To our Eye on Soaps readers who don't already know his
work, I would like to introduce my son (in whom I am well pleased), David
Humphrey. David is a wonderful writer with a wry, often dark sense of
humor that I have enjoyed his entire life (yes, he was a viciously funny
baby). I am honored to share it now with our EOS audience. Many of
our readers enjoy off topic commentary and Dave's is a specific genre of
cynicism and biting wit. Here, I will post, with his
permission, a number of my favorites in his body of work.
Eye on Soaps Webmaster &
Dave's Very Proud Mom
feed many lies to children because we think it makes their lives easier, when
indeed, it confuses them and teaches them that all things have simple answers.
Like rainbows. How many colors are in a rainbow, we ask. And we tell them seven.
That's a total and utter lie. A rainbow inherently has all colors in it, so the
answer a thinking person would give is "infinity" or something like it. However,
in truth, through inherent limitations on the physics of energy, the number of
colors in a rainbow can't be infinite, so really, the number is just unthinkably
huge. And hey, get this. Most other cultures work on a different set of colors,
so the number will change from culture to culture. Some consider yellow and blue
to be different shades of green. Some differentiate red from dark red, and some
have a known name for every color of crayon in the crayola box, so that makes
"seven" an even more absurd lie.
And then parents lie to their children when they try to answer questions about
what a soul includes that isn't included (and capable of being changed) in the
brain. Which they can't. So they make stuff up about free will or whatnot, which
makes kids only ask more when they connect the dots and find a picture
incongruent to the one the parents drew yesterday. Come on, man, don't lie to
your kids about what you know.
And then they perpetuate an even bigger lie, that being that the greatest
question of all is "What is the meaning of life?", which is hardly a question at
all, as it really makes no sense as it is. Anybody can open a dictionary, look
up "life," and there's the meaning of life. Easy peasy Japanesey. The truth is,
nobody even really understands what they're asking....if you don't know what
format the answer will take, you don't know what you're asking. Sure, people can
say "The answerer is supposed to say 'the meaning of life is _____' ," but
really, they don't know if they're looking for a participle phrase or a verb or
WHAT. See, they can't understand the question, because they can't comprehend
what the question assumes, and that is that life has a function given to it by a
designer, to accomplish a task outside of the act of living in and of itself.
The question SHOULD be phrased "Since I refuse to believe that I'm an inevitable
refraction of physics, what can I do to appease whatever it is whose influence
judges me?" since really, the only reason anybody would actually ask about the
"meaning of life" is because they lack a sense of purpose. Children tend to
found their concepts of God around their parents, who almost always have
something for them to do, so they don't have to wonder, and thus generally don't
see what the big deal is about the question adults keep asking. This is good,
because even the most honest of parents don't want to say "The meaning of your
life is to let Mommy and Daddy know that there are consequences to spontaneous
In short: The reason your kids are screwed up is because you gave up on finding
the answers that your parents didn't give you, and their parents didn't give
them, and thus you can't give them the consistent picture they need to fully
understand the world and prepare for it.
Some people will tell me that having a mother who doesn't like to lie to her
children has made me a cynic. I say that clarity is useless if there's something
drastically and fundamentally wrong with the standard concepts carried by
society that you refuse to acknowledge with your clarity.
Hell, kids can take it.
Sometimes their perspective goes a little off. For example, while I was visiting
my mother tonight, a conversation with my seven-year-old brother went a little
something like this:
Dylan: I'll take your Mountain Dew!
Dave: I'll kick your butt.
Dylan: At what?
See, I'm a total pussycat. I love my little bros (and my little sis), and I am a
person with absolutely no inclination whatsoever to bring physical violence to
any interpersonal situation, much less to my beloved little sibs. We just talk
like men to each other, which includes a mixture of threats and references to
explosions and natural disasters. Rarrrrgh.
Ah, kids. They say youth is wasted on the young, but the only people who say
that are those who squandered their youth. Not me. I loved every minute of it
and I took none if it for granted.
People shouldn't be allowed to refer to eternity. This "We will never forget"
phrase is used by people who have no idea what the USS Maine was, or what the
anything to do with. People easily forget things that are depressing, or didn't
happen in their area, or weren't in a movie lately. Unless you're Galactus and
you have an immortal gremlin in the back pocket of your planet-eatin' shorts,
it's kind of devaluing to the language to hear you say "We will never forget."
He's already survived to the end of eternity, so he gets to say things like
that. If you only know about it because it happened during your lifetime (and
I'll bet you my dentures that nobody born after 2010 is going to give a shit),
you're just giving your ego a blowjob by thinking you're responsible enough to
use words like "never."
Anyway. About love. I don't speak much about it, because between any two people,
it means something entirely different. But I will point out how sad it is that
people are chasing it without understanding anything about themselves.
You've all seen people who KNOW what they want, and they work for it and work
for it and work for it and get it, but still aren't happy. People who kill
themselves in a quest to get more money, or who are dying for a relationship, or
who "just want to have a baby." They get these things, and then, for some
un-fathom-a-frickin-ble reason, don't live happily ever after. What does this
mean? It means people don't know what they need in order to be happy. They just
know what they want right then.
As people develop, they change what they think they need and what they want. So
really, unless you know yourself completely, how can you know that the person
you're looking for is going to be good for you? As you face more life
experiences and come to know yourself better, how do you know the person you
love so much will still be what you need?
The point is, you're just plain not who you're going to be, which is why
relationships fluctuate and people grow apart and together. Don't take any shame
in your mistakes, but don't make any long-term plans during a transition. And oh
emm eff jee, do NOT allow your relationship identify to become who you are,
because if you do, you'll never be able to understand yourself. If you've found
somebody who has fantastic all-around qualities for you and, through a
remarkable series of coincidences, actually remains the kind of person who's
good for you, well, good for you. But it ain't likely. If your relationship
stays the same, you're not growing, and you're not getting any closer to
fulfilling all parts of yourself.
MuhBecca: But I did discover that caffeine accumulates in womens breasts
MuhBecca: This saddens me greatly.
eldavo.rm: So that's why they keep me up all night.
hate when things become nouns. Like "portable" and "cellular." And "direlect"
and "transient" and "caucasian" (exactly where is Caucasia?)
and "gay" ("he's a gay!"). and "dirigible." Say, there's a word I don't like at
all! Dirigible. It means an airship. Why? We don't need that word! There are
words all over the place that people don't need, and memorize because they think
it makes them sound smart. "Teetotaler." "Teenybopper." Really, who the hell
came up with "teenybopper"? And it CAUGHT ON SOMEHOW. Somebody heard that and
thought "Wow, good term for 'em! Teenyboppers. Yes, sense is somehow made by
that. I'd better hurry to the hospital, though, because blood is gushing from my
ears because of how lame I am."
eldavo.rm: I really love toast.
otherperson: ...I thought you hated toast?
eldavo.rm: I do. With all my might.
otherperson: But you love it?
eldavo.rm: Yes. FEEL THE POWER OF THE TOAST PARADOX.
Dylan: I'm getting really good at Vice City! I had to kill a lot of people on
the last mission. But I found a good car to steal so I ran over the guy and
didn't have to shoot him.
Me: O...kay....well, as long as you don't start thinking that it's okay to
really do that. Just remember that it's just a game, and most of those things,
you really can't do.
Dylan: *pause* ......it's okay if a cop's not watching, you mean.
Ladies and gentlemen, my seven-year-old brother.
WOMAN: What would you do if I died? Would you get married again?
MAN: Definitely not!
WOMAN: Why not - don't you like being married?
MAN: Of course I do.
WOMAN: Then why wouldn't you remarry?
MAN: Okay, I'd get married again.
WOMAN: You would? (with a hurtful look on her face)
MAN: (makes audible groan)
WOMAN: Would you sleep with her in our bed?
MAN: Where else would we sleep?
WOMAN: Would you put away my pictures, and replace them with pictures of her?
MAN: That would seem like the proper thing to do.
WOMAN: And would you let her use my golf clubs?
MAN: She can't use them; she's left-handed.
WOMAN: - - - silence - - -
Til Next Time!