I was walking home from the train station today when something...terrible...happened.
I was just past the fire station when I passed a man pushing a stroller. In the stroller was a baby. It was a classic baby, I suppose, nothing exotic or imported. It was a young baby; I'm not good at the ages of young people; I have to go by size. It was small for a baby, large for a liquor bottle. It was about 1.5 gallon baby. Redheaded, squinty, with that wierd accusatory old man face that the small type of baby generally has. It was drooling and just a little bit crusty.
And it wasn't wearing a hat.
I remember that, because as I passed them, some voice said in my head "Oh, don't you want to put a hat on his little head?".
Don't. You. Want. To. Put. A. Hat. On. His. Little. Head.
Not: For the good of society, will you please wipe that little fucker down or consider a rear-facing stroller? He's gone past sticky to greasy, and it's unpleasant to have that thing wheeled at you on a hill, like that.
But: Don't you want to put a hat on his little head?
Remember, I'm the person who is ready to advocate for a thirty day, no questions asked return policy on those things. I'm the person who seriously considered writing a paper for my animal behavior class that suggested that the delayed appearance of features triggering the "aw" response in human infants is a result of the evolutionary advantage to abandoning infants below a certain age.
Not only am I suspicious of, and hostile to, infants - I don't know a thing about them. I've taken, and passed, child development, but the only thing I got from it is that Russian learning theorists tend to die as young, and of similar (hepatic) causes as other Russian intellectuals. And yet, apparently, I know one thing about babies: They should wear hats. On their little heads. When it's sunny out.
I'm trying to reassure myself that my reaction was not some bastard emergence of then nurturing instinct I have thus far only hoped to extend to large, wealthy african-american men who are strangers to me
It's probably nothing to do with babies, and a lot to do with my mom. "Don't you think that baby should wear a hat?" is the only female conversational game* that my mother will consent to play. The rules are simple: Is it sunny out? Can that thing be identified as a baby? Then it should be wearing a hat. So you get to say "Don't you want to put a hat on his little head?" I still haven't figured out whether this game works without accompanying weather conditions. Can hats be suggested on babies for one's own amusement? To go with the general tenor of the moment? If I see a baby at a funeral, can I say "Don't you want to put a comically small hat with a black tulle veil on his widdle head?," or, in the North End "Shouldn't that baby be wearing a fedora?"
*Other famous female conversational games include "Other people's medical problems" "Lets enumerate our imaginary flaws" "Things I would like to buy or own but haven't yet." and "Who would you let put it in your butt?**"
**This is not actually a female conversational game +.
+But if it were, I've got my answer: Prince William, and Prince William only.++
++ Not out of some ridiculous anglo-royo-philia, but because the dollar's down. And if I'm going to have somebody stick something in my pooper, I want to be able to sell the story to the tabloids. And nobody's got a more thriving tabloid culture than the UK. And damn, the Brits would pay a lot for the story of the night the Prince got his brown wings. With exchange rates being what they are, it's likely that royal weiner + my bum could be the smartest investment I'd ever get to make.