Monday, May 20, 2013


Mika works on her patented sneer
while Joe feels the effects of the
caffeine in his Venti Frappucino.
If you're a regular viewer of Morning Joe, you can count on certain things, like Joe Scarborough name-checking bands from his youth, or Mika Brzezinski endlessly plugging her latest book, Obsessed. (What she really seems obsessed about is making sure the cover is on every bumper going into commercials.) These are part and parcel of the Morning Joe shtick, the news version of running gags used by comedians long gone. To separate them from the program would be like New York without the bike-riding delivery guys ignoring all accepted rules of the road. Not only are they impossible to avoid, the experience just wouldn't be the same without them.
    She's got the whole world's kids
    in her hands.
    But then there are the self-righteous MSNBC promos telling us that what's good for Lawrence O'Donnell is good for America. When those appear, I tend to flip to the CBS morning news to see if Charlie Rose is still alive. This morning, though, I was too busy handling an especially hot cup of coffee to pick up the remote, and thus got to see MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry admonish me about how I'm under the mistaken belief that my daughter belongs to me when, in reality, she's owned by the community.
    Now you tell me! For the last 17 years, my wife and I have been shelling out good money caring and feeding our child when we could have been hitting up the neighbors. Man, where was this chick in 1996 when my wife gave birth? We could've saved ourselves a bundle, not to mention catching up on our sleep during the early years. 'Scuse me, neighbor, can you take the kid tonight? Just walk her around for a couple of hours when she she does her usual 2:00AM wake-up routine. That usually works.

    Now that Daughter is rounding third base in her high school years, we're facing the dilemma of choosing the college we can afford or the one she really wants to attend. And unless we hit the lottery (that 13 bucks I won a couple of weeks ago won't do much, tuition-wise), I think we know which will triumph. So I guess it's time for me to go knocking on the community doors asking for a contribution to The Ol' Fish-Eye College Fund. And when they ask me what the hell I think I'm doing, I'll just tell them, "Melissa sent me."

    And as long as the kid is still legally in my care -- excuse me, our care, neighbors! -- I've got a laundry list of things I could use some help with. Like, well, the laundry. Dirty clothes from three people can literally pile up pretty quickly. Frankly, it's a drag going out in public to reach our laundry room two doors down in our co-op when our hamper starts vomiting up dirty clothes. If anyone can give a hand, I'd surely be grateful. Just shake out my wife's blouses before putting them in the dryer.

    Then there's making sure Daughter comes home on time when she's been out for the evening with her friends. Usually, she arrives within ten minutes of the appointed hour, so we don't have much to complain about. But there was that night when she still hadn't arrived almost 90 minutes after her 12:30 ETA and she wasn't picking up her calls. I did what any father would've done -- gotten dressed and went outside. Don't ask me why; it just seemed to be a good idea at the time. And it was, because there was my darling daughter making out with some guy taller than me just a few feet from our front door. It would have been nice if someone from my community had been the one to wake the neighbors with screaming instead of me. My voice is still sore.

    Oh, and let's not forget Daughter's hygiene. Not that there's anything wrong with it -- in fact, it's too good. For when she makes her evening announcement, "I'm going to take a shower," my wife and I have learned to rush in there (separately) to do whatever it is we have to do, chop-chop. Because we know that's the last chance we're going to have before bedtime. If anyone in the Yorkville district of the Upper East Side could free up their bathroom for a couple of hours without notice, you'd be doing us a solid.

    And while we're on the subject of bathrooms -- and, frankly, there's no delicate way of putting this -- I've got two females here, and they go through toilet paper like the Kennedys do liquor. Buddy, can you spare a roll? 

    There are more parental duties I could list, but you get the drift. I'd ask Melissa Harris-Perry to help out but she and her family live in New Orleans. However, she commutes to New York for her weekend show, so maybe I can catch her then. Practice your screaming-in-public-in-the-middle-of-the night technique, Melissa, and you've got the job. Just bring your own toilet paper.


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