"Get Out Of My Way"

I want to thank all those married people and single women out there who do not plan to have children. I have dear friends who have children and I'm happy for them. The couples and single women who don't want children have a special place in my heart. None of you get the credit you deserve for your very sensible decision, particularly now that the planet has humans crawling all over it like rabid ant colonies in one of the largest population explosions in the history of mankind with no hope for gainful employment in the foreseeable future.

 

I hold no animus towards those of you who do have kids. I know how special they are to you and I understand that. Most of my friends and colleagues have children. They bring joy and happiness into their lives, despite the difficulty of raising a child in a world that's lost its front end suspension.

 

Here's my concern. Some parents, not all, put their children first in every circumstance in their lives. If a kid screams and hollers on an air flight, say from Tanzania to the Arctic Circle, the rest of us are expected to butch up and say nothing. Not even a frown or a word to the parent who has somehow tuned out the unbearable decibels created by this little out of control flesh and blood, custom designed, screaming machine.

 

My cardiologist advises me to raise my heart rate every day to 130 by strenuously exercising. Afterwards, I place a monitor on the device implanted in my chest which sends a wifi signal to nearby St. Joseph's hospital, to the cardiology unit. As a kid, I sucked at every sport I tried. I can't throw a football, kick a soccer ball, catch a baseball, hit a golf ball, or get a tennis ball over the net. I don't even run well. I jog as if I'd been hit in both legs with rounds fired from a thirty ought six. Things seemed hopeless until one day when I dove into the pool at the YMCA and started swimming. I was a barracuda in the water. I can swim hundreds of yards effortlessly and still have a kick left at the end that makes my last hundred yards as fast as my first.

 

To get my heart rate up I swim without stopping for half an hour a day in a forty yard long pool. I do the crawl. Don't miss a beat. That is, until little kids in the shallow end of the pool decide that I'm some kind of plaything that they can swim in front of and get my rhythm and stroke and breathing all messed up. Today, two kids thought it was fun to get in my way. Their parents did nothing as I plowed into them. This isn't the first time this has happened. Same kids, same parents. I barrel into them. Apparently they can't see a six foot three inch man ramming into them like a German U-boat. I let it go once, then twice, then the third time I had to stand up and yell, "Jesus! Can you get out of my way?" I paralyzed those kids. Apparently their parents had never spoken to them that way in that loud a voice.

 

The parents said nothing, did nothing. My girlfriend who babysits me said, "Why didn't you just tell the parents you were doing laps and to please keep their kids out of the way?"

 

Why should I have to do that? The parents were right there, reading their books, paying no attention to these brats. I had to scold them. God forbid their parents do.

 

So please, if you have children remember: there are a lot of us who do not consider them to be the be all and end all of life in earth. Manage those little gnats or people like me will blow a circuit and do it for you. Those kids will have nightmares for weeks about the giant, mostly naked man who stood up out of the water and bellowed at them like an enraged bull. Maybe they'll think about that the next time they get in a plane and start screaming because they're bored. Maybe their parents will too.