CSotD: Parenthood

Bizarro starts off our look at parenting with a dumb joke. I like dumb jokes, and particularly the kind that require you to think for about a minute and then realize you shouldn’t have had to.

I also like the fact that Bizarro never softens its approach or apologizes for gags that whooshed over your head. You get it or you don’t. If you don’t get it, too bad.

Though, as to the idea itself, your mileage may indeed vary.

Our first OB was a terrific man whose pioneering relaxation technique extended beyond the delivery room: He offered his patients the advice to also relax and enjoy parenthood, because kids pretty well turn out the way they do despite our efforts rather than because of them. He was terrific company, even though, when the moment came, it was his partner who was on call.

Our second OB, in another city, wore his goddam camel hair sport coat to a parent session, which really made him stand out in a group of young couples who were wondering how they were going to pay for all this. I wouldn’t have brought him along to a coffee bar even if they’d had such things then.

Incidentally, fans know this but original artist/writer Dan Piraro has turned the dailies over to his former assistant, Wayno, saving the Sundays for himself. It’s a nice partnership that has, surprisingly, not altered the tone or character of the feature and, as Wayno notes in his weekly blog, is just entering its third year.


Today’s Cornered might not seem like a parenting cartoon, but it sends me back to the days when we thought nitrites and nitrates were not good for you and that cured meats like hot dogs and bacon should be avoided.

Looking for a source on this indicates either less concern or less certainty than there was 40 years ago. Better you should eat a hot dog or a rasher of bacon than smoke a cigarette.

And better you should leap out a third-floor window than a sixth-floor window.

The parenting part came in trying to regulate what your kids eat, which is a lot easier when they are homebound than it is after they start going over to their friends’ houses.

Which is to say that attempting to dissuade a young son from wanting bologna by telling him it was made from pig noses only made him ask “Can we get pig noses?” the next time we went to the grocery store.

We did kind of skirt the hot dog issue by purchasing uncured frozen brands at the co-op, but, again, that only works until they start getting out of the house.


The dietary disaster referenced in today’s Argyle Sweater — and, by the way, pineapple is worse — was strictly high school, because when we were younger, we’d wander down stairs and dawdle through breakfast, which meant we could have some cereal and eggs and whatever to take the taste of toothpaste out of our mouths.

(Yes, we should have eaten first and brushed later, but why don’t you put on the parental suit and let us watch you micromanage the morning flow?)

Anyway, by junior high, it was fly down the stairs, grab some juice and out the door, so there were no buffers twixt Crest and OJ.

Also, starting sometime in December, freshly-showered, still-wet hair would freeze between the door and the bus. Yes, we should have worn a hat. No, we didn’t.

We did eventually become civilized. Senior year involved Butch and Kenny picking me up in Kenny’s car and stopping for donuts and coffee at the diner.


About halfway through sophomore year, the aspect of parenting seen in Stone Soup kicked in. My parents had me on a somewhat tight leash, which is to say I started with an 11 o’clock curfew that, by senior year, had been extended to 1 am, and, like Andy, I was supposed to furnish some sort of itinerary.

Which wasn’t all that restrictive, since nothing in our town was open after about six o’clock except the bars. But one of them was a kind of general gathering place where they didn’t serve anyone under age.

Until they saw you around enough that they forgot how old you weren’t.

Like Joan, I built up enough dubious experiences as a kid that, as a parent, I felt confident that nobody was going to get much past me.

Now Thanksgiving is coming up, which takes its name from this being the holiday when the adult children come home and exchange hilarious memories around the table while their parents cringe and give thanks that they didn’t know what was going on at the time.


All that can wait. Let’s give Jill Kaplan a little more time to be the smartest one in the room.

And being the smartest one in the room takes less effort than I wish it did, because last night I blundered into “Live From Here” which used to be “Prairie Home Companion,” and is still pretty much where I left it, though it’s now pretentiously snide about a younger generation.

Serena Brook did a comedy bit about “breathy acoustic covers of Nirvana’s ‘Never Mind,'” which would have been terribly, terribly clever, except that it was already done for real, and done damn well, back in 1992, when Kurt Cobain was still alive and, as reported here and elsewhere,

Cobain said he and wife Courtney Love would wake up, blast the Amos version and “dance like a Solid Gold dancer,” adding, “It’s a great breakfast cereal version.”

It was popular enough at the time that it falls into the category of “Do I really have to show you this??” but then again, Serena Brook was only five years old when this cover stormed the world.

Perhaps she should give her T-shirt to her mom.



3 thoughts on “CSotD: Parenthood

  1. I have a CD of Christopher O’Riley’s arrangements for solo piano of a bunch of Radiohead songs. The woman my brother was dating back in ’06 thought her son, a big Radiohead fan, would really like, so I gave her a copy.

    She and my brother live a thousand miles from us, and their relationship didn’t last long. I’ve often wondered if her son reacted the way you or I would if our parents gave us an album of Beatles songs arranged by Percy Faith.

  2. I doubt John and Yoko would have danced around the kitchen to Percy Faith, but I’m betting they dug Joe Cocker’s cover of “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” and “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

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