Babies are everywhere now.I never really noticed breeders and their offspring before, but now, in my 36th winter they’re taking over the world. There must have been a time before them, somewhere back before iPods. Babies and iPods are now ubiquitous, a 'must have', it seems. I feel like I’m the only one still listening to vinyl. It often feels like being the last single person alive in a zombie movie where the breeder undead are marching in pairs and pushing strollers. It’s a war, and the breeders are winning.
There’s an innate smugness about breeders, scooting around in cub scout-laden Volvo Estates as if to say, ‘No virgins driving this car, and there’s the proof!
Babies destroy conversation. The sight of one makes previously intelligent, stimulating people stare dumbly at them like stoners at a lava lamp.
I’m sorry, but your babies aren’t special. I KNOW you think they are, but they’re not. If they were so special there’d be a lot less of them, for one, and they’d be useful, like performing simple tasks such as: working as chimney sweeps; taking out the rubbish; or being shot out of a circus cannon.
Breeder braais are fun as alcohol-free beer, dull as an educational toy store. Conversation devolves into a shared monoculture, with arid topics like: Trinny’s/Sebastian’s bowel movements, the cognitive leaps being made by their ‘super baby’ (which is just like a normal baby, except it’s yours), and the mortgage. I’d rather spend the day at an insurance seminar.
Beyond the braai, the world of dating isn’t much better. Being single can be a lean and scary existence, living hand to mouth, never knowing where your next shag is coming from. The good women all seem to be married and dismayingly faithful. I can spot a wedding ring at 500 yards these days. At 30-something the remaining table scraps seem to be on the ‘being set up’, 'internet dating’ and ‘speed dating’ plates.
1. Being set up. Never a clearer chance to see your friends’ perception of your level of attractiveness, embodied in the person who’s being prodded towards you. A sobering experience.
2. Internet dating. Instead of happening organically in the real world like it used to; on the internet boy-meets-girl has become romantic as walking blindfolded round a shopping mall wearing a sandwich board with your vital statistics on it. 99.9% of the ones who approach you type in grunts and have photos apparently taken off the Crime and Investigation ‘Wanted’ channel.
3. Speed dating. A manic musical chairs as multiple strangers fling shards of conversation at you. I’d rather be strapped to a spinning circus wheel and have a blindfolded knife-thrower hurl machetes at me. If you listen close you can hear the hum of neediness, whirring in the background like a broken air-conditioner.
If I sound bitter, I am. Breeders are blanding down the world, dating has become a leper-fest, and babies-these squirming bundles of appetites- have taken over the world. Sartre was right; "Hell is other people’s children".