I Pity the Fool

Kids engender a lot of pity. I don’t mean the pity you feel when you see a one-legged kid dragging his begging bucket behind him while his homeless owner whips him for being a laggard, although that sight is kind of pitiful.

No, instead, I mean the pity I feel for people without kids. And the pity they feel for me. See, both groups become convinced they have it made.

Me, I’m immortal, like the vampire Lestat or all those dudes on Mount Rushmore or John Wayne Gacy. But unlike all those other guys, I didn’t have to suck the blood out of any homosexual virgins to achieve my immortality. I just had to watch something really icky happen to my wife’s lady parts “” the kind of thing you simply can’t unsee, sort of like season three of True Blood.

As a breeder, I’m confined to daylight. I seldom stay up past 10, knowing that the various hungry mouths, bus-stop appointments, and other demands on my time and soul will ensure that a late night will be wickedly punished. I have become the thing they warned me of “” a daywalker.

My childless friends, on the other hand, think little of staying out til 2 a.m. on a weeknight. They can leave loaded handguns all over the sofa like throw pillows, and parties at their houses have the best drugs, as well as the best, most cutting-edge vulgarity. I can see how they’d pity me.

Me and the rest of the immortal breeders, we may sometimes long for your freedom, your ability to do absurd things like “leave,” but we’ve got the kind of love you just can’t buy, not even in Bangkok.

But then again, you don’t see them rocking any macaroni art, do you? And when was the last time someone wrote them a note in a 50-point handwritten font that told them, without spelling it correctly, that they were loved?

OK, probably last weekend, when everyone got trashed at their place and decided to play with crayons. But that’s not the point. My note came from a sober human. One who’ll tell me he loves me any time he’s awake and not in trouble. So put THAT in your pipe and smoke it, mortals.

Me and the rest of the immortal breeders, we may sometimes long for your freedom, your ability to do absurd things like “leave,” but we’ve got the kind of love you just can’t buy, not even in Bangkok. We’ve got the love that doesn’t care about all our many flaws, because we’ve managed to send the kids to bed before most of the flaws manifest themselves. It’s like being a vampire in a city where curfew is at 6 p.m.

Nor do mortals have everything. Sure, they can do whatever they want, but they also have all that free time, and I remain convinced that so damn much free time can be bad for you. What do you think caused mankind to invent, say, Civil War reenactment? Sure as hell wasn’t diaper changing at 2 a.m. My guess is it was all those empty hours childless couples have to cram full of busywork.

We breeders, if we take up a hobby, it isn’t because we’ve got time to kill. It’s to get away from the damn family. Civil War reenactors: I bet your wives help sew your costumes, don’t they? Me, any hobbies I have, I usually try to keep the family from even knowing where I do them, let alone allow them to participate.

Raising kids ain’t easy, especially when you’ve got a long-legged, 13-year-old girl whose latest hobby seems to be trying to see how few square inches of fabric can legally constitute “clothing.” Still, like most breeders, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

You can take your free time and squander it as you please. I’ll sneak my few moments of freedom when I can get them, and know that if my luck holds, my genetic code will splooge out there into the world like some amorphous, me-resembling tidal wave, shaping future generations that won’t even know who the hell you mortals were, let alone why anyone would want to reenact a war that mostly consisted of standing in formation and having things amputated once they started to smell funny.

About Jared Kendall

A freelance data journalist and father of two, Jared Kendall has been using comedy as a coping mechanism his entire life. Born a Yankee, Jared's twenty-year stint in Baton Rouge still leaves him with one question: "Why'd I move here, again?"

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