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Mon, Dec. 13th, 2010, 03:20 pm
Letters to Gonzo: The Fourth Loko

(The internet is forever, until we're eaten by New Dinosaurs, so I will be recording my thoughts on impending fatherhood for my son/daughter to discover someday with their Google brain chip implanted by the One World Government. It will save little Gonzo hundreds of Ameros in therapy, I hope, by giving a clearer idea of the foolish "man" who decided he/she had to exist. And, y'know, I'm bored at work.)

(Oh, Gonzo! We don't know if you're a boy or a girl yet. We decided we don't want to know. So we just call you Gonzo, in tribute to Hunter S. Thompson.)

Hey little bucko -

Someday you're gonna grow up and want to know about your birth and where you came from and all of life's questions, so I will start with the important issues raised by yesterday's Surprise Baby Shower thrown for your mom. The answer to your first and only question is this: Four Loko was a powerful caffeinated alcoholic beverage that was popular for a few glorious months in 2010, before the government began banning it for the misunderstood crime of "getting people really wasted and also some heart attacks and man so many poor decisions."

But Father, you may ask, Isn't it silly for adults responsibly using a legal product to be constrained by the poor behavior of idiots and lightweights? Isn't there room for liberty and personal responsibility in the year 2010? These are good questions, Gonzo, but mostly irrelevant because, dammit, Four Loko is really just not worth the intellectual effort to ponder it because it is AWFUL.

I mean, AWFUL. Just. Oh man.

Why did we drink it, you may ask. Well, first and foremost never forget that your parents are morons. Actually, I won't speak for your mother here, since she has been pregnant through the Four Loko phenomenon and thus has not been a part of this ill-advised farce.

I, your father, am just a huge dumb-ass, and I'll do anything for a larf. Like, I was at this party on Friday night and this guy I had just met talked about how he and his friends used to make circular holes in glass beer bottles just by using a dime. They'd drop a dime into an empty beer bottle and knock it against their foot, and if they got it going fast enough the dime would ricochet against the glass and cut out a little circular hole. He said there were dudes who were really good at doing this, even if most of them are not gainfully employed as a adults. But they were once kings. So I thought, hey, I've got an empty beer bottle and a dime: let's rock! And, yeah, then I had to go find the party host and ask where she keeps her broom.

I used to do dumb-ass shit like this all the time, Gonzo. Hell, who am I kidding: I will still probably be doing dumb-ass shit like this in the future (present), too. I just really like saying Yes to stuff. Or, rather, "Why not?" Sometimes it gets me into trouble or I end up doing something totally regrettable, but more often than not it's just harmless fun on the way to a good story.

Anyway, that's where Four Loko came from. Nobody actually likes Four Loko, but it's funny to drink it so we did occasionally. Then New York state banned it, and as of this very day it is illegal to posses a can of it. Yesterday was the last day. So, naturally, while going on a beer run for the party we threw your mom, I had to get a few cans of Four Loko to be funny: grape, fruit punch, and orange. We found that mixing the orange flavor with orange juice creates a pretty delicious Lokomosa, and then we all started talking louder.

Especially Adam. That shit was crazy! That potion did things to him, man. Much later, after eating dinner and watching a movie, Adam was leaving our house and said, "Where did the last few hours go?" Four Loko does that to you.

Anyway, when you see pictures of your mother double-fisting cans of Four Loko you may be tempted to blame her for that D you got on your history mid-term. Sorry - you earned that D yourself fair and square, bucko. The booze was all for show (Mom did have a mimosa, but that's allowed.) And, OK, maybe some people wouldn't think it's funny to joke about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome but your mom and I and our friends do. We're just like that.

For instance! We had this great plan for Facebook (this was before Facebook was given statehood, BTW). I was gonna keep updating with news about the baby ("Just got back from the ultrasound. I could see the little heart beat!") and then your mom would update about how hungover she was or about trying to score drugs or being out at the club all night or whatever. And we would keep this up for all nine months, countering every "I can feel the baby kicking!" with "The first shot of vodka in the morning is always the kindest." And if anybody questioned your mom about the baby she'd say "What baby?" And if anyone questioned me about the drinking/drugs I'd say "What are you talking about? Spring and I rented a movie and made risotto last night. The baby just kicked!"

We wanted to do this, but we realized that the big problem is that nobody has a goddamned sense of humor, so it would be more trouble than it's worth. And, as a huge dorkatron, I thought it was a great experiment on playing with the Unreliable Narrator role and constructing this months-long public art piece basically, concocting this whole narrative/alternate reality that we'd keep updating and changing and perhaps interacting with in real life. Because, whatever, Facebook is kind of dull so it would be a fun way to spice it up and make it a creative exercise. But, sheesh, so much work. Ugh. Sleep snore snooze alarm I don't wanna go to work snooze cry.

You will find more evidence of this sense of humor in the pictures your mom has taken of you in the womb, like her monster hands series.

Or the Pregnant Superhero thing.

We have plans for more. Our hope is that you will think it's cool and a good time. Who knows. It's what we would want for ourselves, and we'd think it was awesome if that's what our parents did, but you may be totally different from us. Probably you'll just be really embarrassed by us no matter what we do. Picking you up from school in a glittery blue motorcycle with sidecar, for example. We have dreams, Gonzo.

Anyway, we had a really great time and threw a fun little party in the school run by our friend Molly on 14th street. It was a big surprise, and all your mom's friends and I conspired and tricked your mother and people brought presents and chipped in and did their part, but nobody did more than your mom's friend who you will hopefully know as 'Aunt Kate'. They made your mom a tiara, which she wore excitedly, because your mom loves dressing up in those sorts of things. They brought her the big comfy chair, and she smiled and laughed and she looked like a princess. It was wonderful.

It was raining, so the subways were all late, so they texted me on my phone and said "Stall! Stall!" We had arranged a fake brunch in the city with our friend Jessie as a way of getting your mom to the party. So right as we were getting ready to go I started changing my outfit, changing my shirt and shoes because, apparently, I had to look really nice for brunch. I also, as I told your mom last night, was fully prepared to start a fight with her over whatever she decided to wear to brunch, because your mother would have killed me if I'd let her show up at her own baby shower looking like fried dog ass.

So we had all of the fun, and drank all of the Four Loko, and played games and ate food and danced to Girl Talk, which was momentarily popular when you were born. Look it up on your Brain Google, though you probably won't give a crap because you don't know any of the songs. Uncle Adam, who you will hopefully know, drove us home and we watched the DVD he gave your mom about mothers who have retained their identity as artists. We can relate.

The party was a lot like your parents: unconventional, but not anarchic or anything. Kind of weird but ultimately non-destructive. We left the school cleaner than we found it. But we did leave out the babies we dressed up in our Project Runway Create A Diaper contest. I won, because the judge likes me best.

My mind wanders here and there, Gonzo, and your mom can see those moments when the little wheels in my head are turning and I am somewhere else. I am all over the place lately.

But I have to say that, with as much as I've got spinning around in my head, I'm nothing but excited to meet you. I'm not scared, not even a little. Maybe it's because we waited until we were older to have you. Maybe it's because of that thing where I'm totally stupid. But, really, it's just that you are like everything else in life. We don't know what's ahead, but we're smart and resourceful and we'll make it happen.

I've learned that there is really no wrong way to be a good parent. We won't do it exactly like everybody else we know, even as we've picked up things here, philosophies and styles that we dig and want to emulate. We will be an amalgamation of all of our friends and families. But we'll do our own thing. And hopefully, whatever that thing ultimately ends up being it'll make you happy and healthy and smart and fun and just the coolest. The one constant, as many times as I've had the "impending fatherhood" conversation, is that every dude I've talked to gets the same look in his eye and looks off somewhere and says, "It is so much fun, man."

We will do what we can to keep up with you, because you are gonna be a little scrapper. You kick a lot, man. Like, you're kind of mean, but it was really funny when you started wriggling around and sticking your little elbow out while your mom was watching Aliens 3. That's just some funny shit, Gonzo. But it is wearing on your mother, and I really feel for her at this point. You kick and squirm and she cannot sleep at night, almost a warm-up for what it will be like when you're actually born. She tries, and the mountains of pillows help, but for some reason you only really love rocking out after midnight. Thanks a lot, DNA.

Still, as much pain and discomfort as she's feeling, she totally loves you and it's worth it. And I love her for enduring it.

So, hurry up! We are impatient to meet you, and we have many interesting outfits for you to wear. Uncle Junebug and Aunt Devon bought you a burnt orange onesie, and I want to put you in it pretty much the minute you pop out. Or, OK, I'll wait until they clean you. And then we need to pass you around the room, every room, so that everyone can remark on your stunning good looks and infinite charm. Your Grandpa Alonzo calls it the Family Curse, and it is a difficult burden, but hopefully you will find a way to deal with it.

Warmest regards,

Mon, Dec. 13th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)

Dawww! (I love the name change!)

I hope to shout that you actually sit down and record yourself saying this, because it would be a great video, as well as a great letter.

Good luck on your baby's birth, hope it doesn't blizzard right before she goes into labor, and my prayers for many future blessings on the three of you!

Mon, Dec. 20th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)


Call me, I'll translate this for you.

-Uncle Eric, from 2010

Wed, Dec. 22nd, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)

I meant to do some of this sort of stuff when I was pregnant, but pregnancy was way more miserable and exhausting than I expected, so I kept putting it off because I didn't want to be all, "Man, this SUCKS!" in my letters to my unborn child. So I figured I'd just write it all down later.

All I can say is, you are right to be doing this now, while you still have a functioning brain.

Fri, Dec. 24th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)

I LOVE the photos. They are the best pregnancy photos I have ever seen.

Using my purely unscientific prognostication skills, I believe Gonzo is a girl. I will not be able to confirm this however, unless I see a picture of Spring from behind. You need to post a photo of your wife's ass.