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How I Raised an Asian Baby to be my Accountant Part I
by Michele Christopher
There I was, a father! My month-long dream had been realized at long last. In my arms was a stinky little bundle of life, all my own! I looked down at his little scrunched up face, with his little tuft of hair waving wistfully in the breeze. Then I realized that I shouldn’t have a baby in an apartment that had a breeze blowing through it and I’d finally found my reason to fix all the rat holes in the wall! There’s one point for the baby.
I had so much to do. First and foremost, I had to name him, according to the instructions on the birth certificate Dave left by the blanket. I already had his middle name figured out—Dorothy—after my favorite uncle (I never knew what I loved the best about Uncle Dorothy—the smell of his perfume or playing “Snake Spit” with him) but the first name was more sensitive. After all, that’s what he would be called the rest of his life. I had to choose wisely. If I picked the wrong name, the little guy would be picked on his whole life. I thought of several different names, only to immeditately think of ways to use them to humiliate their defenseless owners. Scott—Scott the Twat. Duke—Duke the Puke. Leslie—Leslie. While I thought, I took the toaster out of the sink, filled it with water (the sink, not the toaster) and gave the little guy a bath. By the time he had been thoroughly disinfected, I’d happened upon the perfect moniker: Lester.
Next, I knew I needed to feed Lester and give him something to drink. I had that covered. I walked into the kitchen and opened a cabinet where I kept baby food (you try eating anything else after being up for thirty-six hours taking shots of Everclear and shooting up heroin in the back of an abandoned free clinic with two priests, a Rodney Dangerfield impersonator, and your grandmother). Then I opened up the fridge and got out some milk (that was the only thing grandma could keep down the next day) and took out the bottle I had over the sink (I never knew why grandma needed that). I fed the little guy—he totally got off on the squash—and then got him ready to go out. I knew the first thing I had to do was take Lester to the doctor and get him shots—at least, that’s what I did with Francis, and the doctor told me it was the best thing I could have done.
Now I had a dillemma. I had been tripping on acid for about 24 hours. I didn’t think I needed to walk down the stairs holding Lester, much less take him out and about on the street. I needed someone reliable, someone sober, to carry my baby out with me. Just then, I heard the gentle cooing of my loyal dog Francis. “Of course!” I thought. “Francis and Lester are already getting along! I’ll just tie the little guy to the dog and we’ll be ready to go!”
You never know until you need to know just how much toilet paper it takes to tie a baby to a dog. It’s a lot. But I finally got Lester snug and tight on Francis’ back, and Francis seemed happy to have a job to do. The three of us left, and set out on the short trek to see the doctor.
It’s safe to say I got very frustrated when we finally got to see the doctor. We had to wait an hour, and while I got to read an awful lot about flea medication and heartworms, Lester was pretty grumpy by the time the doctor called us in and told me he couldn’t give a human baby a shot.
”But I thought humans were animals?”
“Sir, by ‘animals,’ I mean ‘everything besides humans.’’’
Well, I just didn’t have time for a philosophical debate about the difference between ape and man. I had Lester to take care of for Christ’s sake! And I told the doctor so while he was pushing me out the door and yelling at me to walk three blocks south to the hospital.
Francis followed as I steamed toward the hospital. What if Lester had rabies or heartworms, or God forbid, mange! That fucking doctor wouldn’t do anything about it. Well, at least there was one good thing—I felt like I was almost completely off of my acid trip. Soon, I could release Francis from his carrying duties, and release Lester from his soft, quilted, two-ply prison. By the time we reached the doors of the hospital, I felt fine, and slowly unwrapped little Lester and took him inside.
I walked straight up to the front desk, where a friendly nurse asked, “What can I help you with?”
“I do believe some shots are in order?” I replied.
She looked from me to Lester, and said, “Is something wrong with the boy?”
I shrugged. “Just got him today. Was counting on you folks to tell me that.”
She looked confused for a second, then smiled. “Oh, I see. You’re taking care of him for a friend! Does he have a fever?” She felt his head with her hand. “Nope! He’s fine. You’re such a sweet man though for bringing him in to make sure! No, all this little fellow needs is to sit in a loving lap and have a sweet man read him a book.”
Well, the book store wasn’t far away, I thought, and it would be a hell of a lot cheaper than shots. Francis followed as we walked to the nearest bookstore. Once inside, I held Lester up in front of the shelves, letting him look at all the different books, until finally, we found one that both of us thought was fantastic.
That night, after we all had dinner, I sat in my recliner with Francis at my feet and Lester in my lap. I opened the book we bought together and started reading the first page.
“Taxes and tax law are the foundation of American economics. In 1797...”
Next week: How I Raised an Asian Baby to Be My Accountant Part II
Ted Rhobe Ray is a loving, doting father who gave up his 100 dollar a week acid habit so his son could go to Accountant Camp for Gifted Asian Babies