Saturday, February 24, 2007

What's the big deal?

Everybody loves babies. Why not? They're cute. They're small. They can fit in a carry on, or a really big purse, or maybe your pocket if you're wearing Girbauds. That's cool, but let's face it, even cigarettes can do that. As I've begun to ponder fatherhood and the impending birth of our child, I've had to confront this question: what's so special about babies? That is, what have babies contributed to society? I know that great men before me have attempted to answer this question, only to get confused and go absolutely nuts. Nevertheless, it's an important question to resolve before the baby arrives. Besides, I'm neither great men, nor before me.

For the past several days I've been scouring the internet to compile a list of the greatest babies of all time and their respective accomplishments. Let me tell you my efforts have been largely fruitless. As it turns out, babies have accomplished very little in the history of the Western world. For example, I found no instances of a baby winning a Nobel Prize, a Pulitzer Prize, a Medal of Freedom, or even had a book selected by Oprah's book club. I know what you're thinking. This guy's off his rocker. Surely a baby has at least been in Oprah's book club. Well, see for yourself ( So, what about athletics? Babies are probably good at sports, right? Wrong. There has never been a professional baby baseball player, basketball player (actually, I think there was a baby that played for the Washington Senators in their embarrassing loss to the Harlem Globetrotters in 1985, but I can't seem to find documentation), or football player. More tellingly, no baby has ever won the Daytona 500.

Undoubtedly there have been some very good babies--Baby Michelle, Baby Superman, Bruce Willis in Look Who's Talking, and Baby Jessica. And we all know how much Baby Spice has done for the feminist cause. But these are the exceptions, and when it's all over history may decide that even they fall short of greatness. So if babies aren't all that special, why do Americans spend $7 billion on disposable diapers every year? "So my baby doesn't poop on the floor," one mother suggested. Fine, but why do we collectively spend over $40 billion on toys? Clearly nobody knows. But many speculate that it's because of the Wal-Mart marketing machine. "It's just like those holidays that Sam Walton made up, like 'Presidents' Day' and 'Independence Day'," said one guy. Maybe he's right...maybe he's right.


Richard said...

I'll try to keep up with your blogging, but you're asking a lot. Reading done be a hard thang!

spaghettipie said...

Richard can read?

Trent said...

He has a screen reader--adaptive technology for blind and illiterate. I love you, Richard.

Richard said...

Go blog yourselves!