1. Too Much Empathy Ruins Childhood Programming for Young Boy in Chicagoland Area
Some of you may know this, but I work with kids for a living. This may come as a surprise if you have read older blog posts from my crazier days, but you'll just have to take my word for it. I got thinking the other day how I have always had a pretty strong empathy even as a very young boy. I remember liking "The Munsters" because the mom was hotter than the "Adam's Family," they had a dragon living under their stairs, and Grandpa Munster had that bitchin' car, The Dragula. But what I just couldn't get past was how sad I felt for Herman Munster who so desperately wanted to live a normal life in the suburbs and interact with his neighbors, but he frightened the living daylights out of anyone he came into contact with. Had Herman just said "the hell with it" and holed himself up in his castle in the cul-de-sac, I may have been fine, but he just kept putting his best giant boot forward, experiencing that screaming in fear and rejection over-and-over. I just couldn't take it.
Then when I would try to watch "Tom and Jerry" it wasn't the violence specifically that bothered me - violence I'm okay with - it's that I felt so bad for Tom getting his ass beat, chopped up, and exploded time and time again by a little mouse that was just too smart for him. I yelled at my TV (not unlike I now yell at my Chicago sports teams as an adult) for Tom to just find a dumber and slower mouse or even eat out of the garbage cans in the alleys like Top Cat. Ol' Top Cat lived a pretty luxurious and awesome life when you think about it. Believe it or not, I was excited when they would air those rare episodes where Tom and Jerry got along and didn't fight. Those ones are likely unwatchable like when "The Three Stooges" didn't poke each other's eyes out, but I just wanted there to be peace in the valley on Saturday mornings.
2. Birdy Num-Num
When I first fed my son, Baby Erik, with a bottle, I was amazed. I was thinking, "He's drinking it! He loves it! I am helping this baby LIVE!" Then at 6 months (he's now 7 months) we started with solid foods, and that is even cooler to me. Mrs. Noisewater and I mix up crazy concoctions like spinach, banana, and cherries, and he knocks it down and cannot get enough of it. The little guy starts banging on his high chair tray demanding more. So the other day as I'm spooning it in, I say, "Do you want some num-nums?" Then I started saying "birdy num-num." Then I said it with an Asian Indian accent, and I'm trying to think why in the hell I'm saying that. Finally I remembered that it is from "The Party" starring Peter Sellers. It's not that great of a movie, but it does have that awesome phrase that has been so fun to say during solid food feedings with my boy. In "The Party," Peter Sellers plays an Asian Indian actor who gets invited to an exclusive Hollywood party on accident and screws everything up. At one point he sees the bird food labeled "Birdy num-nums" and starts saying it over-and-over. Then he says it into the intercom system for all the confused guests to hear. I watched the movie around 20 years ago, and that is just about the only scene I remember. And I barely remember it at all. It's something that may have never came to the surface of my brain to be lost forever had I not blurted it out while feeding Baby Erik the other day. Try saying it a few times, readers, and don't forget the accent. Ready? Birdy num-nums. Fun, right?