The Need for Staid Midlifers
to Write Bizarro Texts
by Channie Greenberg
If adolescents hailed eccentricities, it would be sufficient for mama or papa writers merely to postpone their gym time until their offspring, themselves, gave birth. However, reality, not wishful thinking, dictates teenage proclivities. Hence, the best an aspiring maternal or paternal sort can do is to glom to a keyboard or to sit on a sofa and cry.
I get the gist of word power. Accordingly, my espousing of rainbow-colored hedgehogs’ domestic woes remains more attractive to me than does buying stock in facial tissues. So, ever since my younger daughter caught up with menses and my younger son towered over the rest of the family, I’ve been doodling weird poems, bizarro short fictions, slipstream essays, and odd dramas.
My balderdash gets lauded by like-minded parents. Few middle-aged literary peers fail to embrace my “subtle” descriptions of griffins ripping out the viscera of house cats or to welcome my other allusions to what folks fantasize doing to their young. Vicarious violence allows us not to vivisect our sons and daughters when those children leave dishes piled up in our sinks, or step over, instead of eliminating, their piles of increasingly rancid laundry.
Any texts that successfully anger — I mean arouse — the parental population also successfully keep us away from prolicide. “Writing is experiential.” Words’ potency shines in situations in which alternate routes to familial serenity fail. It remains better, for instance, to clinch Komodo dragons’ dietary habits than to scream at our kids.
Intentionally and audaciously, some of my vignettes posit that: might is right, age is glory, and withholding allowance is sagacity. By inviting sentient concord from parental units worldwide, I’ve prevented countless cases of grounding and of the loss of Internet privileges.
We potbellied, droopy-breasted or balding care providers need to vacation away from annoyances like speckled toilets, holiday roasts eaten as after-school snacks, and “accidentally” borrowed jewelry. Plus those intermittent calls, which we field from schools, concerning junior’s hitting of a friend, smoking a joint, or being yet again tardy with homework are best mitigated after we read about chimera or about blue-tinted cockroaches. Far less corporal punishment gets actualized that way.
Specifically, memoirs that sing in alien tones can obfuscate family dynamics and consequently help keep the murder rate down. Midlifers’ gray hair, joint problems, and sporadic contemplation of wearing purple are as nothing relative to our adjudicating whether or not we ought to strangle our scions for skipping college entrance exams, getting a neighbor pregnant, selling knockoff designer purses, or engaging in other adolescent “rites of discovery.”
Granted, wads of prose that rock sixty-five year-olds (yes, Granny does “it”), make teens roll their eyes, but who cares? We audience of half-cooked narratives can ill afford to concern ourselves with popularity when more than the welfare of the next generation is at stake. Consider that entire branches of various governments have been upset when some person in power became incapacitated because his or her child let their family’s python snack on a neighbor’s bulldog, offended the hired help, or sported with Mom’s or Dad’s favorite vehicle. Wonky writing, at such times, becomes a valuable nuclear deterrent.
Therefore, I am proudly creating assemblages of words that cause Moms and Dads to forget temporarily their parental tribulations. Bring on the banshees, the gelatinous wildebeests, and the two-headed grandmothers. Household peace is underrated.
Copyright © 2013 by Channie Greenberg