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6:32 a.m. - 2004-09-22

LET THE FIRESTORM BEGIN

I'm worried about the boy.

Monday night, we're all outside in our yard. There's about 20 neighbors just hanging out, enjoying the crisp, cool end of summer.

Denise, the little terror across the street, just turned 5 on Sunday and had a birthday party.

I bought her a Barbie doll whose ears can be pierced. Pretty cool gift if you ask me.

I still haven't seen her bring it outside.

Ungrateful little wretch.

But anyway ... apparently her most favorite gift that she received at her party was a Barbie purse.

This purse has a Barbie cell phone, a Barbie set of car keys and a Barbie flashlight.

I'm not sure if the flashlight is actually Barbie merchandise. It might be and it might not. Regardless, she's toting the flashlight around in the bag.

So we're all out in the yard and Andrew is eyeing this hot pink purse with envy.

Most of the kids and a few adults are playing touch football in our yard.

Andrew and I are playing in the football game. Andrew would get the ball and go running around the yard, trying to avoid being touched.

But as soon as Denise started flaunting that purse ....

"MY PURRRRRSE!!" Andrew screamed, trying to tug it out of her arms.

"Andrew, that's not your purse," I'm saying calmly but firmly to him as I try to loosen his grip on the purse.

No such luck.

Denise, who can be a major pain in the ass, is also mature for her age and agrees to let Andrew play with her purse.

So Andrew is sashaying up and down the driveway, swinging the hot pink purse and talking on the Barbie cell phone.

I try to get Andrew back in the football game.

No can do.

I pull out Andrew's motorized motorcycle, hoping he's big enough now to finally get on it and have a good time.

Nope. Got a purse, Daddy. Don't need a motorcycle.

I then had to put up with the sly jokes my neighbors wanted to throw out there at my son's expense.

"He's enjoying that purse a little too much, U.B.!"

"Might wanna get him a pearl necklace to go with that purse, U.B.!"

"Hey U.B. ... you think your boy can choke on my chubby after the game?"

That kinda stuff.

So yesterday, on my way to pick him up from daycare, I stopped at Target.

And bought him a Nerf football.

I pick him up at school and put him in his car seat.

"Look what Daddy bought you!" I said, pulling out the football from the passenger seat.

"A football!" Andrew yelped.

Whew!

Mission soooooo accomplished. It only cost $5.97 to purchase my son's heterosexuality back!

We get home and I'm all "Let's throw the football, Andrew!"

I'm in the yard, gently tossing the ball into his arms.

...Until Denise saunters outside.

With her Barbie purse.

The ball is dropped and Andrew is right by her side, yanking on that bag for everything he's worth.

Mission sooooooo not accomplished.

I told Denise that she might want to leave the purse at home when she comes out to play from now on, because Andrew is always going to want to play with it.

But have you ever tried to tell a woman to leave her purse at home?

Heaven forbid ... women need their purses with them at all times.

Especially when they're 5.

Now then ... here's the deal ... if my son grows up to be gay, I'll still love him just as much as I do now.

But just like most fathers, I'm going to do everything I can to try to steer him into hetero world. Sexual orientation is determined early in life and if he's teetering on the fence right now between choosing titties or dick, I'm doing my best to elbow him off the fence into the titty side.

Only because gays have it tough in this world. They can't get married. They're discriminated against in certain aspects. And from what I've heard, they constantly have to wear Depends due to the excessive amounts of semen drooling from their anuses.

Maybe all this will change in the next 20 years. Maybe by 2025, gays will have the right to marry, they'll be able to adopt with no problem and they'll clear up that messy ass thing.

And maybe not.

As a father I just want the best life for my boy.

And I just think growing up gay has got to be tougher than growing up straight in this world.

Just ask Matthew Shepard's dad.

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