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09:11:26 - 2000-06-20


This Thursday at 3 p.m., my wife and I find out if we are going to be parents of a boy or a girl.

This little tidbit may seem trivial to you. I can understand that. You won't be facing the day-in/day-out horrors of raising my child. We will.

My now-pleasingly plump wife (HER words ... I was opting for "grotesquely obese" but she nixed that) is especially excited. She's gained 12 pounds in the last four months and feels as if her abdomen is ready to explode. Every time we go to the grocery store, security wrestles her to the ground and cuffs her because she looks like she's smuggling hams in her pants.

People keep asking me "Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?"

My initial response is always the same: "How did you get this phone number?"

My second response is always "We don't care ... as long as it's healthy."

I remember before I became a parent-to-be and heard friends utter that phrase, I always thought "as long as it's healthy" was a cop-out. I thought it was just something polite to say instead of "If it's not a boy, I'm returning it."

Now, I realize the phrase makes perfect sense. I have a rough estimate in my head of how much liquor I drank in the 1980s. In 1987 alone , my personal alcohol consumption was only surpassed by the entire population of West Germany.

I've settled down considerably, but the nagging fear of how many total brain cells I willfully gave to the Heineken Corporation lives on.

If you want to split hairs ... my wife and I would like to have a little girl ... but both of us have a feeling it will be a boy.

There are advantages to both sexes, I'm sure.

For instance ... if I have an ugly little boy, that's okay. I'll teach him how to fight dirty when kids start making fun of him and there won't be any more taunts on his little pug face.

But if I have an ugly little girl ... well ... sorry honey... you're just plain ugly. I don't think I could teach my daughter the old "kick in the shins and then a right hook to the jaw" move. I'd just have to teach her how to cook. Then I'd hope and pray she eventually meets a nice boy with really bad eyesight.

If the baby turns out to be a little boy and gets my sense of humor ... well ... I pity the warped little booger. But at least he'll stand a slim chance at being the class clown.

...That is ... if he's not born with my looks. Then he's got no choice but to be the class clown. He won't get a date any other way.

If it's a little girl and she gets my sense of humor...gee...sorry honey. There went any chance of you ever having a date.

Who am I kidding? It doesn't matter if it's a boy or a girl ... this kid's going to be a weird one.

...But we'll love it just like it was a normal baby.

That's a promise.

(In case it wasn't painfully obvious...that is the rough draft for my column this week. It needs a crapload of work done to it before it can run in the paper, which is why I don't have time to write a diary entry this morning. Sorry. Nothing exciting happened yesterday anyway.)

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