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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Can I ...Touch Them?

It starts when you're pregnant. I've seen it. People come up to you and touch your belly. Maybe the first person who does it is someone you know, maybe intimately. A relative. A gas station attendant. Next, it's some Hagitha McSaddlebags in the dairy aisle at the grocery store. It's a Christian Scientist out for a walk with his Havanese. It's a traffic cop. It's a wildlife activist. It's the Gorton's fisherman.

They're touching your fucking roundness. Palming your womb's exterior. They're running their hands over your newly-outed innie. Ingratiating themselves on you. Molesting you. They might as well be thumbing your buttonhole.

And these people, these Chester Molesters, they know they're doing something wrong-- they know it-- but they can't stop themselves. You know, like the molesters you see on "America's Most Molestery" with the moustaches and the back-parting and metal eyeglass frames from the 1980s and everything.

Want to know how I know they know they're doing something wrong? It's the way they ask, and they always ask, before they do the dirty. There's a hesitation, and it always comes after "I".

"Can I... rub your belly?"

I mean, just look at the question-- it's sitting there on the line above this one. Just look at it.

Can you rub my fucking belly? WHAT?! Are you a fucking doctor? Are you looking for tumors? No, you can't rub my fucking belly. Can I snake-finger punch you in your goddamned Adam's apple?

Here's what I want to know-- who was the first pregnant woman in the history of the world to have been asked that question, and who was the incredibly twisted baboon-perv who asked? It must have been incredibly strange for both of them. Now, of course, it's been normalized, though I can't figure out why. I mean, I get it-- some of us are a gaggle of hormones when we see a pregnant chick and we want to feel her up. That's nice. But most human beings have this thing called impulse control that reins us in when we want to touch the distended abdomens of random women or slap a congressman or put our penis inside a beehive.

Believe me, there's plenty of things in this world that I want to touch, but I don't. Because it's not normalized. Because I have impulse control. Why isn't it normal to see a pretty girl waiting for the train and walk up to her, stare at her pretty pertty nummy breasts and say, "Can I... touch them?" Today, at a craft fair, some sloppy beast was cooing at our twins, and the cooing suddenly wasn't enough stimulation for her. She looked tentatively at my wife and I and said,

"Can I... touch them?"

No. You know it's wrong. You know people go to jail for a very, very, very long time for... touching other people's children. And then, even when they come out of jail they have to wear those little ankle monitoring things and register for the offender list and move into group homes that are such-and-such miles away from school zones and playgrounds. You don't... touch people's children. And yet, there we were, at this craft fair, with this random loon-basket fondling our daughter's feet-- which is great-- a pedophile and a foot-fetishist in one go. Talk about a deal.

Can I... touch your Mercedes 300-D?

Can I... touch your pewter candlesticks?

Can I... touch your IRA and 401-K?

Can I... touch your cashmere sweater?

Can I... touch your blog?

I'm glad that there's no comparable experience to being pregnant for a man. Everything that we experience as we get older is repellent, not attractive-- especially to strangers. Can you imagine anyone coming up to me in twenty-odd years and asking if they can... touch my bald spot? Or my paunch? Or what about my jowls? My vine-like nosehairs, maybe? Maybe my comely seat-mate on some train trip in the year 2035 will want to braid them for me. I kind of doubt it though. Especially if she's pregnant.


  1. There are some beards I want to touch. But I don't, because I have boundaries.

  2. Stopping by from Welcome Wednesday。 Looking forward to following you!


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