Saturday, November 7, 2015


This post is addressed to a young man that recently turned 15. I and the other grups in your life have been rendered stunned and slack-jawed. How is this possible? How is it possible that my first grandkid, a boy that was born just a few months ago, will be driving in another year and our worries and anxieties are about to become worries and anxieties squared?

The first bit of unsolicited advice, the subject of this post (be forewarned, there will be more) I would offer you is hidden in what I just wrote. Unless you're the type of person that can create a new life and then walk away and leave the heavy lifting to others (and you're not) once you make a life, or even just become responsible for one, there's no going back.

You will be, on the best days, at least mildly obsessed with this kid until the day you die. There will be a limited (if you're lucky) amount of days when it feels like you've had your heart ripped out of your chest without the benefit of an anesthetic.

Moral considerations aside, at least for the moment, the technology for preventing unintentional impregnation is available at just about any convenience store. There's a morning after pill available at most drug stores in the event that passion overrides rational choice, as your DNA hopes it will. I know that acknowledging that a huge, honking factor in any world-class romance/hormone saturated world-class case of the hots, particularly among the newly fecund -- your DNA's determination to replicate at any cost -- is a world-class buzzkill. It's also settled science, ignore it at your own peril. The bottom line is that you can't escape biology, and at this point in your life, your actions are just as likely to be determined by what mother nature wants as they are to be the rational choices you need to make to avoid having to decide what your take is on abortion. While I'm at it can I get a shout out for STDs! Nature's own all-natural souvenirs of ill-considered fornication.

Please be careful. Your DNA has an unfair advantage that makes anything the New England Patriots can dream up seem pathetic in comparison. You may have heard that the human brain is not fully mature until a given human is about 25 or so, more of that settled science stuff. More importantly, the last area of your little gray cells to reach full maturity is the prefrontal cortex, the part that you make (hopefully) rational decisions with. You're gonna' be obsessed with sex -- be it just lust, a need to nest, or something in between -- for several years before the "smart" part of your brain catches up.

It gets worse.

You are part of a culture that has gone from a fairly rigid, conservative, sexually repressive view of the subject in question to an if it feels good do it, sexually drenched culture in a very short time. While you were born into the later culture and take it for granted, there are all sorts of grups out there that have lived through some version of both and feel as though the baby got tossed out with the bathwater. And though we've lost our consensus we have to share the planet with cultures that advocate standards that we consider to be hopelessly primitive; they think we embody the morals of the infamous dwellers of Sodom and Gomorrah. What a mess.

Before I continue I must deal with some housekeeping. If any of my tens of readers are annoyed by a post written specifically for a kid young man who is very important to me, sorry, but it's partially your fault. If you did a better job of promoting this blog and growing my audience, I would have to worry about alienating my huge following, my advertisers, and my publisher. Unfortunately, I don't have this problem. so I can write what I please.

Also, you've no doubt noticed the word grups in my second sentence. This ain't a typo it's just me and my love of invented words again. I vaguely remember an episode of the original Star Trek TV show in which the kids on some distant planet fear growing up because you turn into a grup -- which turns out to be a grown up -- and grups kill callowyutes (kids). Oh, and callowyutes has nothing to do with Star Trek, it's what happens when the word yutes (youths), from the movie My Cousin Vinnie, has a chance to marinate for a few years in the three pounds of neural cells that live at the top of my body.

And now, back to our show.

There's another major reason to avoid unintentional impregnation, the potential for dramatically negative effects on the kid. Multiple reputable studies by multiple reputable social scientists and the organizations they work for (and common sense...) have drawn the same conclusion: The best way to ensure that your kid grows up to be successful and well-adjusted is to raise them in one of those boring old traditional mom and dad marriages.

Now, this doesn't mean that a kid from a non-traditional relationship can't also grow up to be successful and well adjusted. This is a damn good thing because it's estimated by the Pew Research Center that currently slightly less than half of the kids in the USA are growing up in an Ozzie and Harriet (look it up) sort of household. There isn't actually an Ancient Chinese Curse (but there should be) that goes: May you live in interesting times.

I would posit that the most important moral and ethical consideration here is not whether or not you fornicate, though if you choose to I highly recommend fornicating with someone(s) you're at least deeply in like with, but that's another post. What's most important is that you avoid replicating your DNA with little or no thought as to what sort of quality of life Dude Jr. is going to have.

Have an OK day.

[P.S. Gentlereaders, I've experimented and will continue to experiment with various formats, column lengths, and the like. While my primary motivation was/is developing my writing style, I've always given (minimal) consideration to what I thought a potential publisher and/or advertiser might want to see. 

One of the reasons I don't run ads on my website anymore is the fact I've decided to just let the column happen and go where it (and Marie-Louise) wishes it to go. 

If there are some readers out there that think my shtuff is worth sharing and/or worth a buck or three, fine. If not, so be it.]

©2015 Mark Mehlmauer   (The Flyoverland Crank)

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