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Friday, 11 March
Pretty Stupid Baby

Much of what follows is, I must confess, based on reports from various family members. It is probably just as well that we do not remember much from when we were toddlers, since they are basically really embarrassing little id-wagons. I seem to have been no different.


One of my early lobbying efforts that I waged against my parents was, like a lot of kids, a change of name. Apparently, I desperately wanted to be called "George." I assume this was borne out of a deep desire to one day become either (a) an adorable, mischievous monkey, or (b) Liberace's brother. My horrifying, abusive parents denied me this simple wish, which is almost certainly why I am today such a miserable husk of a man.


Things I routinely ate--sometimes clandestinely--with inordinate gusto:

Raw potatoes
Uncooked hot dogs

And that old classic:

Dog food

All of these things are, of course, nauseating (butter? Jesus), but also kind of thought-provoking. One could, say, set up an argument that childrens' mind-wrecking food preferences are in fact a refutation of evolution. How does Darwinism account for a creature so hopeless that it would actually eat such alarming garbage and expect to live (or procreate)?

But on the other hand, look at what the same argument does to Intelligent Design.

"I think it's clear that the complexity of the natural world--to say nothing about the amazing human mind--obviously suggests a creator."

"Professor? What does it say about our Creator that your son is over in the corner eating a cold hot dog?"

"Gavin! Put that down! Oh, fuck. (Pause.) Class dismissed."

Me, I can't get behind Intelligent Design until it clears up the whole Cold Hot Dog thing.


Not to get all Kids Say The Darnedest Things and all, but I apparently had a phase where I would march around irritating the hell out of my folks by exclaiming, over and over: "MO-NA! MO-NA! MO-NA!"

That they didn't use me as firewood is a testament to their patience, their non-George cruelty notwithstanding. I think they were mostly puzzled because they didn't actually know anyone named Mona.

This changed, oddly, a couple years later, when my uncle hooked up with a woman named Mona. These being Hippie Years, she rapidly became Aunt Mona, though they never married, and she's long gone. However, she lives in my memory.

One day I was taking a shower; I guess I was around four or five. As I was toweling off, Aunt Mona entered the bathroom, and I screamed like a firebell. "IN HERE! IN HERE!"

Mona barely blinked. "You shouldn't be ashamed of your body!" she exclaimed kindly--this would have been '73 or '74, so, you know, Yay Hippies. I was not mollified. "IN HERE!" I screamed again. I evidently wasn't big on improv. I was also seriously freaked out.

Mona, in her way, tried to help. She made a little moue at my distress and then said something again about how Our Bodies Are Gorgeous or whatever. As proof--and again, I imagine she meant well--she peeled off her shirt. Of course she wore no bra. "See?" she said. "It's no big deal!"

This was fascinating. And it was a big deal. It gave me very complicated thoughts.

It may not have all come at once, but that might have been the moment that tipped me over to the idea that there were greater things in the world than cold hot dogs.

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.


I still eat butter. I think of it as a very mild, somewhat salty cheese. It's delicious.

Comment number: 005091   Posted by: Kate on March 11, 2005 05:49 AM from IP:


I used to say "diggidaaa." The a sound at the end is a short a, like in "bad," and I'd say the first part fast, and then linger a little on the "aaa" part. And I'd say it as though it were the coolest thing in the world. All the time.

I don't really remember it too well, but I gather it persisted up to age five or so.

Now I prefer to say "durdledurdledurdle" but I generally don't, unless I want to annoy my wife.

Comment number: 005092   Posted by: bikeboy on March 11, 2005 07:11 AM from IP:

Two of my little brother's favorite snacks used to be raw butter and frozen hot dogs. Maybe there's a gene for it.

Comment number: 005093   Posted by: abby on March 11, 2005 07:47 AM from IP:


Comment number: 005094   Posted by: Snarky on March 11, 2005 12:18 PM from IP:

it had to be said, I guess.

Comment number: 005095   Posted by: norm on March 11, 2005 12:26 PM from IP:

I opted for ingesting chemicals as a child.

I vividly remember the *snap* *crackle* *pop* fizz on the tongue of the bright purple lawn fertilizer stored in our garage. Boring after a while and not filling.

Odder though is how we thought of the following concoction: saccharin pills in vinegar. I'd like to say that we only tried it once.

Nothing sprouting or caving in yet...

Comment number: 005096   Posted by: Jerry on March 12, 2005 02:55 PM from IP:

Dry spaghetti. Mmm, crunchy.

Comment number: 005097   Posted by: Elsa on March 13, 2005 09:17 AM from IP:

I worry for the aforementioned Kate's arteries.

Comment number: 005099   Posted by: galetea on March 14, 2005 08:19 AM from IP:

I was all about the dry ramen with packet sprinkles. I can hardly look at the stuff now. Somehow, that seems healthier than raw hot dogs! Ick!

Comment number: 005103   Posted by: Tami on March 14, 2005 05:23 PM from IP:

Children ARE completely horrifying on so many levels, aren't they? (I love 'em, but I'm the first to admit that I don't always get 'em.) And all this time I thought my best friend from the preschool years was a complete freak. She at uncooked pasta. My mind still boggles at the grossness. Better than uncooked hot dogs, though.

"I was not mollified. "IN HERE!" I screamed again. I evidently wasn't big on improv."
Hee. Oh, how I am laughing.

Comment number: 005113   Posted by: CG on March 16, 2005 09:24 PM from IP:

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