It’s 5:22 in the morning, and I can’t find my copy of The Bachman Books. I know I bought it years ago for $4.00, and I know I read it, but somewhere along the line it got gone. So I’ve been looking for it, and instead found a bag of bubble wrap I somehow have to recycle. Who takes bubble wrap? Apparently some UPS stores do, but anyway, that’s not your problem. Damn… where’s my damn book!?! I wanna read Rage again! And The Long Walk is practically part of my childhood. I’m thinking maybe the cable guy took it when he came in here to install cable so I could watch the World Cup. Except he said “Great book!” as he walked out the door and saw it on my table, so unless he was some incredible prestidigitator (in which case he wouldn’t be a cable guy), there’s no way…
Life is cruel.
Speaking of ways in which life is in fact cruel, I was thinking about those little boxer girls in Thailand. Someone told me a few weeks ago that the National Geographic Channel had a show called Taboo, and one segment of it was about girls that seemed to be about four years old, that had learned to box, and did it as a betting sport. At first I was disgusted, because I remember what I was like when I was four years old. I wanted to read books, and if my parents had put me in a ring so that greasy people could bet money on me, or on my opponent, I would have screamed bloody murder. Then I thought about it, and I continued to be disgusted by the idea. Muay Thai kickboxing, I think they call it, is becoming increasingly popular in England as something parents force their little children to do, and it can be found in the United States as well, except I haven’t seen footage of local little kids beating each other up while they move about in a sports ring.
That being said, I think it’s only cruel when the child doesn’t want to do it. If your little girl is wailing before every fight, that’s a pretty strong indication she might not want to be there. If I had a daughter, I still wouldn’t put her in a position where she’d possibly receive injuries to the head. That’s where she’d keep her brain. She’d be needing it.
But what does that have to do with the price of lemons?
Well, speaking of parental cruelty, decades ago there was this fabulous practice in South America that involved children and their parents. When a child had a birthday, her parents would throw her a little party, which involved her classmates and their respective progenitors. There would be cake, drinks, often a terrifying payaso
Now I will tell you something that perhaps you do not know. Piñatas back then were made of ceramic, a material that we children were supposed to hit with a stick as it hovered over our heads like a Death Star with breast implants, and that after it shattered in a million pieces, we were supposed to dive into a pile to try to gather as much as we could of the toys and candy that had exploded from its sharp innards. The parents? They stood back and smiled, and I would not be surprised if bets were placed and money changed hands as Fernandito elbowed Camilito in the face to get to that miniature fire engine, and Blanquita bit Carmencita‘s leg as she snatched candied almonds from her iron grip.
Years and a heartfelt rendition of “I Like to Live in America” later, I prepared to torture celebrate my firstborn with the same practice, once he proved he could stand on his two feet and hit acquired targets with a bat. Awesome, I thought. Now it’s my turn to watch him dive into sharp fragments of a breakable material have fun with his family and friends! But as I waded my way through Parties’R’Us, there were no decent piñatas to be found. Soon I discovered that in this country all piñatas are made of cardboard and paper. Do you have any freaking idea how hard it is for a small child to break a paper and cardboard piñata? Do you have any clue how difficult it was for me? The thing just sort of caved in like unbreakable rotten fruit, and we had to de-hang it and tear into it like a pack of hyenas.
It was very Lord of the Flies, and of course I blame J.R.R. Tolkien for it. It’s clear that parents, in a misguided effort to honor Gimli’s attempt to destroy the One Ring at the Council of Elrond, have chosen to emulate his behavior through their American children. Piñatas, just like The Ring, cannot be simply destroyed.
If I had $10,000, I’d get me one of those. Either would do. Them .50 BMG rounds can go through just about anything… so I was tweaking the image I posted above, the Sitting in a Tree one, and I got to thinking, If that tall lady there threw her little shrunken fella a party, then she’d have to provide an unbreakable piñata as well. Pondering what would be best to bring it to submission made me think of those sniper rifles, which I would love to own, being as I love guns.
Of course I’d need to sell one of my livers to get ammo, but hey, sacrifices.
I gotta go. Have a nice day!