Saturday, July 7, 2007

Your Aunty Christ loves you already, No-Toes

The presumed point of our trip to Colorado, you might be surprised to learn, was baby-viewing, and we did as much of that as anything, I suppose, except driving, which we did too much of, and sleeping, which was sometimes done concurrently with the driving, at least on my (the driver’s) end.

Babies in Remote Mountain Village tend to be small—so small that when I was asked by the helpful shopkeep at the baby-gift store what size of baby I was buying for, I said, “Oh, he’s big. He’s seven pounds or so.” Oh, no—sez shopkeep—that’s very small. “Not for Remote Mountain Village,” sez I. “At that altitude (9,000 feet), all babies are born tiny.” I later heard shopkeep repeat this tidbit to another customer, who then denied that mountain babies are born small. Oh well. I stand by my assertion: Every baby I’ve ever heard of being conceived, carried, and born in Remote Mountain Village is a wee slip of a thing, hardly worth notice. Whether it’s the altitude or the molybdenum in the water, I have no clue. The molybdenum has been blamed for both the town’s high incidence pregnancy (I myself blame the residents’ reliance on “hippie birth control”—i.e., smoking pot in order to lower sperm count) and the town’s high incidence of miscarriages, so perhaps it also creates these bonsai babies.

The particular infant we were visiting lived in a vibrating chair. He was jowled and sleepy. He was the approximate shape of a dollop of jam. He also had only half a foot on one leg, topped with one tiny toe-ish nubbin, mismatched by a giant foot on the other, crowned with five fat toes.

In what seems like a completely separate story, an ex-boyfriend gave me a hedgehog for Valentine’s Day one year. I had been talking for ages about wanting a hedgehog, so it wasn’t as ridiculous as it seems now. I loved that hedgehog, until he met his end one day at the veterinarian’s office, having been overtreated for dehydration and handed back to me, a sopping-wet balloon of liquid flesh plopped upon a damp hand towel. The ultimate reason for his dehydration—and death—was the same as the reason my ex chose this particular hedgehog out of the mess of hedgehogs for sale at the pet market: He had a funny ear, shaped like a broccoli floret, turned in upon itself, and prone to infection. One had to be vigilant about cleaning it and treating it with ointment; and I certainly tried to be. Alas, I was not as vigilant as I should have been, it turns out.

What a weird Valentine’s Day gift, though: a hedgehog with an infected ear. “I thought you’d like him better if you had to nurse him to health,” the ex said. And he was kind of right. I never liked him much (the boy, not the hedgehog), but he knew me rather well.

It likewise occurs to me that perhaps I liked the baby a little better than I might have, if he had been one of those perfect gifts from god you hear so much about. I’ll like him even better once he’s out there gimping around with the rest of ’em, I suspect. Winners—bah! You can keep ’em.

Since I’ve returned, the gimp-mom sent me a batch of photos involving her half-footed babe. I’m featured in many of them, as well, and Rich Bachelor is in some too. I considered posting one here, or perhaps sending them to relatives and friends as a joke: “Sorry we didn’t tell you, but we had a baby!” Wouldn’t that be hilarious? Or stupid? Wait … is there a difference? I made some unfortunate clothing choices that day, however, which, along with my unfortunate diet and exercise choices and my parents’ unfortunate genetic choices, have resulted in my looking like a Mexican taxidermied frog holding a baby. I couldn’t find a photo of such a thing online, so here is a picture of kind of the same thing, except replace “baby” with “guitar.”

In fact, this is pretty much what I look like right now, except that Im wearing a sombrero. I'm about to go see a Vanilla Ice concert, you know. Gotta look good.

For more information on our trip to Colorado, please see Rich Bachelor’s blog. There’s much to add to that, of course, but I’m hardly in the mood to do that sort of thing. Besides, it was new to him. To me, same old.

Going back to the hedgehog thing, though, would anyone think less of me if I admitted that I have a soft spot for losers, lost causes, the underdog, hopeless cases, etc.? I live my life exactly the opposite of those who make my heart melt, too, by which I don’t mean that I’m a huge winner, but only that I’m afraid to try. I keep thinking about this. If gimp-baby grows up to be that guy who’s ashamed of his gimp-foot, I’ll be so disappointed. If he ends up being that guy who always tries out—pathetically—for the track team only to get his hopes dashed again and again (of course … what do you think this is—a movie?) and never learns any valuable lesson from it or becomes a better person or anything, well, I’ll be quite touched. I love a story without a happy ending.


David Rochester said...

" ...would anyone think less of me if I admitted that I have a soft spot for losers, lost causes, the underdog, hopeless cases, etc.?"

No wonder you keep visiting my blog, Aunty.

Junk Thief said...

If they can make a dander-free cat and barkless dogs, you'd think they could make a scream and poop free baby. Until then I'd suggest traveling with duct tape when visiting them in case you have to resort to desperate measure to return calm to the situation.

Regardless, I have never seen a baby half as cute as a Basenji, and I'm a cat person.

stevo said...

What if the toeless babe rises above his infirmity to start a Vanilla Ice cover band? That would be sweet revenge against the universe.

standing said...

I have to say that we are oh so alike in this softness. My track record reads as such: the more under the dog, the more over the moon.

I have learned my lesson in romance however, junkies and schizophrenics can really turn a girl around ( & I so wish I was stretching the truth).
BUT.... I still romance it, the way you fancy something in a shop, but you know that you could never justify it as part of your life.

A sopping wet hedgehog with a fucked up ear does sound incredibly sweet. I can fully understand.