“Does this Stress Make Me Look Fat?” (Chapter Three: Spawn of the Dead)

More from Anthony Rhody’s book serial: “Does This Stress Make Me Look Fat?”

I don’t have any kids that I’m willing to own up to, which makes me ideal for writing children’s books.

I used to think children’s books were books written by children.

I also used to think that “child abuse” referred to abuse by children – like when they produce that high-pitched scream or when they won’t leave you alone.

I used to think that the Breeders’ Cup was a trophy the Vatican handed out each year to the couple that had had the most children.

Hey, does the 5-second rule for dropping food also apply to babies?

And baby powder…

Is the process of making that as gruesome as it sounds?

No, wait, I don’t want to know.

Same goes for baby aspirin.

When meeting a child I like to put my hand to its nose so it can get my scent.

Usually the parental unit stomps off in a huff, pulling the child by the leash.

When I meet a mother and daughter who look suspiciously close in age I like to use the old, “and this must be your sister” line.

Then, once the mother’s had a moment to enjoy the flattery, I’ll clarify that it’s not her that looks too young to be the other one’s mother but that it’s the other one who looks too old to be her daughter.

Usually I’m able to run away fast enough to avoid injury because they are both in high heels.

I am too, but have the good sense to take mine off and carry them!

The first children’s book I wrote was the self-explanatory:

“Everybody Climaxes.”

The second was on the importance of eating enough protein and getting plenty of sleep:

“Mary Had a Little Lamb and Then Lay Down For a Nap.”

The third one, “Jack vs. Jill” was about the couple’s long, drawn-out litigation over who was at fault on the top of that hill that fateful day when Jack suffered multiple contusions to the head consistent with falling and Jill claims she was only trying to defend herself against his unwanted advances.

The couple soon separated due to Irreconcilable Similarities.

The fourth book was for older children (ages 5 – 11): “Dr. Seuss’s Masseuses.”

Critics found the happy ending inappropriate.

Hey, when exactly did Dr. Seuss drop out of medical school?

And why?

Did he get busted doing some sort of hallucinogens?

Soon I will be working on my first self-help book for children who are having trouble sleeping.

It’s called, “Darkness Comes a Crawlin’ … and other daily affirmations.”

There is a story and it does feature a “Boogie Man” but he is referred to as “the Boogie Person” so the youngsters will learn that just because they’re paranoid doesn’t mean that someone (male or female!) isn’t out to get them.

Contrary to what some people will tell you, it’s not that I don’t like children; I just don’t think, they’re very nutritious.

But, come on, if we’re being brutally honest here:

Children have very limited vocabularies; they never have any money I can borrow; and their senses of humor are rudimentary, to put it nicely.

The following is the most recent joke one of those people told me:

“When is a booger not a booger?”

“When it’s snot.”

I laughed – out loud – but I was just being polite.

I look forward to the day when a family might be driving by the shopping mall and the kiddies point out that there’s a Jack In the Box and they start begging to go eat there – can we can we can we, Mommy? – and Mommy points out that that’s not a Jack in the Box but a Jack No Longer in the Box and it’s an abortion clinic with a drive-thru window.

Then Daddy mentions Mommy’s been there many times and Mommy mumbles to herself, “and yet, not enough.”

Then, for the rest of the drive home, they all get real quiet lest things start to get weird.

But because it’s not just about me, I someday hope to build an orphanage for children whose parents are dead inside.

Author: Anthony Rhody

My name is Anthony Rhody. I was born in a small midwestern town when I was very young. I am a recovering Catholic and lapsed homosexual. Henceforth I spend a lot less time on my knees. I was a film major at Columbia in Chicago after my career in high school ended in scandal and must-deserved notoriety, plus a diploma. After two years of life in a seventeen-story dorm I was told I should go to the west coast (true story). Since then I have been a screenwriter primarily and a playwright on rare occasion. When I realized a couple years ago I had too many notes on humor and funny schtick to ever use in screenplays I decided to try to see how many of them I could throw together as a book of humor. "Does This Stress Make Me Look Fat?" is that book, not a medical journal on over-eating. I don't have any children and as far as I know, no sexual partners. I have lived in San Francisco since before there was a homeless problem - sorry, before so many folks were home free.