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Spoofs & Satire

Handicapped Children

All parents like to believe their children are special. But horse breeders know better: Progeny can be unique, but for very particular reasons. How to be more honest about your offspring and their ability to finish in the money.

Benjy Russell, Howl at the Moon, 2006. Courtesy the artist.

Ryan

Two-year old purebred descended from esteemed Pendergast bloodlines. Exhibits strong, hereditary confirmation and deportment. Disposition: impudent, moody, drooly. Respectable speed over intermediate distances, though his only finish in the money was upon exit from the birth canal. Motor skills reasonably developed; proven ability to spike a binky under a Louis XV jam cabinet. Tendency to bite rivals, ethnic peoples, and Gammy Pendergast. Identifies pictures of all barnyard and zoo animals as “Doggie.” Owned by birth parents, Alexander and Emily. Handled by maternal and paternal grandparents; au pair, Giselle; night nurse, Roxanne; sitters, Kelsey and Shawna; over 200 Disney DVDs.

 

Odds:

Non-practicing attorney 1:1
Serial entrepreneurial failure 1:2
Anti-tax crusader 1:7

Kendra

At 20-months, Kendra is dynamic, high-spirited and highly sugared with the intensity, if not the grounding, to outpace the field. She’s playful, tenacious, wayward, and won’t stop teasing the dog. Ranked in the lower quartile for length and weight, but in the upper ten percent for teeth (two), hair (lustrous curls) and stool (regular, low volume, firm). Exceptional hand-eye coordination with a .720 average in successfully getting Cheerios from bowl to mouth; adeptly operates television/DVR remote. First word: “Effing!” Kendra’s erratically trained by single mom, Adele, who is one winning Powerball ticket away from telling the world to kiss her ass.

Odds:

Alcoholic 2:1
Extreme couponer 5:4
Alcoholic extreme couponer 3:2 

Griffin 

Plagued by numerous food allergies since late-Fall 2010, this timid 32-month-old bridles at sharing, shies from potty training, and, despite being in the 16th month of a runny nose, spooks at the sight of tissues. Occasional spasms of energy, usually taking the form of creative urination. Distance at which separation anxiety is triggered: Sire: 2.5 meters, Dam: 1 meter, bankie: .2 meters. Two-time winner of Meadowbrook Day Care’s Participation Cup (tied with 27 others) but finished out of the money in the same organization’s 2012 Napping Stakes. First-time parents Chris and Holly spend most of their time with Griffin instilling and encouraging a fear of peanuts/legumes. 

Odds:

That guy who always eats lunch alone 2:3
Costumed Renaissance Fair vendor 1:3
For-profit technical college instructor 1:5

Linnea

The sole issue of a mature breeding pair, this 2½-year-old moppet loves the limelight of the winner’s circle and is willing to do anything to gain it—including interpretive somersaults and precociously asking to watch Frontline. Summa cum laude graduate of Baby Einstein, Baby Hawking, and Baby Luthor Learning Programs, as well as a member of her preschool’s fencing team and Gifted Children Biathlon gold medalist (singing “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” while eating oyster dressing at the adult table). Her sire, a dream consultant, and her dam, a stay-at-home podiatric anthropologist, do not assign sleep times or meal times, allowing Linnea to assert her selfhood through free range exhaustion and foraging for juice boxes.

Odds:

Life-long legwarmer wearer 5:7
Unemployable 1:2
Stage mother 1:4 

Max

The last of eight offspring from a highly productive pair, Max, at 28 months, has the confidence and bearing of a champion with none of the gifts. Demonstrates a lackadaisical approach to play and learning, choosing to master A and Z rather than A to Z. Vocalizations are limited to earsplitting screams, despite having just napped. Coordination is deficient, a defect he compensates for with best-in-class emotional manipulation; he may never win but he makes sure whoever does feels unworthy. A ninth brother or sister will be born to Max’s stable next month following the common human breeding practice known as “reproductive irresponsibility.”

Odds:

Arrested in a road rage incident 1:1
Online movie critic 2:3
Talk-radio host 1:2 

Adrianna

Classically contemporary, mulish 3-year-old. Bloodlines unknown; purchased/acquired from overseas (Romanian) spawn-brokers in September, 2009, by dads, Brian and Alex. Commanding presence powered by tyrannical demeanor. Adrianna exemplifies the reverse-rearing progeny, a breed known for ferocious balking at guidance, training and “No”s. Household schedule, vacation destinations, whether she’ll wear a sunscreen or not, and when all guests must “Look at ME!,” et cetera, are entirely at her discretion and decree. Instinctive, surefooted acceleration away from authority in all environments, at all times. Currently “red-diapered” for daycare, delaying attendance until next year and then only if she doesn’t have “a total fucking meltdown.” Meticulously groomed to no particular end. Parents grateful for limited, minor roles as chauffer and ATM.

Odds:

Your first wife 2:1
Your second wife 3:1
Your late wife 5:1

Bob Woodiwiss is a humor columnist for Cincinnati Magazine and Principal/Director of Undirected Thinking at Bob, the Agency. His second book, The Serfitt & Cloye Gift Catalog: Just Enough of Too Much, is a sendup of upscale catalogs. More by Bob Woodiwiss