Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A TALE OF TWO HENRYS

Since Vienna doesn't seem to be getting the message about Henry's disdain for parenthood, and since Kim seems to think that Henry's authorship of "The Man From Oakdale" is the most interesting thing about him, Henry has decided to let his fictional alter ego do the talking for him.

"So maybe both of our parents made some mistakes," Vienna offered. "You and I, we will do better with our children. Just imagine it, Henry, a baby that is a mixture of both of us.”

“It better have your looks,” Henry said. Then, after he thought about it some more, he added. “And your brains. Maybe a touch of my joie de vivre wouldn’t be amiss….”

“He will be wonderful. A baby of our very own. We can dress him up and show him off and teach him to do all sorts of adorable tricks.”

“That’s a puppy, Vienna, not a baby. We already have one of those.”

“We will travel the world together, and we will teach him about art and music and which wine to order with which main course. We will send him to the best schools, and we will attend his Christmas pageants. Oh, you should see how adorable the children back home are on Santa Lucia day. The girls wear white dresses and crowns with candles on them, and the boys are in white shirts and trousers and pointed white hats.”

“They sound like little Klansmen. Little pyromaniac Klansmen.”

“All of the parents look so proud watching them.”

“Is that before or after some kid trips the one in front of him while another sets a little girl’s pigtails on fire with his candle? And are you sure the parents are proud, or are they glassy-eyed from having stayed up all night sewing the adorable costumes? Maybe they’re just delirious due to running 104-degree fevers from the latest infection little Lars or Sven brought home from that petri dish of bacteria otherwise known as school? I’m sorry, Vienna, but your idyllic fantasy life doesn’t exactly mesh with the reality of child rearing. You’re forgetting something: I’ve done this before. I’ve scoured the dregs of the refrigerator looking for an old bagel and a packet of mustard that I could pack and pass off as a kid’s lunch. I’ve yanked bubble gum out of kids’ hair, and I’ve been puked – and worse -- on more times than a college Resident Assistant. I went to my first parent-teacher conference when I was eleven, and I’ve been called a jerk and a son-of-a-bitch and a dictator – that would be Maddie, she was our brightest Coleman – in the same breath as I was asked for money or for a ride someplace.”

Read more in Henry's latest blog, here.

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