"Don't use your children like that -- it's shameful." It's a paraphrase of a quote from "Dead Like Me," when a woman attempts to use her kid being in the car to cut into line at the post office.
I'm Child Free. Does that mean I hate kids? No, it means being a parent is something I would never do to a child. I'm obsessive, judgmental, hot-tempered and can be downright mean. So nobody who should be raising a kid (and I could COUNT when I was seven, and saw the future population numbers. I later realized that being a parent doesn't guarantee permanent effect -- atheists usually come from religious households, after all).
However, I'm a GREAT aunt. I'll take your kid horseback riding and to cookout parties and down to the swimming hole. Of course, I'll also let your kid get into the Triple-sec-soaked marshmallows and take turns body-surfing the rapids until somebody's bleeding. Just sayin.'
However, I never volunteered to baby-sit your kid.
The following is a legal contract, that will be applied in the cases described, and you are required to have knowledge of it:
"The next person who dares to get between me and adult events, books, movies or whatever, because their 14-year-old daughter (for example) happened to walk into the bondage panels at Norwescon (for example), and causes me any loss of time and enjoyment or money for the sake of their kid - he or she is getting a bill for my art rates, and those start at $80.00 an hour.
And if s/he has the gall to squawk, "Are you a parent?" then it will be $120 an hour, as a nuisance fee, under Arrogant Cluelessness.
I will assume you, as the parent, gave the kid permission to be involved in my activities in the first place.
If you miss your payment, you will be billed monthly, and 5% accruing interest will start at the 1st of each non-paid month.
This is a legal contract.
If you claim you've never read it after getting the bill, ignorance is no excuse. So do your job and explain to your kid that, while THOSE people are doing it -- it's for grownups, and the kid doesn't get to do it until s/he is an adult, too.
Oh - and if you find alcohol on the premises at Comicons run by me, remember that a lot of these secure spaces are in Lion's Clubs, or Elk's Clubs, etc. - and those old farts have booze in the cupboards. Watch your kids' fingers, and remind them that most things are for grownups - they just have to wait a few years.
Signed this day -- September 7, 2011 (further additions, August 9, 2012) -- by Donna Barr
Additional Corollary, 27 July, 2014: This contract applies to people who decide their imaginary gods or other fandoms can intrude on the fun of consenting adults and reasonable parents. Come in here and start spouting how Jesus hates gay people or Allah hates women, and making people feel all sad and guilty, and you'll be billed for the same time, because you're using our space to abuse other people. Amen."
|Me and Padawan Learner in the Chehalis River. So there.|
Oops. Sorry. I just met a Piano-tuner guy (well, Facebook met) whose answer to all questions is, "I'm the piano tuner."
Oh, this essay is a thing of adult-defending beauty.
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