Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Don't Worry Guys, I Solved Teenage Pregnancy

There's no issue that makes my blood reach the boiling point quicker than teen pregnancy so you can imagine the cardiopulmonary issues this story has caused me. In the New Amanda Order, all girls will be taken aboard the Magic Menstrual Carpet the day they become a woman and will be fitted with an IUD (originally typed IED, which everyone knows will be reserved only for the really bad girls) that can only be removed after a minimum of 10 years of hard lessons and ill-advised moves and multiple bad relationships and numerous evictions. I think it's silly to say that Juno encourages teen pregnancies. It encourages speaking like you live in an endless episode of Gilmore Girls. It encourages poor taste in soundtrack purchases. It encourages people to say the phrase "This is one doodle that can't be un-did, homeskillet", which is a terrible phrase to let escape your mouth. But teen pregnancies? Nope not buying that. Jamie Lynn Spears? Here's the thing. I only vaguely knew who she was before she was pregnant. Once she was pregnant, she was on the cover of magazines! Her boyfriend proposed to her! She got registered for presents! She got attention! She probably didn't get in trouble for anything because all she had to do was say "But I'm pregnant!" So in a way, though I'm sure she didn't intend to, I think she showed young girls that being a pregnant teenager brings you attention and gifts. Neat!

What amazes me about not only the Gloucester pregnancy story, the Jamie Lynn Spears story and pretty much anyone under, say, 30 (I only partially kid) who is pregnant right now is that it wasn't that I was "careful" or "good" or "well-behaved" in high school. Getting pregnant in high school was as much of an option as turning into a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger was. I don't remember my mom having any big talks with me. I don't remember any sort of finger wagging or head shaking. It just wasn't on the table. If I were to make a list of things that were achievable in high school, conceiving a child would have come in somewhere between leasing-to-own Wonder Woman's glass plane and being Jared Leto's date when he picked up his Nobel Peace Prize.

Obviously, I have the biological and genetic material needed to make a baby as did many, nay, all males at my school. But shop class probably had enough fertilizer to make a decent pipe bomb too. That never interested me either. Both of them would have been loud, obnoxious and gotten me in trouble.

I have done some very rudimentary surveying of the opinions of some people I know (read: who was on gmail when this story first came out) and the opinions are both opinionated and easy for me to cut and paste:

First off, my mom. My mom is actually completely qualified to opine on this. She teaches at an alternative high school which is where they send all the pregnant teens. She has a 17 year old student who, upon giving birth to twins, is now a proud mother of FOUR. That's right I said both PROUD and FOUR. And she has diabetes now too though I guess the good news is that there will be no shortage of Insulin Helpers.

Mom's response:

I read this story in today's NY Times. It doesn't really surprise me. I have even had male students ask me what was the best way to get their girlfriend pregnant. There is a group that encourages each other and there is nothing we can say that will mean more than what their friends are saying and doing. These pregnancies are not accidents. No program is going to stop or decrease this trend until it becomes unpopular to be a teen parent.

Thank you for being in the unpopular crowd.

Love you,


While the little slam about being unpopular at the end was a little brutal, I guess she has had time to come up with all those zingers because she hasn't had to babysit my teenage bellyfruit. So I will take it with grace.

Aaron's response (he really got into the 24-year old homeless guy angle):

[15:35] clearspider: so crazy.

[15:37] amandacobra: yeah. TWENTY FOUR YEAR OLD HOMELESS DUDE!!!!!! girls need to have their vags taken away

[15:38] amandacobra: pass your vags to the front of the class. they will be returned when you stop wearing j lo perfume

[15:38] clearspider: lucky guy though. that's like HOBO HEAVEN!!!

[15:39] clearspider: we don't need a condom in hobo heaven

[15:39] amandacobra: i bet that baby's got a great dna setup

[15:39] amandacobra: mom's stable, dad's stable

[15:40] clearspider: good, solid church background

[15:40] amandacobra: good support system to raise the kid. i want to see the scrapbook. "here's daddy's garbage barge we brought you home to"

[15:41] clearspider: he cleans up real good don't he

And finally, Philip says it short but sweet:

philiprobison: holeeee shit

me: yeah. 24 year old homeless dude
kids are fucking bad. i'm glad i liked the smiths and ramen and not making eye contact in high school

philiprobison: Yeah, I'm glad I had an incredibly chick-attracting propensity to wear vests over t-shirts and a super-stylish buttcut.

me: that's the thing. when i think about what i and everyone i knew looked like in high school, i know why no one got pregnant. we were goofy looking theater students. there wasn't a chance of that happening. these kids need to be put in theater asap

philiprobison: Yeah, if I have a girl, I'm going to force her to dress like a poligamist colony resident.

me: listening to the smiths and eating too many carbs worked well for me. i would recommend that

philiprobison: duly noted

And so there you go, folks. The solution to teenage pregnancy is all or one of the following options:

1. changing the social perception of teen pregnancy as being acceptable and cool
2. stop offering free teen sex to hobos
3. get all teenagers into the Smiths (will vouch for that one personally)
4. high carbohydrate diet
5. "the buttcut"
6. school uniforms for boys include mandatory vest over t-shirts
7. Theater Arts

Seriously, Theater Arts is pretty much all you need. No Theater kid ever got pregnant. Ever.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The First Truly Disturbing Thing So Far This Week That I Witnessed in My Office Building

The award goes to......

As I waited to get on the elevator after picking up an iced tea from the restaurant downstairs, I was joined by two fellow office building workers. One was a morbidly obese woman who was carrying a Costco sized jar of off-brand mayonnaise. Half-eaten. The other was a man carrying a Nikon SLR camera in one hand and a package of Pampers in the other. I boarded the elevator with them only to find that we were all headed to the same floor. Upon disembarking from the elevator, their journeys were thankfully shorter than mine was. Because they each went straight into their respective gender's bathrooms. Each with what I am hoping and praying were items from a scavenger hunt in their hands.

A Look Ahead to the First Half of the 2008 Cowboys Season

(This is also a pretty blatant plea for someone to hook me up with a ticket to a Cowboys game this season since I spend all this time and thought on this team but have yet to actually be able to attend a game. I'm making the puppy dog face right now. And I'm standing on a street corner in the rain with holes in my shoes. And a dog with one floppy ear. And a soggy foam finger)

And now I present the first half of the Cowboys 2008 season up to the BYE, complete with some predicted highlights and lowlights:

Sun, Sep 7 @ Cleveland (FOX) 3:15 PM

First, and most importantly, we will all realize how quickly we forgot how much we hate that Fox Football Transformer robot. There will be agonized groans as he showboats back into our collective consciouses. If the 2008 football season were a very very cold swimming pool, the Cowboys will be starting off the season with the "ease in very very very very very slowly" approach by playing the Browns in Cleveland. Did you know that Browns fan have filled 99.8% of the seats at home games for the past 7 years, despite having a pretty dismal record? Did you know that there can be .02% of a seat at a football game? I might have a theory as to why the idea of even watching a horrible football team sounds appealing to the citizens of Cleveland. I was once on the road with a band that played a show at the House of Blues amphitheater in Cleveland, which is right next to the Cuyahoga River. A river that has, on multiple occasions, caught on fire. So, you know, might as well go see a Browns game.


The first home game of the season. Which is a shame because I always like the danger and retardation of playing at a stadium full of people so unable to control their most base instincts that they had to establish a courtroom inside the stadium. Can we start making jokes about Andy Reid's sons yet? Please? I never understood why everyone had such a kid gloves approach when it came to some spoiled white kids who drove around in cars their dad paid for buying heroin with his credit card. Oh yeah, and I like Donovan McNabb for some reason. I think the Cowboys will win because Donovan McNabb hates every second of his life that he plays for the Eagles. BUT, far more importantly, this allows me to mention a woefully overlooked gem of family cinema. My friend Chrissy and I used to be obsessed with watching the Disney movies that slipped through the cracks. Which lead us to discover The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon starring Tony Danza. This movie is amazing.

Sun, Sep 21 @ Green Bay (NBC) 7:15 PM

Some guy not named Brett Favre will be quarterback and, Allah willing, Jessica Simpson will be knocked unconscious with a large block of cheddar. Pacman Jones will unsuccessfully try to shove singles into the back flap of a lap dancer's flannel footie pajamas, a staple of the Wisconsin strip club experience. He will get frustrated but, having grown up since his suspension and reinstatement, instead go back to the hotel to join the rest of the team in the the weekly prayer vigil held over Terry Glenn's knee.

Sun, Sep 28 WASHINGTON (FOX) 3:15 PM

Finally, the season gets started. I say that because night games, Monday games, ESPN games and games against the Browns aren't real games. Just extended pre-season games. Also, this would be a great time to avenge that humiliation that Washington handed the Cowboys at the end of last season. Also, by this point, I assume that if Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson are still together, one or all of the following things will have happened:

1. She will have been ripped apart in the stands of Texas Stadium until all there is left is a pile of hair extensions, pools of Restylane and small splotches of Mystic Tan in the box seat she once occupied

2. Tony Romo will become the first female NFL quarterback due to the voluntary neutering he underwent at the hands of Joe Simpson

3. Tara Reid will become the new Assistant Special Teams coach

4. The Cowboys will not be playing very well and most of the blame will be laid at the feet of Tony "Brah" Romo and the distraction his poor taste has brought to the team

Washington by three.

Sun, Oct 5 CINCINNATI (CBS) 3:15 PM

Awwwwwwwwwwww, that's cute. Cincinnati still has a football team! They're called the Bengals. Named after kitties! Awwwwwwwww, how presh. I just read the Wikipedia entry for the Cincinnati Bengals to try to bring you something, anything interesting about the franchise. They have no General Manager.....their stadium is one of the few not named after a corporate entity but the team's founder.......in 2001 and 2002, the Bengals wore white at home for games in preseason and September regular season games.......hey, remember the Ickey Shuffle, that was fun, right? Ah, nevermind.

Prediction: Terry Glenn plays this entire game on a Rascal and leads the Cowboys in receptions. And somehow returns an interception despite not playing defense and being on a Rascal. And the Bengals setting up to kick a field goal. This game is going to be just that wacky. Of course, Terry Glenn will then catastrophically re-injure his knee in the process of getting off his Rascal for a touchdown celebration dance. Which means he will have to start clipping coupons because who can live on a meager $500,000 a year? Looks like someone's gonna have to start using regular paper Post-It notes around the house, not the ones dipped in 14 karat gold upon which notes can only be etched by using a flawless conflict-free diamond-tipped peacock plume.

{Side rant: If you want to see me reach a state five stops down the line from livid, bring up the whole Terry Glenn holding out on the injury settlement thing. I have never gotten to go to a Cowboys game in person despite a near lifetime of fandom because I have never had the money or connections for tickets. Meanwhile, this guy spent last season eating Lemon Chills on the sidelines for 15 games and making several million dollars in the process. So now that the team owner doesn't feel like risking the prospect of paying him several million MORE dollars to watch the season from the world's greatest box seats in the event that he re-injures his knee, the team wants to cut his pay to a mouth-hooker low $500k a year. And that's IF he gets hurt again, which he swears won't happen. If he stays healthy, he will make what I imagine is just enough to feed his family at around $1.74 million a year. When I was a growing up and my shoes came from this hip boutique called "Our Church's Clothing Donations Closet", I'm pretty sure, had my Mom heard about Terry Glenn's difficult decision he's currently facing, she could have easily helped him make up his mind using only a few precisely chosen expletives and a blunt object. The End.}

Sun, Oct 12 @ Arizona (FOX) 3:15 PM

Boy, not quite the most thrilling start to a Cowboys season huh? Certainly can't be good news for a team with a two season-long record of crumbling towards the end. Oh well. As I have very little to say about the athletic prowess of the Arizona Cardinals, I will instead focus (as I always do) on the superficial matters. I despise Matt Leinart quite possibly more than I do Tom Brady. At least with Tom Brady, I get the feeling he's actually a pretty intelligent guy. Matt Leinart is thirty two shades of awful. I really can't stand the guy. So I am hoping for tons and tons of sacks in this game. Bone crushing, gender changing sacks. Thank you, Sack Jesus!

Sun, Oct 19 @ St. Louis (FOX) NOON

Chance of rain: 40%

Chance that Terry Bradshaw will appear drunk on Pregame show: 90%

Chance that Frank Caliendo will do one of his "hilarious" impressions during same Pregame show: 100%

Chance that T.O. will have been fined by the league by this point in the season: 50%

Chance that I will watch the 1st quarter of this game in bed: 78%

Chance of a Cowboys win: 89%

Sun, Oct 26 TAMPA BAY (FOX) Sponsored by PEPSI NOON

The game schedule I am using is taken directly from dallascowboys.com which means that the team has officially sanctioned the invention of a new measure of time henceforth known as "Pepsi Noon". So just imagine how fun it will be on what I imagine will be a brisk October morning. The leaves will be changing. We will finally be able to wear our blazers out again instead of walking around wearing sleeveless shirts like stepkids no one loves. We might have even attended an early Halloween party the night before dressed in some clever hipster costume. Of course, if you go dressed as Amy Winehouse you won't be able to see this Tampa Bay game because I will have personally smote you from the earth for being so unclever and unoriginal as to wear the costume that was already annoying and cliched last Halloween. Your bad. But we will wake up and wipe the JonBenet Ramsay handprints off our necks (tm ME 2008) and make sure that come Pepsi Noon, we are up and ready to watch our Dallas Cowboys take on the.......oh fuck.......really?......oh ok........the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


Sun, Nov 2 @ New York Giants (FOX) 3:15 PM

Yes, I am ready for some football. Thanks for asking. It's taken until November 2 to get my football blood pumping. But the day is here. The Dallas Cowboys take on the defending blah blah blah. Michael Strahan has retired to tend to his busy soup commercial schedule. Jeremy Shockey is taking night classes at Whiny Bitch College. I am contractually bound by the fact that I rooted for the Giants so hard in the Super Bowl to not say anything bad about Eli Manning. But finally, a game that I am going to squirm awkwardly in my rolly chair at work all week anticipating. It's not at some weird time (anything but 3:15) and it's not on some weird network (someone hit NFL Network's cage and tell it I just zinged it). Football rules. Organized sports. Etc.

And that brings us to the BYE. So I will end this with an BYE-like anecdote. My dad is a private pilot. He lives for flying planes and built his own plane. He has a very low opinion of people (like myself even) who don't like aviation. Which brings me to my dad's opinion of John Madden. As angry as I previously described getting over Terry Glenn, my dad gets catatonic when he sees John Madden. Tinactin commercials are like seeing Charlie in the jungle for him. His most angry tirade went something like this:

"My name is John Madden and I'm a big ol' fat boy who cries like a little bitch when I get on a big ol' scary airplane so I ride on my big ol' fat boy bus. Yep, I got me everything I need here on my fat boy bus including lots of Kleenex because I cry myself to sleep on my fat boy bus a lot while I eat potato salad in my sleeping bunk and think about how airplanes scare my fat ass. I know more people die in car accidents than plane crashes but I'm ol' fat boy John Madden and I don't wanna get up on no big ol' scary airplane so I'm just gonna take my time gettin' to places on my fat boy bus. Like a big scared ol' fat boy."

I'm not kidding. That's pretty much verbatim.