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Baby Talk

Most parents have no business raising children. They labor under total illusion as to their offspring’s intellect.

Take my friends, the Thors, who invited me to meet their new baby, Liam.

I had no wish to meet any baby. (One does not have to be a rocket scientist to realize that few children under eight years old are not human when it comes to communication and reasoning.) About all they can do is process food and throw tantrums.

But since the Thors were old friends, I happened to be in Honolulu and all of the hotels were filled to capacity, I reluctantly agreed to meet Baby Liam.

The child blinked, rolled his eyes and said, “Baa.” Poor Liam seemed unable to communicate as well as a parrot of the same age. The parents thought this was hilarious when I pointed it out.

On the second day, the child whacked me with a deceptively heavy plastic hammer. I was about to whack him back when he smiled. The smile was that of an angel and was accompanied by drooling. Sunlight struck the drool and made it look like elongated diamonds.

On the third day, the child smiled at me again. That smile could have melted the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. It made me feel giddy. Liam, it seemed, had a one in a million smile.

On the fourth day, Liam jumped on me and hugged me. I was filled with warmth and serenity. He whispered, “Baa.” It sounded like “Good morning, Jaron, welcome to another day in paradise.” He was – I admit – much smarter than I had anticipated. And he was exhibiting borderline human characteristics.

On the fifth day, Liam and I discussed evolution, religion and mathematics. I taught him several dozen new words. His little mouth could not quite form the syllables so all the words came out as “Baa.” His parents did not understand this language. They thought it was baby talk. How tragic.

On the sixth day, I proposed that Liam be allowed to live with me so he would have someone to talk to who appreciated his intellect. I admit I was also addicted to his smile. The parents laughed nervously and explained I simply did not have the equipment for nursing.

On the seventh day, I called the police and told them that Liam was being held captive against his will by the Thors who were thwarting his intellectual and social development.

Two police officers dropped by and interviewed the eight month old. They thought Liam was only repeating “Baa.” I explained he was reciting “Paradise Lost.” The officers agreed that perhaps this was so but cautioned me about removing him from his parents’ home.

On my last day in Honolulu, the Thors became unreasonably adamant about retaining the child rather than allowing me to enroll him as a freshman at Harvard on the mainland.

Liam said, “Baa” – meaning he loved me more than he did his own parents who had absolutely no appreciation for his genius.

The Thors summoned the authorities as little Liam begged to go with me. (Actually, only I understood what Liam was saying.) The idiot police escorted me off the premises. Rest assured, I shall be retaining lawyers to free young Liam. How I miss his smile.

As I’ve always said, most parents have no business raising children. They labor under total illusion as to their offspring’s intellect.

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