Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Monday, November 30, 2020

There Are No Congratulations and There Is No G-word

Recently my daughter gave birth to a son, the first time my children have had a child of their own.

Now, wait!


I’m warning you! I know what you are about to do – but don’t do it! Not until you hear me out.

I understand that many people view this as some kind of significant event. For some reason, people feel the need to congratulate me for it.

I find this strange, even bizarre. Because I had absolutely nothing to do with it. Nothing. I wasn’t there at the conception. I didn’t even know any procreating activity was going on. And I didn’t deliver the kid. I wasn’t even present at his birth.

Granted, I did provide food and shelter to my daughter when she was growing up. So, I guess I kept her alive until she was around 23 years old, but then she left the nest and has functioned well on her own for several years. This just seems like such a low bar to clear for a “congratulations”.

Now I did pay for the wedding, so maybe I did invest in this eventual outcome. And yet, perhaps my actions just ensured the kid would be “legitimate”. But then again, that is no small accomplishment, as legitimacy has not always been the norm in my family tree.

But this still seems like such a strange thing to congratulate me for. I just didn’t do anything. So, the world now remains populated. Whoopee! Around 385,000 babies are born around the world every day. Every day! So, what’s the big deal about adding one more?

Worse yet, when people congratulate me, they are assigning me a new moniker, without my permission I must say, that implies I am a decrepit old man and not the vim and vigor specimen that I obviously resemble.

Of course, I am “grand”. Everyone knows that. I mean I have written three books, while still working in a prestigious, “smarty-pants” day job. My wisdom, intellect, and modesty are all noteworthy. “Grand” is a very proper word to describe me.

And I am a “father”. I am listed on two birth certificates, that I know of, and even though there have never been any DNA tests, my daughters' paternity has never been questioned.

However, under no circumstance, none, should those two words ever be combined in any reference to me. No reference! I find that title much less than grand. Not very grand at all. More like it’s so small, it’s grand-ular.

It is the G-word, and it is just as offensive to me as the N-word, C-word, B-word, M&NOP-word, is to those other alphabet offended peoples. (Yes, I could have written a much funnier sentence than that one, but some people's heads would have exploded.)

I am obviously not the G-word in any sense. This word is used to describe old, feeble, ancient men, who, who, ah, yeah, have fading memories and leaky pipes which require dependable protective solutions. The kind of frail men who walk with canes! Okay, so I do own a cane, but only occasionally use it for medicinal purposes only and not because I am old.

I do not resemble anything associated with the G-word. Not anything! It shall not be used in reference to me because I am still a vibrant, virile, young-for-my-age, strapping man. And by strapping, I am in no way referring to my knee-brace straps, elbow-brace straps, truss-straps, or back-brace straps, which I may or may not be familiar with.

All right, so to review: There is no need to congratulate me, because I have done nothing, absolutely nothing, to deserve it. However, if you still insist on commending me, there will be no use of the G-word, none, because it is highly offensive to me. So, so, offensive.

I understand that eventually, the kid will have to call me something. But rest assured, it will not be the G-word or any variant of the G-word. I’m leaning towards “Pops”. Yes! Explosive – with lots of fizz still left! 

However, I must say that this kid, who does carry some of my DNA, is extraordinary. He may be the most exceptional baby ever born in the history of man. And I’m not just saying that. I’m not biased in any way. This baby is just amazing. He really, really is.  Also, I think he may even have inherited my large ears, which won’t help him any in the looks department, but at least he will be able to hear extraordinarily well.

They named him Liam. This was a disappointment because I was hoping they would name him after me. I mean, there is absolutely no reason you wouldn’t want to name your kid “Donald” this year, right?

Now Liam is not a bad choice for one of those more unique, “modern type” forename. And I’ve heard some really wacko choices lately. The name Liam does fit him well, because if he is anything like his grandf… ah, whoops. What I mean, is if he is anything like his mother’s father, he will have a very particular set of skills.

So, now that this event has passed, I’m just going to find a nice chair, relax and focus on enjoying life again. And NO, IT IS NOT A ROCKING CHAIR!!!!