had time to process the consequences of them.
“I’m not pregnant! This is not hormone related anger! I’m angry because you’re an inconsiderate ape-man!”
“I know, and I’m sorry,” I said.
Life would be easier if I tattooed this on my forehead.
I decided to go jogging to give The Bride time to cool down.
When I returned, an hour later, I found her in the living room,
crying, with our wedding album splayed open on her lap.
This was a very bad sign.
I considered turning around, running into the ocean, and drowning myself.
“Matthew, I’m pregnant,” she said, holding out the pregnancy test
for me to see.
The Earth stopped rotating and stood still on its axis, freezing
time. I was in a state of stupefied paralysis, completely unable to
form words with my mouth. Only my inner voice seemed to be
Hug her, you idiot!
So, I listened to my inner voice. I hugged her and smiled, and
then hugged her again because that’s what a man’s supposed to do
when his wife tells him she’s pregnant, and I didn’t want to be the
jerk who says, “How did this happen?”
But on the inside that’s precisely what I was thinking.
When The Bride and I were dating, she told me she wanted five
kids. I wanted a kid, too. One kid. Sometime in the indefinite future.
Recently, I’d warmed up to the idea of preparing to think about the possibility of eventually setting a time to have a discussion about
the pros and cons of making a baby.
But I wasn’t ready just yet.
Our conversations about kids always stayed superficial. They felt
similar to our conversations about moving to Africa to start a charity
for impoverished children. Both topics were fun to talk about, but
we’d probably never get around to doing either. In fact, the only
concrete plan I was aware of was an April backpacking trip through
Europe, and though I knew this would be a bad time to bring it up, when I finally regained the ability to speak, the first thing I said
was, “So, I guess Europe’s out?”
It’s not that I don’t like kids, I do. However, I am an adventure-
seeking, ocean enthusiast that needs an alarm to wake by 10 AM. You don’t give a guy like me a baby. I can’t even remember to park
my car on the opposite side of the street every Tuesday for street sweeping. How could I possibly take care of another living human person? Besides, our lifestyle wasn’t conducive to parenthood. We were too busy going out with friends and consuming large quantities
of alcohol as a means to numbing all the mental anguish that the
institution of marriage brings upon one’s life.
The Bride expressed that she was surprised to have gotten
pregnant only two weeks since she’d gone off the pill. When she said this, I was struck by the realization that I didn’t remember having a conversation about her quitting the pill. She insists the conversation happened and most likely it did. I imagine the declaration was woven somewhere into the fabric of her daily
nagging, so it probably went in one ear and out the other.
“Matt, take out the trash. Matt, pick up some eggs after work.
Matt, I’m getting off the pill. Matt, your mother called.”
I love The Bride very much. However, for the sake of my own sanity, I have to tune her out at times. But I’m not the only one in our home with selective hearing. The Bride stopped listening to me right after I said, “I do.” Sometimes, when I catch her in the act of pretending to listen, I’ll say something random like, “Honey, there’s a baby raccoon dressed up as a pirate performing fellatio on
Optimus Prime outside our window.”
“That’s nice, Matthew.”
Anyway, after I felt I’d shared the appropriate number of hugs with the woman whom I’d impregnated, I excused myself, stepped into my home office, and had a proper freak-out.
I was slightly calmer when I returned to the living room. “What do you think of the name Kiefer?” she asked, smiling.
“I think it’s silly to pick a name so soon. The embryo is still smaller than gnat poop.”
Many weeks later, we had an ultrasound and the doctor declared that we’d be having a baby boy. I was relieved. Because of all the alcohol and drugs I’d consumed in my youth, I feared something crazy was growing in her uterus, like maybe some kind of mutant
lizard baby, or something resembling Sigourney Weaver’s offspring in Alien, or maybe something really terrifying, like a Civil War re-
After learning the baby’s gender, I wanted to go out and celebrate before coming home to recreate the miracle of our creation. The Bride had different ideas. She brought home a pregnancy book and kept me up half the night dropping knowledge on me, such as the
fact that it would require a total 75,000 calories to create our baby, and the fact that his first bones would be generated around day
The factoids were interesting, but I had really been hoping for a more adult themed celebration. The little ball-buster hadn’t even reached the second trimester and he was already cock-blocking me. Little did I know that cock-blocking would become his greatest skill.
I was pretending to listen as The Bride described the development
of fetal fingernails when suddenly she dropped the book excitedly
and said: “I got it! Let’s name him Keller.”
Keller, so that’s your name. Just remember, pal—I saw her first.
Once we gave him a name, the idea of having a baby felt a little more real, which made it both more exciting and scarier. It seems
silly now, but at the time, I was afraid that a baby would cause me to
lose my edge. I’m a free-thinking seeker who believes in equality
and love and the magical healing powers that are generated when
one kisses a pretty girl in a sundress on a warm afternoon. I worried that fatherhood would change me into a suit-wearing dork who coached soccer and joined the Elks Club.
I hoped it would be possible to remain true to myself, become best buddies with my son, and also be a good father. I believed it
was possible. But, really, what did I know?
Nothing. I knew nothing. So, I needed to read up and educate
myself about fatherhood. I wasn’t interested in reading self-help books because most self-help authors are damaged people who are one bad day away from joining the Zombie Apocalypse and eating
their neighbor’s faces off. What I wanted to read was a book about fatherhood written by a normal dad who felt the same kind of
trepidation I was feeling.
Pregnancy revolves around the woman, and rightfully so. However, it also affects the man. We have to learn how to deal with
becoming second-rate citizens in our own homes, the cessation of
our sex lives, and the pregnancy hormones that change our loved
ones into rabid, carnivorous beasts who sustain themselves on the
souls of men.
At Barnes & Noble, I found books written by doctors, and I found book after book written by women about breastfeeding, asshole
husbands, and postpartum depression, but I found nothing written
by a normal dad about being a dad. So, I decided to write my own book, one that would offer an honest accounting of raising a
newborn, warts and all, so that the next time a scared, expecting
father walked into a bookstore, he’d be able to find a book written by a regular guy who had also been scared shitless.
Listen, fellas, fatherhood is a crazy ride. At times, you’re going to want to sneak out the back door, drive to Mexico, assume the name
Marco Villanueva, start a marijuana farm and surround yourself
with sexy, 6-foot-tall supermodel bodyguards like a militant Middle
Eastern dictator. However, you won’t do this. Why not? Because
fatherhood is the most wonderful experience of your life (or at least
this is what you will tell people when you think your wife might be listening).
But seriously, fatherhood is pretty amazing. And fellas, just remember—after it all shakes out, you’re going to be okay.
If this post made you giggle, then please follow:
This is the first chapter from my second book, “Daddy Versus The Suck Monster” – you can buy it on Amazon for $.99 if you enjoy this sort of thing. Click below:
When I get yelled at by Mommy-Know-It-Alls who think I’m being too physically rough when playing with my small boys, what I tell them is sometimes life is rough. I want my sons to begin learn that life is hard, sometimes you lose, and things don’t always go the way you want it. You’ve got to have thick skin and you’ve got to be tough to make it in this world. You can play nerf football with a child so that he doesn’t break his nose when he misses a catch, but you can’t nerf the world for him when he grows up.
As a teen, I learned that you can’t nerf the world when a school bully stuffed my head in a shit-filled toilet and flushedit. In junior high, at the age of 13, when most kids started turning into men, I had the body of an eight year old anemic boy with a tape worm and the face of an acne infested computer whiz. I sustained more beatings than Tina Turner and Rihanna added together and multiplied by Ray Rice’s wife, and I was called so many different horrible nicknames that I forgot my real name for at least a decade. I was locked inside school lockers and left there. I’ve had so many wedgies that I actually learned a strategy for making them less painful (you just relax and breath and let it happen, resisting only makes the pain worse) People often ask me why I don’t wear underwear. I typically give some bull-shit answer about wanting to feel free down there. But the truth is that I’m scarred. Just looking at a pair of tighty whities gives me horrific flashbacks to the wedgies of yesteryear. I was beaten up many times. Most of the time it was because I had a big smart mouth and a tiny little body. I would never advocate for bullying, but I recognize that bullying serves a purpose. From the beatings I recieved, I became tougher. You can’t hurt me with words at this point in my life; it’s simply not possible. Physically, I’ve become a pretty tough guy. Ive boxed, I know how to fight, I’ve survived nine neck surgeries and at 44 years old I still rock climb and work out daily. But as a kid… well, I could take physical pain, but I wasn’t very mentally tough at all.
Of all the embarrasing stories of yesteryear, one in particular stands out. It was late fall of 1989 in Berwick, Pennsylvania. I was a 16 year old junior in high school. It was a typical December day in PA, 22 degrees but it felt like negative 400. You couldn’t spit while outdoors because, inevitably, some of that spit would freeze to your face and everyone would assume that you’d walked into school with a fresh load on your face. High school football season had just ended, so most of the town was cranky and bored because high school football was the only thing the town had going for it back then. Basketball season had started weeks earlier; we had one win and seven losses, but it didn’t matter, because the football team had finished state finals and tonight was the first night the football players would rejoin our team and save us from a disastrous season.
I was the starting point guard up until the football players returned; which was nice, but it was really no big deal, because I had bigger things ahead of me. I was on my way to becoming the world’s next Spud Webb… Unless I got another growth spurt, then I’d be the world’s next Larry Bird. Either way, one day, probably in five or six years, I’d be in the NBA (depending on if they let me come out of college early or not). Otherwise, I’d just wasted half my youth spending countless lonely nights working on my jumpshot at the school playground with spit freezing to my face and my dick occasionally freezing to my ballsack (yes, that can actually happen if you get sweaty in freezing weather).
Anyway, I was the proud owner of a Larry Bird/Magic Johnson rookie card, which is now worth some money, or it would be, if I hadn’t torn it into three separate pieces. This card was an old style basketball card that had three players on it and perforations between the players. I’d cut Magic and the other guy off my card because Magic played for the Lakers, and as far as I was concerned, he was pretty much either Satan, or Satan’s butt buddy. I laminated Larry, and stapled him to the inside of my jersey for luck.
In hindsight, this is stupid for a few reasons:
1 – Stapling something to the inside of a piece of athletic clothing is self-mutilation. By the end of every game I’d have a bloody nipple, and by mid-season my left nipple was so calloused that it could deflect bullets.
2 – There’s really no good reason for an adult male, after the onset of puberty, to carry a basketball card around with him.
We’re getting blown out by the opposition. I started the game as point guard because the coach was trying to be loyal to those of us that had been there since the start of the season, but since the football players were back, my start lasted about 30 seconds, and then I was pulled out for a football player we all referred to as “Star Man.” Star Man was a great athlete with a man’s body, and I was a 5’8” boy that was built Ann Coulter, but with less muscle, so even though I had a sick cross-over and a mad jumper, I couldn’t complain. Regardless, we made a late run in the fourth quarter to get closer. Star Man got in foul trouble and I got back into the game. Then, myself, and two other guys, in successive possessions, drained three pointers to pull to within two points. There was ten seconds left, and the other team was inbounding the ball. We had no timeouts.
They inbounded the ball, my teammate rattled the ball handler and forced him into making an awkward pass. I cut into the lane, stole the ball, and dribbled down the court. I was about to make the tying lay-up to send it to overtime. Of course, in overtime, I’d win it for us and be carried off the court by my teammates and delivered into the wanting arms of the hottest hottie of all hotties from our high school, a beautiful Italian girl with light olive skin and hair that was personally woven by the Virgin Mary. Her name was Claudia. Impressed by my athletic prowess and 7” biceps, she would dump her Quarterback boyfriend, fall in love with me, and we’d probably make, like, seventeen babies, because not even birth control could stop our powerful chemical attraction. I was playing out this scenario out in my head on my way to the basket; however, the guy whom made the pass had an angle on me. As I went up for the shot, he lunged at me and took out my legs. Nowadays, they’d call it a technical foul. But not back then because people were not such whiney babies back then, and athletes understood that sports were physical. Anyway, a regular foul was called. Immediately, I bounced to my feet, fueled on adrenaline, testosterone, and love.
There is one second remaining.
The other team called timeout to ice the shooter.
You can’t ice me. I’ve got mother fucking ice in my veins, mother fucker! I eat dry ice for lunch and wash it down with frozen Mercury. You can’t fucking ice me!
Our coach said something in the huddle.
I didn’t hear a word of it. I was thinking about the high fives I’d be getting from my teammates and the hugs and kisses from Claudia after I won the game for us. I was thinking about all those douchebags that had given me swirlies in 8th grade that were now watching from the stands- boy was I going to show them. I was smiling in the huddle, the coach kept talking. He sounded like Charlie Brown’s parents. “Whmp, wha, whmp, whmp.”
Maybe Claudia will want me to take her to a beer party. Or maybe Lisa (last year’s hottie of the year) will hear about my game winner, and come home from college just to make-out with me.
“Matt!” he yells.
“What Dad!?!” Yes, my dad was the coach, did I not mention that?
“You hear me?”
“Now, do what I said! But first, get out there and make those shots!”
“They’re already made,” I said.
Now, when I reflect on what happened next, I still get embarrassed. It creeps me out that I actually did something this weird. These days, when this haunts my dreams, and I do still dream about this moment, upon waking up, I try to convince myself I learned valuable lessons from it. But other than not being an over-confident ass-hat, which I still tend to trend towards, I still don’t really know what those lessons are.
I stepped up to the foul line, the ref hands me the ball, and I put the ball on my hip to strike a pose. I looked at everyone in the game. I eyed the ref. I looked back at my dad. I found my Pop Pop in the stands and gave him a confident nod.
Then, without planning it, or even thinking about it, I reached inside my jersey and ripped out the Larry Bird card. I looked deeply into the eyes of the guy who fouled me, locked eyes with him, showed him the Larry Bird basketball card, and said, “I’m gonna bury these shots just like Larry!” Making sure that I was speaking loudly enough for everyone in the gym to hear.
And when I say people, I mean the other basketball players. And when I say the other basketball players, I mean my teammates. My own teammates were laughing at me.
“What are you doing?” the referee asked, not really sure if I was breaking any rules or not. I’m certain that if you check the annals of basketball history, I was setting a precedent.
The rest of the story doesn’t really matter, I mean, even if I’d made the shots, I’d still be a total dickwad dorkface… but maybe a dorkface of a lesser degree; I dunno, that’s all hypothetical, because─
I put the card in my shorts pocket, took the ball off my hip, winked at the guy who fouled me, lined up the shot, and then-
I clanked it off the back of the rim.
The horn sounded. We lost.
No high fives.
No beer party.
My Dad wouldn’t even look at me.
Even my Pop Pop, a man who would hug his grandchildren and try to suck on our necks to the point of giving us literal hickies every single time he saw one of us, my Pop Pop, the world’s most positive minded person to ever roam the earth, the man who used to tell us, as children, that our farts, “smelled like roses to him,” even that man couldn’t think of anything positive to say. I approached him because nobody else wanted to be near me. “Hey Pop Pop,” I say, head hung low, dejected, looking for a pick me up from good ole’ Pop Pop…
“Umm, yeah. Hey, Matt. Ummm, see you later,” he said. And rather than a hug, he patted me on the back like I were a leper, and then he left, probably hoping that nobody saw him touching me allowing them to make the connection that we might share genetics.
On a positive note, I stopped going to the basketball courts by myself to practice, my dick never froze to my balls again, I started running more, I went to a few beer parties, kissed a few girls, became a track star, and got a Division I track scholarship.
Maybe none of that would have happened had I buried those free throws. Maybe I’d be an even bigger jag-off than I was becoming. Maybe I’d have continued to chase the illusion that I was become an NBA star and impregnate Claudia with seventeen children. Even so, I’d gladly trade in the track scholarship to have made those two free throws, and to have had the common sense to not pull out that damned Larry Bird card.
And as you read this, think about me, right now, sitting in my chair, at my computer, writing this story, and blushing like a 22 year old virgin who’s just seen his cousin’s boobs. (And no, that’s not a story of mine, just a metaphor)
It takes confidence for me to share such an embarrasing story.
This is the type of confidence I hope for my son’s to aquire, without having to sustain so much pain along the way.
I’m of the life philosophy that if I have an opportunity to do something new and different, and that it isn’t likely to cause me harm or harm anyone else, then I should probably take that opportunity and live that experience.
That’s why, when I saw something online about naked yoga in Venice, I had to jump at it. I’m not much into yoga, but I am into weird, so this had my name all over it.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had big hopes.
Warning: before reading further, please know that this story is about to get weird. I don’t want complaints…
You’ve been warned…
There were eleven students in all. There were six girls, and including myself, five guys. The first thing I noticed was our teacher was exactly what you’d want out of a naked yoga instructor. I mean, when Jesus invented naked yoga in the hot desserts of Israel, this was the woman he knew he’d chosen to build his naked yoga church upon. I was completely prepared to quit my job, leave my family, and embark on a life-long commitment of praying to her beautiful temples.
Let me dial back the sexual innuendo a bit, because, if I’m being honest, it turns out that naked yoga is pretty fucking far from sexual.
After the fit teacher, the second thing I noticed was that, for a 44-year-old man, my testicles were in much better shape than most. Well, at least in better shape than this group of naked misfits. Looking at naked dudes doesn’t bother me. Naked dudes looking at me doesn’t bother me. I’m very comfortable with nudity and have never really understood why people get so hung up on it. That said, no man should ever have to see another man’s testicles splayed out on the floor below him when he’s aggressively attempting a deep haunuman split.
Also, I wouldn’t have believed you if you suggested it before this class, but I learned that it’s very possible to see too much of a girl’s vagina.
More about that later… Moving on.
Our brave yogi leader started the class by acknowledging the awkwardness of the nudity and explained how the class was designed to help us get comfortable and confident with our naked bodies.
Then she mentioned how, very often, someone in the class will become aroused and that, when that happens, we should just go on about our practice and not make an issue with it.
Okay then. I knew random boner guy wouldn’t be me. The mere suggestion of the phenomina and subsequent humiliation that would come along with sporting wood in front of everyone was so embarrasing to me that my penis immediately tried to crawl back up into my body to hide.
I guess I wasn’t as body confident and comfortable as I had thought.
I’m a married man, so it’s not like I was in there trying to make some magic happen, but I really hoped nobody noticed the fact that my penis was turtle shelling and my face was as pink as the… well, let’s just move on.
We went into some deep breathing and then began some sun salutations. A sun salutation starts with a breath, then mountain pose, then uttansana flat back, moving on into a plank, into a chaturanga dandasanda, into a cobra, then downward facing dog, a step into a forward bend, and then return to start position to start over.
If you aren’t familiar with those names, don’t feel bad, I’m not either. Basically, you reach for the sky, then touch the ground, move into a serpent pose, and then you present your butt high in the air while keeping your feet and hands on the ground. Anyone with a Pornhub account knows exactly what this looks lik. They call that downward facing dog. In my home, we call that Saturday night with the kids away at a sleep-over.
Anyway, It’s a nice way to get warmed up… when you have clothes on.
But when your dingle dangle is jangling all out and free, as you move from a low plank into a serpent position, you get some quality friction on the ribbed yoga mat, which, combined with the blood flow thats going through your warming body, combined with the nearly perfect tokus of the sun-stained surf hippie who’s in downward dog about 36 inches from your 3 o’lock, and you have pretty much the right ingredients to get your shy little turtle guy to come out of his shell.
At any rate, we did the sun salutations for about ten or fifteen minutes and it achieved exactly what it was supposed to do; it completely emptied my head and put me into my own little yoga zen mode. I might as well been in that room alone, I was immersed in my practice, and completely lost in the buzz of euphoric serotonin blasts.
Not for one second did I lose myself in that class. I was doing naked yoga with ten other naked people, and that, along with the stench of sweaty naked bits, was overpowering whatever it is that yoga is supposed to accomplish for ones peace of mind.
I don’t know what the rest of the poses were that we did in the class. I honestly can’t remember. The situation was so odd that I wasn’t really able to pay attention to the instruction, and instead I tried to use most of my powers of concentration to not stare at the other people.
Or at least to not get caught staring at them.
So, about the other people; the class was a mixed bag. As mentioned, there was the teacher, hand-picked by Jesus himself. There was the sun-stained surfer/hippie girl, whom I noticed had very long and very blonde armpit hairs.
That was probably the least unusual thing about anyone in the class. If I’m being honest, she was the most normal of all the students. Myself included.
One of the girls wasn’t really a girl at all, but more like an old-lady… probably sixty-five or seventy, but maybe ninety; hard to say. Her skin was a rich leathery brown, her old lady boobs looked like the kind of old worn-out sweatsocks that Larry Bird would’ve worn in 1985, except that these sweatsocks were being stretched to their limits by two gigantic softballs that were hanging in the ends of them. Actually, one sock had a softball and one had only a baseball.
There was a pregnant lady, and she wasn’t, like, two months pregnant, we’re talking 3rd trimester pregnant, deep into it, possibly in class with the hope of giving birth to her weird hippie baby right in the middle of naked yoga in Venice. There was a guy that looked to also be in his third trimester that appeared to be with her, but it’s possible that he was just a fat guy that was flirting with her. It’s also possible that he was actually in his 3rd trimester. I mean, we are talking about Venice California here.
There was a black girl who was legitimately the darkest person I’d ever seen. She stood at least 6’5” and had to be 200 pounds. If we lost power in that room, she would be invisible and she could take us all out in mere seconds. I wondered if that was her master plan. She’d been sent by the Westboro Baptist Church to assassinate the sinners. That said, she didn’t have an ounce of fat on her. She looked like a vampire from Blade that had come up against Wesley Snipes, killed him, sucked out all his blood, absorbing his skin pigment, and doubling her size in the process. In this day and age of political correctness, I don’t want to use the descriptor “Amazonian,” but I honestly can’t think of a better descriptive word for her. I dunno… maybe we could go with intergalactic superhero from planet SRC-32. Other than our teacher (hand-picked by Jesus) she was the most attractive person in the class.
There was a beautiful Asian girl with skin that looked like she had had been bathing herself in coco butter since birth, she had soft subtle breasts, and long flowing perfect Asian hair that almost always angers black and white girls. It angers them so much that they eventually run out and buy it for their own heads. Then, next to her, by contrast, another beautiful Asian girl, but this one with dreadlocks, and armpit hair. Exactly thirty-three percent of the female students of this class had armpit hair.
Not surprising at all.
The surfer/hippie blonde with armpit hair didn’t surprise me one bit, but the Asian with the armpit hair threw me off. She was more awkward than the pregnant woman and the pregnant dude that was hitting on her.
And it got worse than that.
While sitting in sukasana, with her bare buttocks on her sweaty rubbery yoga mat, this pitted Asian girl farted.
And it was loud.
This fart sounded exactly like it sounds when my 7-year-old tries to fake a gross fart noise with his mouth.
And it smelled.
It smelled the way you would expect a fart to smell coming from a girl with armpit hair.
Like old dates and boiled asparagus with a subtle hint of patchouli.
Now, the teacher had warned us how to behave if anyone happened to get “excited” (and someone did; I’ll get to that later); however, she didn’t give us advanced instructions on how to handle it when an attractive Asian with armpit hair and dreadlocks farts out of her bare buttocks onto her moist rubbery yoga mat when she’s three feet away from you on your left side.
So, not being properly educated on the do’s and don’t’s of naked yoga farts, I did what I always do when someone farts in public. First, I laughed, and then I said “not it.”
There was an old man with a giant, dense gray man bush that completely hid what was most likely a micro-penis and he also caught the giggles. I felt the entire class was about to share a special moment and bond over this beautiful fart when Jesus’ little helper stepped in to ruin our fun.
“Making air is normal and natural and healthy. It’s the body trying to cleanse itself of toxins.”
“Yeah, and now we all might have toxic shock,” I thought to myself.
The old man to my right with the giant gray old man bush stood up at this point and said, “this is weird. I’m leaving.”
And then he left.
He was right, it was weird. If you came to see some sexy naked girls, you’d be better off going to Bare Elegance or something like that. If you came for the exercise, you’d be better off going to clothed yoga, or, as the rest of the world calls it- yoga. The only reason in the world to come to naked yoga was to experience of the complete weirdness of it, so I don’t know why he stated this in such a way as to suggest that the weirdness had surprised him. I mean, what was this old man thinking? He’d come to naked yoga, impress some young 22-year-old Asian with armpit hair by the amount of bend in his hips during his downward dog? That she’d be wowed by his micro penis, leave with him, and they’d spend the rest of his short life making love in his dirty studio apartment in Venice?
Yes brother, it’s weird! That’s the whole point.
At any rate, I thank that old man for laughing with me so that I wasn’t the only one, and I also thank him for his micro-penis. It made me feel much better about my situation. I mean, I think he had a micro-penis buried somewhere in that gray fur disaster, but I couldn’t actually see anything through that dense forrest of depression and I didn’t have a weed whacker handy, so I’ll never know for sure.
The forth guy in our class obviously came just to show off, during halasana (a pose in which you lie on your back and put your legs up over your head) he was not too shy about the fact that his little buddy was kissing his collar bone. The fifth guy, who, unfortunately had his yoga mat right next to halasana man barely had enough penis weight for it to even hang in the downward position when doing halasana. One of them was black and one was Asian, but I’m not going to say who was who because we don’t do racial stereotypes here; it’s not that kind of story.
During the final sequence of the class is when I made the executive decision that it is possible to see too much of a vagina. I mean, with third trimester lady directly in front of me, I saw more than I’ve seen of a woman’s vagina since The Bride gave birth to our second son.
The guy with the pregnancy fetish started getting wood. He had a solid 50% boner and was on his way to 75%. It was way more awkward than was armpit hair farter. If he gained another 10% in volume, he was going to eclipse me.
That shouldn’t have mattered to me, but shit, I’m competitive, so I couldn’t let that happen. I tried working up a twenty percenter. I didn’t want to sport anything serious; I just wanted one of those first stagers that sort of takes the wrinkles out of the little fella. I mean, there was nothing erotic about this class, but my competitive inner male monkey was starting to surface and take over. I knew I stood no chance against halasana collar-bone dick dude, but I was clearly the favorite to come in second place, and I had to think that counted for something. Anyway, I just couldn’t get anything working, nothing. And pregnancy perv totally got to about 75%, which put me in 3rd place, and now that micro-peni old man was gone, I was 3rd out of 4. I would’ve expected that to bum me out, but honestly, it didn’t. I was too busy being completely creeped out by the fact that this dude was getting erect, right in front of all of us, at the sight of 3rd trimester bent over in a downward dog, and he didn’t even seem to care in the slightest that we were all clearly judging him for his weird pregnancy fetish boner. I’ll never know for sure if the girl was with him or not, but I’m guessing not because when she caught a glimpse of his 75%er, she picked up her mat and left the class.
I won’t criticize her like I did the old man. I mean, there is such a thing as “too weird” and this guy went there.
I’m just wondering what the hell would lead a pregnant woman to go to a naked yoga class in the first place?
I won’t speculate. That only ever gets me in trouble. Let’s just say I found it odd.
Anyway, look, The Dad is here to do naked yoga and other kinds of things for your entertainment purposes. I do things, much of the time, just for the sake of doing them, living life, and coming out of it with a story. Some of the time, these things are amazing and I highly recommend them.
And some of the time, these things aren’t worth much. They turn out to be nothing more than an Asian hippie dropping a wet fart bomb followed by a pervo with a pregnancy fetish sporting wood, and I’ve taken the bullet for you.
I do not recommend naked yoga. Unless you really want to see a real life micro-penis or you have the desire to see what a baby’s head looks like while it’s still in utero, or unless you just want the experience for the experience, there’s not much to be gained from naked yoga. If nudity is your thing, skip it, grab some beers, spend a day on a nude beach playing volleyball. If your not into nudity, then skip the nude beach and just go play some volleyball.
Either way, thumbs down on naked yoga.
But it does get a 9.5 out of 10 on the weird scale, and that’s worth something.
Her- “My bathing suits don’t look good on me anymore.”
Him- “Yes. It’s their fault. Those ass-holes.”
Her- “Don’t be a jerk!”
Him- “I think you look beautiful. I like all your new curves.”
Her- “Not helping.”
Him- “All I’m saying is that the bathing suits look the same as they did last year. If you don’t like how you look in them, then fix it.”
Him- “You know how. Exercise more. Eat less.”
Her- “I do.”
Her- “I do.”
Him- “Then I guess you’re doing all you can. The situation is hopeless.”
Her- “See, just be on my side. That’s all I want.”
Him- “Noted. The fucking bathing suit is an oppressive devil and the way you fight an oppressive devil is with donuts and ice cream.”
Her- “Too far.”
Most rationale people look at something like Scientology and see it as being a cult. However, those same people might look at Mormonism or Catholicism and view them as completely legitimate ways of life. And that’s fine. To each their own.
However, if all “religions” agree that there is only one true God and one true way, then, by definition, doesn’t that mean that there is only one true religion, and the rest are all cults?
Seems to me the thing separating religion from cult is how long that particular school of practice has been in existence. I mean, most people agree that Scientology is a “cult” but that’s only because we have actual color photography of its founder.
I imagine if we had photographs of Peter the apostle throwing back brewskis with his boys and drooling over the wenchs serving their beer, that we might collectively decide that the Catholic Church is also a cult.
Bullies provide a service for a society.
Now hear me out-
I’ve always been confident. Even when I had no reason to be.
I’ve always been very positive. Even when things have been bad.
I was also small and I had a smart mouth on me.
So, I got picked on and bullied, A LOT, as a kid. I could’ve crumped, crawled into a shell, and let the bullies win. I could’ve become meager and fragile.
I never did. I always fought back. I got beat up and I got shoved in lockers and had my head stuffed in toilets. I got made fun of, and I took it all in. I never cried, I never tattled, I never let them win.
It made me strong, and from all that, and from small tragedies that have happened since, I’ve learned that, if you stay positive, work hard, and always keep trying, things usually work out in the end.
This “confidence”, this certainty that I’m always going to land on my feet, this complete lack of worry and anxiety, and my willingness to always be honest with my thoughts, ideas, and feelings, this puts some people off, and it makes some people confuse my confidence with arrogance.
I’m okay with that because I don’t need everyone to like me. That’s never been a concern for me.
Once you realize that you are in control of the outcomes of your own life and that others can not hurt you with words or disapproval, you can be free and confident and positive.
Bullying is bad, and we should, of course, try to stop it. That said, it’s a valuable service to society. It can lead people to taking control of their own emotions and their own life and it can help put them on a path towards strength.
I fully believe I’m better for having been bullied.
My kids are small and they’ve got some spunk and sharp senses of humor. They aren’t going to shrink,l in with the wallpaper. This will likely lead to some bullying. I will arm my kids with the physical and mental tools to protect themselves in these situations.
I will not fight their battles for them.
Our society would be much healthier if we were all equipped with the mental and emotional tools we needed to fight our own battles. Instead, we’ve begun a society of self-victimization. This is not good for our future.
The reason Mexico has changed from a lovely destination to an unsafe destination in the past few decades is because of our war on drugs. Alcohol prohibition is what gave rise to the Italian Mafia in the 30’s. There’s always been a market for mind-altering substances and there always will be. You make them illegal and you create a black market for these substances. That black market always brings violence to our streets. It happened with prohibition and the Italian mafia, and now it’s happened, present times, with Mexican drug cartels.
Regardless of how you feel about “drugs” (everything we ingest is a drug. Everything you take into your body reacts, chemically, with your brain. “Drug” is just a word we invented to put a taboo on certain chemicals because we want to stigmatize the effect of those chemicals); anyway, regardless of how you feel about “drugs” there is no denying the simple fact that decriminalizing them and allowing the sale of them will take power away from the dangerous entities that are running them on the black market.
The best way to win the drug war is by legalizing.
The best way to make our streets safe is by legalizing.
The best and most simple way to immediately cut government spending is to stop locking people up for drug use and sales.
Regardless of how you feel about “drugs” there is no denying that nearly all of them have some positive effects.
Yes, they have negative effects.
However, so does McDonalds, sugar, bacon, dairy, etc, etc, etc. Should those things be made illegal too?
Are we a free society or not?
The answer is that we are not. We are not free to choose what we want to do with our bodies and our lives. We are locked up for doing things that harm nobody other than ourselves.
If something causes no harm to others, then it should be an individual choice.
I’ve been singing this song for years. I’m glad California has gotten with the program on marijuana. Soon, we will be doing the same with mushrooms. I hope we do the same for all illegal “drugs” Ideallly, we should do the same for prostitution as well.
Telling women they can’t use their bodies to make a living is crazy.
How can you pay someone to enter a war and kill another person, but allow someone to use their body to give another person pleasure?
How can it be legal for a man to buy a woman an expensive gift, and for her to sleep with him as a reward (this happens, don’t kid yourselves), but it not be legal for a direct exchange of cash for sex?
We are hypocrites and our laws make no sense, and rarely do we go through the mental gymnastics to consider them. We are passive and weak and we accept what Daddy tells us without challenging it.
When I was a kid, I constantly asked my father “why” – he would usually say “because I said so.” Nothing made me angrier.
Always ask “why” – my 8 year old constantly asks this question, and if I don’t have a good reason for him, I realize I’m wrong, and I let him win the discussion.
We need to start asking our government “why” a lot more often, and we need to refuse anything that is illogical for an answer.
It’s time for a brief lesson in evolution, anecdotally, to help us all understand, just a bit, why men are the way they are and why women are the way they are, and why we need to stop the narrative of “there’s no difference between men and women” and that “it’s all a social construct.”
These are my 8 year old’s teeth.
His face looks like the result of what happens when an old-world British lady fucks a goat.
When I was a kid, I had the same gnarly teeth, and I too had to walk around with a big ugly mug everywhere I went.
Thanks to medical science, I was able to get my teeth fixed with braces. However, had that technology not existed, I would still be walking around with those hideous chompers and it’s very possible I’d have never found a woman to kiss me, let alone reproduce with me.
That said, my teeth were fixed, I became a handsome bastard, and now I have babies. I passed my genetics for these root-rooter teeth on to my first born, and he will now undergo the same corrective process.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Evolution is determined by the natural selection of certain genetics over others.
Before the existence of braces, I may not have found a lover, and my garbage disposal teeth gene would’ve died with me.
Likewise, it’s not random that men are attracted to women with large breasts or big hips. It’s not random that women are attracted to tall men with broad shoulders. We don’t like these things simply because they “look good,” the question is why do these things look good to us?
The answer lies, again, in the natural selection process. Thousands of years ago, and all the way up until modern medicine, the infant mortality rate was over 40%. Almost half of all babies died for a whole variety of reason. Women with larger breasts were more likely to be able to adequately feed their children and thus their children were more likely to survive. Women with wide hips were more likely to be able to give birth without complications resulting in death to either the mother or child. Tall men with broad shoulders were stronger and more likely to be able to protect their children and wives from physical danger and consequently they were more likely to survive.
The result of all that is that those genes were more likely to be naturally selected, men became more attracted to women with large breasts, and women became more attracted to men with broad shoulders without anyone really being cognizant of why.
In the modern world, there is a strong selection for intelligence as we’ve entered a day and age in which intelligence is more indicative of future success than is brute physical strength. In high school, most girls still connect with their inner monkey and are attracted to the big jock studs; however, I would imagine that, in a thousand years or so, that would likely be bred out of them and you will see the school nerds dominating the popularity index.
This theory (and it’s more than a theory) can be applied to “racial” characteristics as well. I put racial in quotes because race IS actually a social construct. There is no biological difference between black people, white people, Asian people and Latino people. Our race is human. However, there are physical genetic differences in us based on thousands of years of separate evolution in different areas of the world.
Black people have evolved their darker skin due to the conditions of Africa. The sun is more brutal in Africa, white skin simply wouldn’t cut it. People with light skin, in a day and age before sunblock, would be more likely to die early from skin cancer, and thus less likely to pass on their genetics for their skin’s low concentration of melanin.
We can examine nearly every genetic characteristic that is associated with any group of people to explain why they are different, even those characteristics that reside within a group of people that we consider to be less than ideal. However, in today’s political correctness world, we not only ignore these realities, but we deem it “racist” or “sexist” to even discuss them.
It is neither of those things. It’s just scientific reality.
My child has a face like an opossum because his dad did.
I gave him those genes because I was able to get those teeth fixed and still find a beautiful mate in spite of my genetics.
He will get his teeth fixed because we can afford it and those genetics will be passed on.
This anecdotal story is a super, over-simplified and humorous explanation that can help us to understand the complex biological differences between us.
It’s okay to acknowledge that we are different.
We are all human.
We all deserve EQUAL RIGHTS.
This does not make us all equal.
We are not equal.
Today, on a hike, I caught site of two tiny little mice. They were darting out on the hiking path, grabbing some crumbs of what resembled some kind of power bar that was likely left behind by another hiker, and then they’d dart back behind the bush and repeat.
I couldn’t tell if they were going behind the bushes to eat the crumbs and then returning for more because they weren’t satisfied, or if they were working as a team and feeding other mice that were hiding out in the bushes.
To be honest, it could’ve been more than two mice. I could definitely tell two of them apart, but I’m no mice expert and its possible that what I thought was two, darting in and out, was really several.
Anyway, I watched for about five minutes, trying to figure out what was going on. I don’t know why, but I was riveted.
Then, out of nowhere, this feral cat leaps, grabs one of the mice, and disappears with it.
There was about ten seconds of stillness, and then that other mouse came back out, grabbed more crumbs, and went about his business.
Maybe there is no sense of loss between mice.
Maybe they’re so used to the carnage that they move on from it quickly.
Maybe it’s so difficult for them to keep themselves fed that they have no choice but to persevere.
I can’t be sure.
All I know for sure is that I’d rather be a cat, than a mouse.
Be a fucking cat.
I went for a jog on the beach today and ran by a young handsome fella who was participating in a photo shoot for some periodical. This handsome SOB was wearing a suit and tie on the beach, which was already weird, but what pushed it over the point of being tolerable to this middle aged jogger was that he was rolling around in the ocean, in his suit and tie, with a surfboard while a douchebag photographer showered him in superlatives and compliments while snapping pictures.
I was about to walk up to him and smack him upside his handsome sculpted millennial noggin to inform him that, as a former surfer, I’m 100 percent confident that nobody in the world surfs with a suit and tie on, but a few steps shy of doing so I stopped myself.
“Wait, Matt, you used to be that douchebag. You had better cheekbones, sure, but otherwise, you were that douchebag. Cut him some slack.”
Like a lot of handsome young dummies full of testosterone and red hot American ambition, I came out to Los Angeles hoping to snag a piece of that Hollywood dream. I did all kinds of silly photo shoots for a couple dollars, and even some more embarrassing ones for free. I know they were embarrassing because my loving family reminds me of how embarrassing they were at least once every couple months by digging up an old picture and sending it back to me in a group text for the entire family to laugh over together.
I’d bet this handsome kid had yet to be anywhere near as foolish as I was. I tried to act. I ended up doing six or seven C level horror films starring C-list celebrities like Lorenzo Lamas, Lemmy from Motörhead, and Ron Jeremy. I did a couple weeks on a daytime soap opera, dating shows, reality shows, infomercials, and several national commercials, and those were the highlights.
I did some modeling, and modeling for a guy can get sketchy. It means doing things like rolling around in the ocean in a suit and tie and pretending to surf, or worse, it could mean posing naked in the ocean, with a surfboard, like I did in the picture below.
I was sent on a private modeling gig to David Geffen’s house for an event. When I arrived, I learned that I was the event. The other models I was told would be there were not there. David and I hung out and eventually he wanted a happy ending to our hang.
He did not get a happy ending.
I complained to my booker and he basically told me that this is how it goes “in the biz.”
I got a modeling as a greeter for a birthday party for Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I had to stand outside her front door, wearing nothing but a loin cloth, and feed grapes to all the females entering the party. It was humiliating, but if I’m being honest, it was the kind of humiliation that a guy like me can get behind.
The Teenage Witch deal wasn’t my only loin cloth gig. I was hired to play a Greek God statue outside a celebrity charity even in Hollywood. My entire body was covered in gold, again I wore onlya loin cloth, and I had to pretend to be a statue for two hours. It was about 55 degrees and I was way to cold to maintain statue pose, not to mention that I was feeling a bit overexposed and my Grecian “grapes” were attempting to hibernate, leaving me feeling unimpressive to the A-list actresses that were passing by, looking, judging. The proprietors docked my pay for my inability to strike and hold a pose, or maybe they docked it for my unimpressive grapes, I don’t know, whatever, all I know is I got my money’s worth when Jamie Lee Curtis gave me a slap on the ass (#MeToo). Yes, that really happened.
Like all wanna-be actors, I got roped into an over-priced acting class. For the first time in my life, I became teacher’s pet. You would think that was good, but in this case, not so much. Being teacher’s pet ended with me being somewhat pushed into a sexual relationship with her unattractive daughter in a move that I can only describe to you as being very Harvey Weinstein-ish. That said, doing so, in the crazy fucked up world of Hollyweird ended up parlaying into me being asked to attend a private acting session with one of her A-list actresses to help her rehearse for an upcoming audition. It was a romance and there was kissing and I’ve bragged to this to almost everyone I know, so, all-in-all, sleeping with the teacher’s unattractive daughter was a price worth paying in order to get to suck face with this attractive A-lister.
At one point, I got sucked into a gig that actually turned out to be a front for an underage porn ring being run by a former assistant football coach from the University of Pittsburgh. Once I caught wind of it, I went to the police and they allowed me to do some legit undercover type shit. It was one of the more exciting things Ive ever been a part of, and some day I’ll have to tell that entire story front to back, but that time is not now.
I landed a contract for a calendar gig. I thought it would be eleven other dudes and myself pretending to be firemen or some shit, but in another twist, when I got there, it was just me. Twelve months of Matty boy wearing an American flag speedo in some odd calendar that I can only assume was for really gay people who were also super patriotic. If people weren’t suspecting my sexually before this calendar, they definitely were after. In fact, the photographer, at the end of the shoot, felt the need to tell me that I had gotten him very excited and that he might love me. He then proceeded to stalk me for no less than one year. I’d often find him sitting on my stoop when I’d get home from work. Regardless of how often I called the cops, this continued, until finally I beat him up, took his camera, and ran over it with my car.
Even when I wasn’t getting paid, I was making a spectacle of myself. I was something of a junkie for trying to raise the stakes at any event. I liked to push boundaries. I was playing in a charity volleyball tournament, we were in the semi-finals, and we were losing, so I negotiated five points for my team by taking off my pants and doing a half mile loop around the beach (To all the mothers and young children, I’m sorry). We still lost the match, but at least I gave a lot of people a memory they’d never forget, no matter how hard they tried.
So, jogging today, I wanted to smack that kid and tell him that he might regret his decision to do this one day. But I didn’t. Though I didn’t want to see it at first, he was just chasing a dream, like I was. I’m hoping he makes it. I’m hoping he turns himself into the next Ashton Kuchter or whomever the newest young male model is that made it into a big star. Good for him for chasing his dreams. Too many people are afraid to go for it because they’re afraid to look silly or they’re afraid to fail. So what if he looks like a total dickwad in his suit, rolling around in the ocean- he’s going for it, and for that alone he should be proud. He’s more courageous than at least 90% of the people I know, who really want something, but have never taken step one towards getting it.
Or, possibly, he’s just a total douche.
Now preceding, Judge Walker-
Judge- Okay, people, today’s first case, we have the family of an 8 year old boy versus the neighbors across the street.
Prosecution- Yes, your honor, the family invited my clients over to have some bar-b-que and jump on the trampoline. However, there were three broken springs on the trampoline and beneath it was a pit of poisonous snakes. The hosting family was aware of the broken springs and snakes; my client’s child jumped on the trampoline, fell through, and into the pit of poisonous snakes, and now he is paralyzed from the neck down, and is going to have his leg amputated.
Judge- I find the family guilty and liable for one hundred trillion dollars.
Prosecution- Thank you, your honor.
Judge- Okay, today’s second case. We have a woman versus a previous lover.
Prosecution- Yes, your honor, my client, Ms. Jackson, went on a date with Mr. Pimpleskin and retired to his quarters that evening for some furious love making. Mr. Pimpleskin has full blown HIV, and he’s known this for five years. He didn’t inform my client, and he didn’t wear a condom. Now she is lying in the hospital with AIDS.
Judge- I find the defendant not guilty! That is no longer a crime in California.
Prosecution- Your honor, that’s crazy!!!
Judge- That’s the law. Next case.
Prosecution- Oh, I should mention that my client had two beers and her alcohol blood level was .08, and three weeks later in her University Gender’s Study program she learned that regrettable sex, under the influence, is rape. She totally regretted the sex. I mean, duh, he gave her AIDS.
Judge- This is an abomination! The defendant is guilty of rape! Dip him in a vat of honey and throw him in a wolf’s den where they will eat him ass first! You, sir, are a horrible man and you deserve the death penalty!!!
California, my love, I love you, but what the fuck are you doing?
I just heard a statistic that 40% of people under the age of 25 years old don’t identify as either straight or gay, and my mind is blown.
I used to believe that sexual attraction wasn’t a choice; that you were born one way and that’s how it was. I believed that because I could remember being attracted to girls as early as kindergarten. I didn’t choose that, it just was. I had my first kiss in second grade, but it was forced upon me by the friend of the girl I really wanted to kiss. Yes, I’m a victim of sexual assault by a second grader that was bigger than me.
I later “humped” the furry hooded coat of the girl I really liked, during recess (she was not wearing the coat when I humped it)- I called this “tickling” but, in hindsight, this is probably something Harvey Weinstein was doing in second grade. I don’t recall if I asked her permission before humping her furry hooded coat or not. However, I promise you, if you saw this coat, you would’ve humped it too.
We’re getting off topic.
In my late twenties, I dated a girl who had been a lesbian her entire life until we met. Since that time, she’s been straight and is now married to a man. She went thirty years lesbo and now the last 14 straight. She experienced sexual trauma at a young age, and it subconsciously scared her off men. From that experience I learned that trauma can affect and change sexuality.
I also learned that I was able to turn a woman and I manage to work this into 67 percent of the conversations I’ve had since then.
Again, off topic. (But awesome)
A few years ago, I learned about imprinting. This happens mostly with boys and it explains why so many molested boys turn out to be molesters later in life. Something terrible and horrific and tragic happens to them; however, because they don’t know what is going on, it also feels good. This is what is so confusing to them. They are being assaulted and forced into doing something horrific and this damages them for life. At the same time, they forever, subconsciously, associate that with pleasure. Statistically, a VERY high percentage of molested boys become molesters. This doesn’t happen to girls. From this, I learned that there is a LOT that still needs to be learned about sexuality.
Now, today, I’m hearing that 40% of kids under twenty five identify as neither gay nor straight. I guess this means bisexual? Or asexual? I’m honestly not sure. Now, I’m wondering if I had it wrong from jump. Maybe, sexuality is actually a choice. Or maybe its affected by genetics and trauma and choice. Or maybe our sexuality can be impacted by the societal standards of our time. Maybe social norms help form our sexuality. In today’s world, all kinds of things are “acceptable” and “normal” that weren’t when I was a kid. Maybe this actually affects children’s sexuality. Or maybe my generation was repressing things regarding their sexuality without even knowing it.
I’d bet that less than 3% of my generation is unable to identify as gay or straight as compared to the 40% now. That can’t just be due to chance. There’s no way that it increased 37%. Either someone isn’t being honest or societal norms impact sexuality far more than previously believed. There has to be something about the way people are growing up now, in an environment that is more accepting and open to these ideas, that makes them more likely to identify as bisexual or something else altogether.
Now, is it the environment that made them that way? I don’t know. How could I know. I do know; however, that this current generation isn’t the first to identify this way. In Ancient Greece everyone was having sex with everyone else, regardless of gender. That was the norm. Maybe that was the societal norm and maybe that affected the sexuality of the individuals. Maybe that is what we are experiencing now.
I could never see myself being attracted to anyone other than a woman, but maybe, if I were fifteen and growing up in this new era, maybe I’d have turned out differently. Same genetics, same lack of sexual trauma, different setting, different outcome.
Who knows? I certainly don’t. I’m not going to be one of those tough guys that says “no way, not me, bro.”
I’m not homophobic, so that thought doesn’t scare me. I just can’t imagine being attracted to guys. But who knows what affects our sexuality; it gets more complex as I get older and learn things, rather than becoming more simplified.
Basically, we should never pretend to have all the answers.
Also, why does it matter? Why can’t we just accept people for what they are? And why do we have to put labels on our sexuality?
For that matter, why do we have to discuss it so often? Why is our society so obsessed with sexuality and labels? Why am I discussing it right now?
Sexuality is just one more way to play identity politics, and it’s probably no good for us to inject it into every conversation just like it’s not good to inject “race” into every conversation.
That said, understanding these things may help us figure out a way to stop pedophilia from occurring.
So let’s leave it to the scientists and let’s stop judging one another in the meantime.
I watched the new Superman with my son the other night and I had a realization… I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Sci-Fi movie in which other-worldly aliens lived on their home planet separated countries?
If there is a movie like this, I’m unaware of it.
If aliens are able to leave their planet and travel the galaxy, they are more evolved than us, and it would seem that the idea of having separate countries on a single planet doesn’t feel right in a story line about higher evolved beings.
It seems then that arbitrary borders are a very antiquated idea.
At some point, as we continue to evolve and progress, you would hope we’d reach a point where we would do away with the arbitrary make-believe lines that we draw in the dirt between us.
In the modern age of the internet, where all information is shared globally, an age in which all the air that we breathe is the same, an age in which pollution is no longer local and affects us globally, and an age in which we’ve come to learn that we have much more in common than not, doesn’t the idea of living on a planet with imaginary lines drawn in the sand already seem out-dated?
I mean, 500 years ago giant walls were built around cities to protect those cities from the neighboring city. We no longer do that, right? Wouldn’t it feel crazy if Los Angeles built a giant fence to keep out all the beach folk from Manhattan Beach and then Manhattan Beach built a giant fence to keep out everyone from Hermosa Beach?
How then is it not crazy that decide that being born within the imaginary boundaries of one patch of dirt means that you can’t go to that other patch of dirt without having special permission.
What are we doing here? It’s non-sense.
I guess, for safety sake, it’s necessary right now to “have borders” and “protect those borders” because there are people in the world that want to harm us. However, maybe if we didn’t have an “ours” and “theirs” society, and all of us were just humans with equal rights to go wherever we wanted, then maybe there wouldn’t be the need to “protect our borders”.
But probably not. That’s probably just some hippy-dippy day dreamer stuff, huh?
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