Today we are going to try something a little different. For those of you who don’t know, today is Bring Your Child to Work Day, that annual rite of passage where co-workers bemoan the fact that some of us have decided to wreak havoc on the world by making the choice to breed. But not my co-workers. I don’t piss off anyone on this special occasion, not because my kids are the rare confluence of polite manners, distinctive good looks and exquisite charm (which they are), but rather because, as a writer, I don’t have any co-workers for them to piss off. Instead, I am just going to let them write my column this week.
Well, sort of. I thought it might be a fun experiment to devote today’s column to interviewing my kids (Tobias age 9 and Acacia who turns 7 next month) and then letting their humorous replies speak for themselves. So let’s see how this goes. The questions are all mine. The responses, I swear, are nothing but theirs.
Now it is late April in Colorado so the first thing my daughter says is, “Look, Daddy, it’s snowing outside!” Holy shit, it is! My daughter didn’t say that last part- that was all me, but she is sitting here next to me giggling at my use of profanity. You know, because to kids nothing is funnier than when adults break out swear words.
Daddy: Why is it funny when people swear?
Acacia: Because it’s black humor (as she then repeats that last line over and over again, emphasizing the word “shit”)
Daddy: So what is black humor?
Tobias: Well, basically it’s just humor….
Acacia: Humor for black people
Daddy: What do I do for a living?
Tobias: Write novels for big people
Daddy: What kind of novels do big people like?
Tobias: Kissy ones
Acacia (in diminutive mocking voice): kissy, kissy, kissy
Tobias: Acacia and I just made this blog your best
Daddy: Why is this my best blog
Tobias: Because I’m in it.
Acacia: And because I’m in it
Daddy: Do you what humility is?
Tobias: Yes, because we’re funny.
Daddy: What do you think humility is?
Tobias: It’s making fun of other people
Acacia: It’s crapping your pants
Daddy: So who is Amy?
Acacia: Daddy’ girlfriend
Daddy: So do you like Amy?
Tobias: Yes, I love her
Daddy: Why do you love her?
Tobias: Because she’s Daddy’s girlfriend
Daddy: Acacia, who is your best friend?
Acacia: I don’t really have any friends. I like playing by myself.
Daddy: But don’t you have any friends like you to play with?
Acacia: When I’m playing with other people, I like playing by myself.
Tobias: My best friend is Holden or myself.
Daddy: What do you like about Holden?
Tobias: Because he’s a boy. But I am not gay.
Daddy: What are you reading these days?
Tobias: Harry Potter– what do you think?
Acacia: Bad Kitty- because it is very long and the kitty always runs around and messes things up.
Daddy: So if you could vote, who would be voting for and why?
Tobias: Bernie Sanders for two reasons. First, because I don’t want to vote For Trump because he’s full of bs. And my other reason is because Bernie helps the poor.
Acacia: Definitely not Donald Trump because he’s going to build a wall between Mexico and where we live and and and and he’s going to make them pay for it.
Tobias: And he’s going to start World War Three.
Daddy: What makes you think he’s going to start World War Three?
Tobias: Because he’s evil
Daddy: What do you think Trump looks like?
Tobias: A jackass
Acacia: He has a kind of roundish face and clear hair.
Tobias: He has fake hair. He wears a wig. That’s fake hair.
Daddy: So what does Bernie Sanders look like?
Tobias: He looks similar to the poor.
Daddy: What makes him look poor?
Tobias: He has gray hair and doesn’t look like he could buy much.
Daddy: I have gray hair. Do I look poor?
Tobias: No, because I know that you have money. And he doesn’t have enough money to dye his hair.
So what have we learned from all of this? First of all, I think I might just have to change my vocation and become a comedian for kids. All you have to do is stand up on stage and make poop jokes- not a bad way to make a living. More importantly, listen to your kids for crying out loud. In addition to being funny as hell, they sometimes have some poignant things to say. And their political commentary is far more insightful than anything you will find on FOX or CNN….
Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works. Read his blog TRUTH: in 1000 Words or Less every TUESDAY and FRIDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com