Friday, March 26, 2010

Jackal Ate Your Baby

Good morning and good morning!

*Sigh.*  I've really got to start writing these blog posts on Thursdays, before I've got a chance to read the comments.  There really is nothing like reading Slate comments to put a blight on a spring day that would otherwise be full of sunshine and candyfloss.  The day could start out wonderful and then *BAM*, Cousin Jackal is reminded that the world is full of people who are thrice as judgemental as she is and who have the gall to lob the words "selfish" and "immature" at anyone who does not worship the Cult of the Glorious Infant.  Well, let's get on with it.  The original DP letters can be found here.

Letter 1:
My aging granny is dangling a juicy family secret over my head, hinting that my father is not my grandfather's son.  I've questioned her, and pried, and wheedled, and cajoled, and now I'm ready to move on to rougher tactics.  Can you tell me how to build a Salem-style dunking chair so I can wrest the information I want out of the old witch?  Or should I just put her on the rack?

Dear Hey Torquemada, Whaddaya Say?,
Granny is either hoping (stupidly) that giving you this information will ease your fears about your father getting Alzheimer's, or she's gone batshit caring for your grandfather all by her lonesome.  And yes, she's *given* you the information, because you don't need a magic decoder ring to get the message here.  If she dropped any bigger of a hint it would make a crater the size of Lake Tahoe.  In any case, howsabout we play some chess?  This is a special kind of chess that tells the future.  Intrigued?  Okay.  It goes like this:  Take a course of action and mentally follow it through to its natural conclusion.  See the end product.  Decide whether it will benefit you.  Got it?  Good!  You could, A) Demand the truth from Granny-->Tell your father he's adopted/illegitimate/from another planet/whatever-->watch Dad's heart break-->watch Granny's heart break when Dad asks her about it-->watch Granddad's heart break, if he's got any faculties left.  Sound good?  Or, you could, B) Look at that juicy dangling secret just hanging there waiting for you to grab-->Leave it-->Continue on with your life.  Which of these two outcomes is most likely to benefit you and all concerned?

Letter 2:
My ex-wife is a crazy fricking psychobitch from the fourth dimension.  She's papering the neighborhood with fliers besmirching my character and the character of my new lady-love.  We're afraid our neighbors may look down their noses at us.  Can I type up a rejoinder and stick it on everyone's windshield, just to make sure they're on my side?

Dear Self-Conscious Litterbug,
Cousin Jackal has a thing about unwanted mail that doesn't concern her.  Cousin Jackal especially has a thing about fliers.  In fact, Cousin Jackal has been known to take "Come To Jesus" church fliers off her car's windshield, carefully place them under a wheel, and then run over them several times just to make the point.  So if I'm one of your neighbors, Sunny Jim, you better realize that if I wasn't looking down on you before, if you make me aware of your petty little ex-relationship problems, I sure as hell will look down on you now.  See, if you were friends with your neighbors, they'd probably already know your ex was the PsychoBitch From the Fourth Dimension and ignore her ongoing idiocies.  But they're not your friends, are they?  They're strangers.  And you know what, Sunny Jim?  If you and your neighbors are strangers...fuck 'em.  Fuck 'em and fuck what they think.  Dirt. Fucking. Simple.

Letter 3:
My sister Eileen is a drama llama and wants to schlep her husband and newborn to my sister Karen's house for a layover during a trip.  Karen doesn't know what to do.  I'm a passive-aggressive sort who likes to pointedly refrain from giving advice under the guise of making people deal with their own problems.  What to do, what to do?

Dear Prudence,
Oh, sorry, for a minute you sounded like Prudie.  Contrary to popular response on the comment forums, this has nothing to do with the baby.  The baby is the MacGuffin.  Who knows, and who cares, why Karen doesn't want to lose sleep over hearing the little slug wail all night.  Maybe she works 24-hour shifts.  Maybe she works graveyard shifts.  Maybe she has her own embarrassing reason for not being able to have guests in, and that was the most convenient lie to tell.  Doesn't matter.  The actual problem here is that the whole family is walking on eggshells not to disturb the delicate sensibilities of MacGuffinMomma Eileen.  What exactly is going to happen if Eileen gets upset?  Here's Cousin Jackal's advice:  Karen, say no.  Eileen, shut the fuck up and find an EconoLodge.  And you, LW, butt the fuck out.

What?  Oh, you thought Cousin Jackal was going to go on a rant about babies?  I could. I can't stand the little fuckers.  And I mean that in the sense usually reserved for things like cockroaches and dried cat sick found behind the sofa.  (For the record, I have no siblings and no friends who have children. I live in a mercifully baby-free vacuum.)  I don't find them cute.  I don't melt in awe over their miraculousness. It annoys the living hell out of me to be commanded to treat the concept of someone's noisome little spawn as a gift from the gods, when all I see is a swaddled bundle of cooing vomit.  Baby animals I adore, but baby humans are just somehow wrong. They have no consciousness in their eyes; they bend in the wrong places; they're alien, wriggling things I cannot fathom and avoid at all cost.  It amazes me that people who call Karen from Letter 3 a heartless bitch for not flinging her doors wide open to admit a baby would wholly support her in denying guest privileges if instead Eileen's "child" were a big dog, or a small yappy dog, or a Scarlet Macaw...even though a baby rivals all three in the ability to make noise and get shit everywhere.  Hypocrisy, I tell you! *Sigh.*  There.  Rant done.  Happy?

Letter 4:
My coworkers are, like, old and stuff, and they, like, think my mom got me my job.  How do I totally make them realize what Epic Fails they are and ruin their lives when they're, like, not even on Facebook?

Dear Gen Why,
Listen, kiddo, Cousin Jackal's mental aging process might have stopped at 16 but I've got some grownup news for you:  You can't "make" these older farts (who are probably, what, 29? 35? *gasp* 40?) stop giving you gauche advice about getting older.  When they look at you they see someone so cute and fresh and wet behind the ears that they just want to hand you a towel to dry off.  Yeah, they're being a little awkward about it.  Just smile and go on with your work.  It's mindless office chitchat and it's not gonna hurt you.  Oh, and as for your mother getting you your job?  She did.  I know, I know, you applied for it yourself and she works in a different department, blah blah blah...but you better fucking believe that if your mom was an incompetent screwup they NEVER would have taken a chance on you.  Welcome to the wonderful world of Human Resources.

Well, that's it for this week.  I'm off to go run over a few fliers.


  1. I extend an invitation to you to visit Mermaid on her side of the Lagoon, Cousin Jackal!

    And tell you what ~ if you can push a big dog, or a small yappy dog, or a Scarlet Macaw out of your vagina ~ you're both welcome to stay in my guest bedroom for as long as you like! ;)

  2. Well, I came here to comment on Jackal's excellent entry and have now been treated to the image of Jackal's vagina issuing forth baby animals and all them going to Mermaid's guest room for a sleep over! Oh, the wonders of the interWebz! Thanks for that, Mermaid! ;-)

    But, on to Jackal! You know what, I agree with you 100% on LW#3, Jackal! I have no problem, not even a single one, with people saying they don't want to host a family with an infant. But, that's if that's the truth. In this case, the case the LW outlined, I don't think it is so. I think it has to do with just SOO-OOOO-OOOO-OOOO many other things. Things like what you alluded to. And emotional dishonesty, especially when using an infant as the target, (because, even if they're puking, pooping, backwards-bending aliens, they *are* helpless to defend themselves--it's not all unlike blaming a mentally handicapped person for the fart you just let rip, etc.), is way up there on my list of unforgivable offenses. So, though I agree with you 100%, I think that everyone in this little family brood of the LW's needs a good smack on the ass! And I don't mean the *good* kind of smack on the ass, either (I have to give that disclaimer or else Mermaid will get all excited).

    Oh, and your take on LW#2? Out of this world fucking outstanding! Just sayin'. ;-)

  3. Hi Cousin! You're in great form this week --like pickled jalapenos sweetened with chocolate ice cream --yum! (and a baby or two thrown in?)

    Don't be afraid of human infants:
    1: they can't move around, so think of them as appendages of their parents (but they're smarter than us in that their brain learns every second --that's why they look at you with that fixed look, they're trying to figure out what and who you are and mostly what the hell they're doing here!

    2. they're as cute as monkey babies or kittens... (though the kitten stage comes later because humans take a bit longer before they're able to chase strings and play peekaboo....)

  4. I SAW THAT!!!

    It's okay, punkin. And you're still welcome in the Lagoon any time, whether or not you can shoot baby animals out yer vajayjay.

    But, DAMN, that would have been a bonus!!

  5. OK Mermaid, I have to give you massive points, you just made me spew cocoa out my nose with the surprise "vajayjay". Ohh, where's the monitor cleaner....

  6. And as for the deleted comment, well, that'll teach me to post before coffee. Yowch.

  7. You and The Boy are kindred spirits as far as babies are concerned. They're like tiny stink bombs, just waiting to blow up messily in your face. They don't get interesting for YEARS and then they just move out!

    Glad I never had any.

  8. HI Jackal,

    While I don't agree that babies are more likely to spew shit than, say, dogs (I've had guest dogs have accidents in my house but babies go in their diapers, etc etc) AND I am a baby lover to boot, I thought your advice was great.

    I did not join in with those who were saying the sister was a heartless bitch for not wanting to have the baby over...but I could not put my finger on WHY I didn't think that, since I am a baby freak.

    But your comparison with the pet thing put it into perspective. So, you would worry my baby (if I had one, my youngest baby is now 12 and trust me, you DEFINITELY would not want two teenagers over for a night) might shit on your couch or scream all night, and I'd lose sleep over the way the dog fussed around and was sniffing behind the couch like he had to "go." (I LOVE dogs by the way, just not as guests in my home, even though I have a dog myself who we love to death and sometimes sleeps in my bed--my dog gets stressed out by guest dogs too, probably because I do).

    Both of us are entitled to live the way we like. This LW's sister needs to just say it and move on. And the sister will have to get over it. And the LW should butt out, as you say.

    I like reading particularly snarky things after correcting a batch of English Composition essays. Thank you for that!

    Happy Sunday!

  9. Just to clarify, there was something really....unpleasant about the way LW3 wrote about this, too. That's why I liked Smag's entry on her so much! BUt still, it was NOT simply because her sis did not want a baby over!

  10. Jackal, I just want you to know, regarding spewing cocoa out of your nose due to MM's vajayjay comment, that I'm just glad that that was the order of things! I mean, imagine if she'd made a nose comment instead, and you spewed cocoa out your va...well, never mind! Point is, you made *me* laugh with your story of spewing cocoa! It's infectious, I tells ya! :-)

  11. Personally, I think there'd be a much higher quality of human if people wouldn't say, "Let's have a cute little baby!" but think ahead a bit and realize they're also getting "A nasty, colicky little baby" and later "A surly, unpleasant, uncommunicative teenager." At least the planet wouldn't be about ready to start randomly tossing the population overage out of the atmosphere.

    Also, when are people going to realize they don't have to explain themselves? "Do you want some broiled armadillo?" doesn't have to be answered with, "Gross! How can you even consider eating such roadkill!?", but can be answered witha simple, "No thank you." "May the baby and I come spend the night?" doesn't have to be answered with, "I hate babies. They're so disgusting and drooly, and I have to get up early, and the house isn't clean, and ....", but can be answered with a simple, "No, it's not convenient then." Which isn't to say it would be convenient EVER, but still.

  12. CoolOne, I am an admitted baby freak, and I definitely did not think of the surly teenager phase prior to having my two little bundles of joy, and maybe if I did......well, no, I'd still have born my two angels through to completion. But I think you are right. I also wish more people would think ahead!

  13. Okay so today, I was stuck in traffic, late, behind a car with a bumper sticker that basically said I should take more care driving while near that car because there was a baby in it and.....I almost felt like I HATED babies in that moment.

  14. Do you know what those "Baby on Board" cards are supposed to be for? They were originally to assist rescue personnel so they would know to look for an infant if there was a car accident. At a crash site, an empty car seat could be just an empty car seat ~ but sometimes it means the baby has been ejected from the vehicle, and they need to go search the side of the road.

    But I agree with you, Bella ~ now it's become just an annoying yuppie thing.

  15. That's good to know, Mermaid. It will actually assuage my ire, I think, to understand the useful nature of such signs. Kind of like putting a sticker on your kid's bedroom window for the firemen (although I have not seen a sticker like that since the 70s...I guess the yuppies are not on to that trick).