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The Story About the Baby Letters

06/11/03

Subject: Quorn and evil

I loved Quorn. It was fantastic, the first 10 or so times I ate it. Then, apparently, I had eaten too much. I had a lovely dinner with my girlfriend’s parents, prominently featuring the Quorn turkey loaf. I spent the next six hours wedded to a toilet, vomiting roughly three times every ten minutes and experiencing painful gas and diarrhea. My stomach felt as though it were surrounded with ice-cold bands of iron that were growing smaller by the second. It was horrible. I thought I had a stomach flu, since that sort of thing was going around at the time.

Three days later, I had a fine taco salad featuring Quorn beef crumbles. The vomiting started earlier and finished faster, and I didn’t pray for death nearly as much. It was then that I realized it was the fault of the Quorn.

Writing this email has caused my stomach to begin to churn and my mouth to fill with saliva and bile. Thinking about Quorn - or anything else I ate with it, on those two nights - nauseates me. Sometimes, I get the thought of Quorn stuck in my head, like a song by Abba, only 100 times as nauseating.

So, yes. Quorn is evil. You are correct.

-- Chris Koeberle

 

Like most foods, it is possible to be allergic to Quorn. Or horribly allergic.

Quorn is just more worrying because it’s also a bizarre, fucked-up, fungal non-food. With salty breading.

-Jeff Vogel


04/29/03

Here I sit, a medical professional, a registered nurse responsible for critically ill, premature babies, laughing my ass off at the total reality of your words. I can’t tell you how many times I have said “Give the baby a pacifier” “A bottle of formula will NOT knock the IQ points down by 20” “No baby ever died from being left to cry for a while” (I usually add in my own thoughts - while you take a valium and calm the hell down).

Sorry, I digress.

I enjoyed every minute of your dialogue, and passed the site on to some friends who will appreciate your satire as well. Cordelia is a lucky girl to have parents who fumble through it all, just like my husband and I do, laughing all the way at our ineptness.

Best wishes to you all,

Kim Van Dyke
Michigan


02/04/03

It’s been a marvelous time, reading about your first year with The Kid. Thanks for sharing.

In wishing you many more happy years with TK, I would like to formally disagree with your relatives and whoever else might warn you about things getting worse. (And somehow, the age TK is about to be is always “the worst,” for these people!) Things don’t really get worse, they just get different, and change freaks out plenty of people, not just parents. In my opinion, the older TK gets, the more fun he/she becomes. Imagine, if you will, hearing TK’s first lie! Imagine the first time TK realizes you’re lying to him/her!! Imagine having a modest but pleasant conversation about why TK likes, say, carrots more than beans!!!

Those are only examples, but you get the drift. Older = more interesting = more fun. Really!

All the best,

- John Bacon, from Chicago

 

Thanks for writing. I have decided that I will deal with the situation by constantly reorienting my reference frame so that every day (and, in fact, every moment) is “worse” than the one before. It does make life an unending, grueling treadmill of horror, of course, but at least it makes it a PREDICTABLE unending, grueling treadmill of horror.

-Jeff Vogel


01/14/03

From the 49th Volume of the Story About the Baby:

If she hasn’t been inoculated by figuring out that there’s no “Santa”, “Easter Bunny”, “Tooth Fairy”, or “Yoda”, how will my poor darling do when she has to figure out if there is a “God”.

I must say that I am deeply, deeply offended by your insinuations in this sentence. Just because some people can’t accept the existence of a higher being doesn’t mean that you should force your maniacal, pseudo-science views on the rest of the world. I mean, what the hell is so hard to accept about it? There’s plenty of things in this universe that humanity doesn’t understand, why can’t there be some type of higher power that we can’t access? Don’t let the biased media influence your decisions...they’re just afraid of something that they can’t control. I fear, however, that you are too far gone to the dark side to be brought back, and your lack of faith in something so powerful, and so intangible, is sickening to my stomach.

Heh. No Yoda, indeed.

- Ben Massey, who he figures is person number five thousand, eight hundred and sixty-seven to send this e-mail or a variant thereof. :P

 

I approach Yoda from a more Buddhist perspective. I do not feel there is one true Yoda. Instead, it is up to each of up to discover their own, true, personal Yoda.

For example, my personal Yoda is a stuffed Meeko (from the Disney version of the Pocahontas story). Every night, I come speak to it, and it tells me how I can do or do not, but there is no try, and also how I am a loser. And then I rub up against it for about 5-10 minutes and go to sleep.

-Jeff Vogel


01/02/03

Subject: Cordelia’s first Christmas?

Hi Jeff,

I have no idea how much traffic your website gets...not your game site, but the ironycentral one. Keep up the good work. My wife and I have been “tuning in” regularly and have read every one your weekly rants. And what you’re thinking is correct--we really don’t have anything better to do. You see, we’re also parents. Our darling son is almost 3 years old now, and we don’t get out much anymore. We look forward to each article, although my wife doesn’t like the ones that are “too funny”because her belly hurts from laughing, her face hurts from smiling for so long, and her makeup runs from the tears that your stories cause.

We were expecting an update on Cordelia’s first Christmas. Did she freak when your wife took her to meet Santa? Ours still hates that strange ubiquitous bastard that seems to be in every friggin’ mall, store, and street corner in the city. Yet we keep telling him that he should be excited to meet Santa. In fact, on Christmas morning when we woke him up, we made the mistake of telling him that Santa had been here. He was scared to come out of his room until we made absolutely sure that Santa was no longer still here.

Obviously, ever kid is different--yet in a strange way, they’re all pretty much the same. Perhaps it’s kind of like programming languages--they’re all completely different from one another, except not really. One bit of advice I’ll share that we’ve found incredibly useful as our son ages is this...bribery. Bribe the kid anytime you need to. You’ve got to be a bit creative with the bribes though--remember, this kid is a “new and improved”version of you and your wife, and yours is also female so she’s going to want to change the rules all the time, so you have to stay unpredictable. Make sure to keep some things reserved only for bribes too. These amazing things you only offer when you need them to do something really big. Like smile at the family portrait. Or use the toilette instead of their diaper. Or whatever. For our son, this is the good ol’ 7-Eleven Slurpee. Money also works for him, but nothing like a Slurpee. Many books I’ve read say to never bribe your child...bullshit. It works.

Have a good one.

Regards,
Chris and Jody Yuzik

 

Believe me, it’s amazing how early you can bribe a child. At 10 months, we have been paying her for silence with bits of muffin. It’s wonderful.

-Jeff Vogel


12/27/02

Subject: The Story About The Baby

First, I would like to tell you that my husband and I think your baby is almost as cute as ours.

Our baby is two months younger than yours, and also a little girl, so as we read the things you and your wife experience, we know what to look forward to.

That said.......

Thankyou, oh thankyou, great and wonderful storywriter for sparing us the agonies of viewing the Barbie website for ourselves!!! Without your brave endeavors, we would have been doomed to pinkness on our own screen! We will go to virtually any length to shelter our innocent little girl from the evils of Barbie, knowing the heartbreaking addiction that even a single exposure can cause. We are forever indebted to you for helping us hold the great pink demon at bay, even if only for a little while longer.

On the other hand.......ya big dope!

Pick the baby up, carry her over to the gate, and place her gently on the floor if you can’t manage stepping over it with her in your arms.

(I’m 5'2--you should see me try to climb over a gate with a baby.)

Keep sending those great stories out!

Your faithful followers,
Michelle and Zippo

 

Thank you for your kind letter. Since you seem like nice people, I will use restraint in responding to your helpful advice regarding baby gates.

The reason we have a gate in the first place is that there is something nearby we can’t let her near uncontrolled. In our case, a stairway.

When heading over the gate in the safe —> dangerous direction (as I was when I tripped), putting the baby down on the other side of the gate before stepping over would be very, very bad.

And avoid the Barbie web site at all costs. She will make fun of your browser. The bitch.

-Jeff Vogel


11/27/02

Subject: The Story About The Baby

I really enjoy your web site. It rocks. You really ought to write those fluffy bunny books. A good friend of mine who just had a baby pointed me at your web site and we’re looking forward to seeing whether his baby is as dopey as yours. So far, its looking promising.

One thing though you activated my number one pet peeve. As a fellow pedant (please don’t try to deny it Mr. “Cordelia is from Shakespeare, not Buffy” ) I feel confident that you want to know that you’ve misused the expression begs the question .

To “beg a question” is not “to BEHAVE in a manner which demands that a certain question be asked” . Rather, it means to ANSWER a question in a circular manner.

For example, if I asked you, Jeff, “Why does Winona Ryder look so hot when she s in court?” and you said “Obviously it is because she s so photogenic” , then you would have begged my question. “Why are rocks hard?” “Because they’re made out of hard stuff.” Etc.

And of course you can use this on your letters page should you choose to.

Cheers,

- Eric Lippert

 

Thank you for your kind missive. We at Irony Central welcome all readers, even the sort of wanksticks who get into arguments about which dictionary is better.

In response to your letter, I went to check, and it turns out that “beg”, “the”, and “question” are actually words in their own right, which can convey their own meaning. So, since I could have correctly said “which begs one to ask the question,” I perfectly reasonably shortened that to the tighter and equally easily comprehended “begs the question.”

If the Lord of Logic who came up with that term has a problem with that, well, he should have come up with a different term. Nobody is getting their knickers in a twist over supposed misuses of the terms “post hoc” or “straw man.”

Anyway, thank you for your input, and I wish you a happy life, irregardless of any obstacles in your way.

-Jeff Vogel


11/26/02

Subject: The Story About The Baby

I just want to thank you so much for re-affirming my decision to never, ever have children. Your page should be mandatory reading for everyone who wants to have a kid.

*Checks for the cost of a vasectomy*

Thank you.

- Rich Anderson

 

Excellent. That’s one less sprog to compete with Cordelia for college admissions. And one more inferior DNA configuration to be swept away before my superior seed.

-Jeff Vogel


11/18/02

Subject: Mail from a reader.

I enjoyed your baby stories. Further proof that breeding is not something I want to partake of at this point in my life. While I don’t actively dislike small children I can do without them. Oddly enough, the little creatures are attracted to me for some reason. I can be slouching my way through the park minding my own business and I’ll pick up a train of young children. They follow me and watch me with those vacant eyes. It really gives me chills. I think they may be following me like vultures just waiting for me to expire so they can converge upon my still warm corpse and start the cycle of nature over. But I ramble.

- Jason Defibaugh

 

“Vacant” eyes?

The creepiest thing about small children is how vacant their eyes AREN’T. Children have intensely intent gazes, looking around, absorbing everything. That is why, even when you have a three month old, you need to keep wearing pants.

-Jeff Vogel


09/11/02

Subject: love the baby story

A friend sent me the link to the baby story. Haven’t read it all yet... but I will. Your essay is a wonderful antidote to all of the “here is my wonderful adorable perfect angel baby” pap that I occasionally stumble onto on the ’Net.

I’m a pediatrician, and I seem to spend a lot of time telling new parents that they MUST have a sense of humor about this new endeavor. I may have to give them this link as part of the stack of papers that we hand out at checkups.

Oh... and I especially appreciate the comments about vaccination. I fail to understand why anyone with any intelligence would rather have their wonderful adorable perfect angel baby catch pertussis, polio or measles than get them immunized. (And yet, these are the same people who will be beating down our doors wanting their children to have the smallpox vaccine to protect them from the acts of Godless Terrorists and who are pissed off that we don’t have a vaccine for West Nile yet.)

Keep on writing, and enjoy the kid.

- Kim Heggen “I would have made a mental note, but I didn’t have anything to write on.”

 

Recently, thanks to our link on memepool.com, I have received tons of fan E-mail. I include this message as a representative sample. I chose it because it was written by a pediatrician. Now I have been Approved By Authority.

-Jeff Vogel


09/09/02

Subject: Fwd: Babies and Hooters

Eau contraire! Kids eat free at Hooters on Sundays and they sell beer! What could be a better place, especially if your wife is like mine and loves the joint. I only go for the wings! Good looking, well endowed women seem to love baby girls so I strongly recommend giving it a try. Just don’t take Grandma!

- Tracy Marvin

 

Why do all the responses I get via E-mail always make me feel more alone and afraid?

-Jeff Vogel


07/23/02

Subject: irony central

would you write about something other than your fuckin’ baby for once

- anonymous

 

I’m sorry the free, frequently updated content on my web site is not to your liking. Might I suggest you instead look at, say, the entire world wide web minus my site? I’m sure you will find something to your liking there.

-Jeff Vogel


07/18/02

Subject: breech baby

Your site was the best I’ve ran into so far on researching how to turn a breech baby. I got a laugh. That’s way more than I got anyplace else. What a welcome relief from all the bullshit.

- Jill

 

I feel two emotions here. One, happiness, because I improved someone’s day. Two, terror, because someone found my site while doing actual research.

-Jeff Vogel


06/06/02

If you’re going to name you’re daughter after some character from a Buffy spinoff, you might as well use the same short version of her name. “Cordie” was her nickname on the show, if i recall correctly - and it actually doesn’t sound that bad - either way other kids from school will think she has strange hippy parents. This might be a good thing, unless you like hanging out with the junior soccer league of 2010.

As you mentioned recently in you parenting diaries (of use for future child torture), human babies are born particularly hapless and pathetic. I’ve heard they cannot be born any larger or stronger, lest their heads tear a larger hole in the female equipment at the time of birth - though this might be a form of cruel entertainment somewhere, the current configuration allows their tiny brains to grow large enough to take over the world, and place it in a scorched earth regime - or in most cases, large enough to say “yes, dread lord.” Personally, I see no need for legions of doom to be so intelligent, and in recruiting could easily forgo sissy things like “individuality” and “independent thought” for the more preferable “bloodlust.” But hey, I’ll take what I can get.

Not that I would not mind a fleet of alligators to do my every bidding in the domination of the planet, where each generation is born fully ready to tear apart my enemies, but I’m afraid without opposable thumbs, the concept of the lead pipe would be lost upon them.

-rhi

 

Interestingly, Cordelia is not named after a character on Buffy. She is named after a character in a “play” by “Shakespeare”. And that is why I have not yet killed myself.

-Jeff Vogel



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