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by: Max Burbank

If there’s two things kids love, it’s repetition and repetition. When my daughter was three she watched "The Lion King" three or four times a day for almost a year. I think a kid must have invented the instructions for shampoo. When I was six I read "Lather, Rinse, Repeat" for the very first time. Six hours after the hot water ran out, paramedics had to pry my near dead hypothermic body from the shower. Where were my parents? Down in the basement working on the death ray. Story of my life.

The thing is, I’m an adult now, and I hate repetition. Once I’ve seen a movie that’s pretty much it. I hate reruns, I never re-read a book, I won’t eat leftovers and I make the wife wear a different wig every night. I’m kidding, of course. My wife is a lovely and charming woman who reads these articles and is far better than I deserve, plus she’s crafty, wiry, she has a tremendous left hook and doesn’t mind telling friends and neighbors that her husband is ‘accident prone’, so shhhhh!

She’s also patient. She’ll read the kids the same book every night for a month, she doesn’t mind listening to the friggin’ same Wee Sing tape over and over, and if the kid has a favorite lullaby, well that’s the one they’ll get until they move out. Me? Can’t do it. Can’t be bored, can’t tolerate it, I’d rather be in pain than be bored, I’d rather have Barbara Walters shove hot needles in my eyes as long as she keeps her yap shut while she does it, I’d rather have that girl who played Tuti on the facts of life force a live badger down my throat while listening to ‘Eden’s Crush’, anything, anything at all so long as it doesn’t happen twice in a row. So when it’s my turn to put the kids to bed and they want some game or song or rhyme they’re used to... well, I vary things.

Last night, for instance. Here’s the little nursery rhyme I chanted for them; "Five little monkeys, bouncin’ on the bed, One fell off and bumped it’s head, Mama called the Doctor and the Doctor said... SWEET CHRIST WOMAN, YOU’VE GIVEN BIRTH TO A LITTER OF MONKEYS!! OH, GOD, OH MERCY, YOU BEEN SCREWIN’ A MONKEY!! LAWZY, LAWZY, GET THE HAMMER!!" Then I skillfully mimed crushing each baby monkey’s skull. I’m not what you’d call a huge fan of mime, but I was in the moment and I didn’t have a real hammer nearby, or any human-monkey hybrids for that matter, so I made do.

My one year old was suitably terrified and cried impressively, but my older girl at five and a half gave me the stony fish eye she has developed for just such moments. I’m afraid I’ve spoiled her and now she’s jaded. Tough crowd, that kid. I get nothing unless I go all out. The break away bottles, the blood capsules and exploding squibs. It’s exhausting, and I don’t go whole hog like that often because it’s an expensive hobby and the woman from DSS says I have to stop.

If I were the Flash (and who’s to say I’m not) I’d use my super speed to edit and alter the kids video’s between each viewing. Otherwise it would take too much time out of my schedule. You know. If I did it at, like, regular speed. Or if I weren’t the Flash. I could make it so when Simba sees his dad’s face in the night sky, it could get real mad at him and roar and roar and get larger and larger, and the eyes became exploding suns. I think that would be good for the kids as well as fun for me. You know, for their whole development and all, visa vis the concept of paternal authority. And then my girls would be all, like "Mommy, Mommy, Daddy made "The Lion King" all scary!", and she’d watch it, but I’d have changed it back. At super speed. ‘Cause I’m the Flash in this fantasy.

See, life’s too short, you know? Especially if you smoke eight packs of unfiltered camels a day and account for more than a fifth of Jaegermeister’s profits for any given fiscal quarter. I know kids brains are supposed to be developmentally designed to thrive on repetition, but what if that’s wrong? What if, what if, see, you deprived them of repetition, made their whole little lives totally unpredictable? Yes, multiple personality disorder is the most likely outcome, but what if it made them genius prodigy’s? What if it freed them from their grandparent’s destiny, what if they need not slave day after day in a dank basement trying to perfect a death ray that never ends up being much more powerful than a rest room hand dryer? What if they could discover a cure for cancer, or limitless energy or a way To go back in time and prevent John Stossell from being born? What if they could make enough money by the time they were twelve so that I could retire in style? ‘Cause that’s what I’m shooting for, here, folks. That and not being bored.

note #1: Max Burbank is still waiting for Jaegermeister to sponsor these pieces he writes.

note #2: -RoG- is still waiting for Max Burbank to pay him for posting his pieces on this site. Muahaha!

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