Thursday, November 1, 2012

Child Piercing. Pros. Cons.

Dear Friends,

The Hard Taco song for November is called, "Pale Mama Jones." The goal here was to make a tune that would work with a slow-motion action sequence in a Resident Evil movie.
A Place to Put Your Decorative Baubles
Last month, I came home and found a sign taped to the door handle. "Girls Rule, Boys Drule, except when dads let there daughters get there ears pearced."

I recognize that a young daughter who wants pierced ears is not high in the canon of fatherhood tribulations. It's not like she's smoking grapefruit peels or dating a nerd. She just wants to wear earrings. So why is this so hard for me? Part of it is that I've never set foot inside a tattoo parlor or piercing joint, and when I try to imagine what goes on in there, every scenario frightens me.

Scenario 1: A woman with a Mohawk and ripped fatigues presses the end of a coat hanger into her cigar until the metal glows, and then thrusts it into your earlobe, screaming, "Just wiggle your finger when you can't hear me anymore!"

Scenario 2: A misunderstood teenager with eyeliner that is so thick that it forms a contiguous black smear between her eyes sneers at you for thirty straight minutes, but you can't tell, because her face is droopy and expressionless.

Scenario 3: A witch doctor with a bone through his nose blows smoke rings into your face until you hallucinate that a big-eyed hyena is beckoning you to follow it to a white tree. You suddenly wake up from this spirit quest three days later when someone says the code word, "monkeyshines," and find yourself standing above the corpse of a foreign dignitary, holding a bloody twig.

Maybe my kid would have a different experience, but there's simply no denying that ear piercing is a barbaric custom.  If you were a Martian comparative sociology major, and you learned that the dominant organism on Earth condoned poking hooks through the earlobes of their children, what would you think? You would be shocked at the brutality of this primitive ritual... almost as shocked as you would be by the fact that these creatures have earlobes, rather than regular old burrowing insectoid soul matrix-lobes.

I've heard all the arguments against circumcision, but let's be honest here. Ear piercing serves no purpose other than fashion.  Circumcision, well, that's the double threat... it's for health and for fashion! As far as I can tell, the only other difference is that distant relatives don't usually inquire about a boy's circumcision status when choosing him a birthday gift.

I talked about this with some of the soccer moms last week, and apparently none of them get the same icky JonBenet Ramsey vibe from child-piercing that I do. In fact, one of them said that it's better to get girls pierced when they are just a few months old, because they don't have the motor control to reach their earlobes and pick at the holes! That makes sense, I guess, but then when is a good time for children to get their breast implants? My babies were able to touch their chests from day one, and I really don't want them to get infected. Should we pin their elbows in inflexible casts while the breast implants heal, or is it better just to remove the arms all together?

For a few minutes after that comment, everyone seemed really interested in watching the soccer game again.

Then one of the moms mentioned that she was going to take her daughter to a kiosk at the department store where they can pierce both ears at the exact same time. I like that idea, because it reminds me of dining at a fancy restaurant, where a whole parade of waitstaff sets down your entrĂ©es in unison. Maybe at the Piercing Pagoda, nine cosmetologists rappel down the walls, ninja-style, and shoot needle guns at your earlobes, nostrils, nipples, navel, eyebrows, and everything else, all at the same moment. Bammity, bam, bam! Now just hold still for a few more seconds while we connect them all with chains. Zippity, zip, zip! All done! Would you like a sucker?

It's a lot to think about, and I'd appreciate any advice, especially advice with the word "clip-ons" in it. The problem is that if I say no, there will be all kinds of fallout. Then next thing you know it's my fault that Boys Drule.

With warmest regards,