Okay, internet. Get ready for some truth.
Now, you may be asking: why is this advice exclusively designated for your yet-to-be-born daughter, and not to your already-five-years-old son? The answer is simple. Asher doesn’t need any advice. He has already achieved self-actualization as a human being, and is now only in a position to grant advice to others. He advises other five-year olds, as well as infants and adults on a wide range of personal and professional issues. If I tried to advise him on the matters listed below, he would only roll his eyes, indicating that I was clearly the imbecile in that interaction for not acknowledging his mastery of all human knowledge, and then he would get back to scaring pigeons in Central Park.*
*Among the pigeons of Central Park, Asher is something of an urban legend, a bogeyman figure used to instill fear in the hearts of disrespectful youths. He is the main reason that young pigeons obey curfew and eat their vegetables. Without Asher, chaos reigns supreme in the pigeon community.
We recently walked past a bunch of pigeons and I said to Asher, “Look at those pigeons, thinking they can just walk right past you, all smug.” His actual response, which he delivered in a somber, unironic, world-weary tone: “They haven’t heard the stories.”
Now, as to my soon-to-be-born daughter, there is no way of knowing whether she will need this advice. It’s too soon to say. All I can say for sure right now, with utter certainty, is that on Friday night I drank some beer and then started falling asleep on Leah’s full-ass-term pregnant belly, and said some things out loud. This is because I value education above all else.
So here we are, without further ado: some rich nuggets of wisdom, being passed from one generation to the next.
1. Judge Frank Caprio is America. This may take some explanation, because it’s possible that not everyone in the world watches Rhode Island Public Access Cable as avidly as I do. It so happens that we visit our families in Rhode Island one weekend per month, and I am honored to include in this extended family Providence Municipal Traffic Court Judge Frank Caprio.**
Providence Municipal Traffic Judge Frank Caprio is the star of his own public access television show, CAUGHT IN PROVIDENCE, which is a play-on-words in Rhode Island, where “court” and “caught” are, sadly, homonyms. The show is literally just unedited footage from Providence Traffic Court, and it is glorious. It’s the only reality show in history that has ever mattered. You may have noticed that the subtitle of my blog is “In search of the Hidden America.” This is a bit misleading, because I have already found it: CAUGHT IN PROVIDENCE is the Hidden America. It presents a Dickensian cross-section of urban humanity: the haves and have-nots, the pious and the lowly, the quick and the dead, all rubbing elbows in a sweaty courtroom lorded over by a man who is, in all likelihood, a figment of the Italian-American collective unconscious brought to life WEIRD SCIENCE-style in a coal-fired Federal Hill pizza oven.
CAUGHT IN PROVIDENCE is the greatest expression yet of our grand social and political experiment. It is the answer to the question, “Can America?”
But what makes CAUGHT IN PROVIDENCE most special is the closing credits, which, like Frank Caprio himself, have been exactly the same for twenty years. For a solid five minutes, they air, completely unedited, all the voice mails the show receives, and it is like hearing the id of humanity given terrifying voice. The breakdown, completely unchanged after all these years as if caught in a temporal singularity, is as follows:
60% Vulgar complaints that Judge Caprio is too nice to the Puerto Ricans.
25% Vulgar complaints that Judge Caprio is too hard on the Puerto Ricans.
10% People defending Judge Caprio and putting everyone else in their place.
5% People berating the viewers of the show for watching Rhode Island Public Access Cable/ exhorting them to get a @#$&-ing life.
The only explanation for the timeless, unchanging nature of CAUGHT IN PROVIDENCE and its ongoing debate about how American judges should treat Puerto Ricans is that the show is really a metaphysical drama that takes place outside the physical world, a collective dream whose symbolic participants will one day determine the future of our species.
Or it’s actually just all repeats from the 90’s. It’s hard to tell because hairstyles haven’t changed, like, that much from the 90’s.
Anyway, Hazel Juniper: be kind and fair to all humans, regardless of race, gender or creed, because that’s what Judge Caprio would have wanted, and he has hugged Paula Abdul.
2. Never buy Hunkey Dorey All-Natural Caramelized Popcorn, because they are deceitful bags of suck.
They sell these sons of bitches at Stuckey’s, and please take a look at the bag.
You probably see that there are quite a few nuts pictured. The popcorn-to-nut ratio in that picture is exactly 3:1. This is the most blatant instance of false advertising since they started calling tiny candy bars “fun-sized.” The actual popcorn-to-nut is more like 20:1.
Twenty to $^#$-ing one.
Also, on no planet is that how you spell “Hunky dory.”
So, Hazel Juniper, here is a picture of me beating up my bag of Hunkey Dorey Caramelized Popcorn.
3. Both of your living grandfathers are reincarnations of ancient trickster gods.
I have been gauging, week to week, which of them is acting as the more potent instrument of cosmic mirth. This week, it has to go to maternal grandfather, Gerry, who spent the week hiding copies of FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY in the library of a Sisters of Mercy nursing home, where he works as head of maintenance. He replaced the dust jackets of the books with dust jackets from some books about how to be a nun.
So, Hazel Juniper, for the week of 6/28/15, here’s to Gerry! He tricked some nuns into reading smut.
4. Daredevil is great.
Hazel Juniper, Daredevil is your father’s spirit animal. If you know nothing else about me, know this.
And, honestly, that’s all I’ve got, Life Advice-wise. At least for now. Maybe I’ll drink a beer next week and come up with something better. But I kind of think that may be the extent of it. I’m so, so sorry.
At the very least, you’ll have a big brother who can teach you how to scare birds.