I have a non-gay man-crush on Anthony Bourdain.
Let me back up and explain myself.
On April 12th I became a father, which at the time of my wife’s pregnancy was a novel and “cute” idea. When my only responsibilities were making sure that she was comfortable, happy and making the occasional fat crack – which for any of you expectant father’s out there is never a good idea, apparently women lose their sense of humor when they start incubating – I was not concerned with the abstract concept of raising a child. The way I figured it was that eventually the baby thing would come screaming out of my wife like a uterine crash test dummy and after a couple of months of earnest discipline and regimented training he would essentially go on auto pilot. Some people called that idea naive and uneducated; and to those people I say, “Shut the fuck up, MOM!”
just like this…but messier
But as the date of Wonder-Boy’s arrival approached I became less and less concerned with setting up the Spartan-esque Agoge in my back yard. Certainly there will be a training camp in my back yard where Wonder-Boy will learn all of the important things a young man should know, but the scholastic curriculum to be taught there had to be put on the back burner because I began to get truly concerned about the arduous process my wife was about to go through. I watched a birthing video in my high school sex-ed class and I don’t think they’ve worked any miracles in the way of painlessly and laborlessly (if that’s even a word) transporting the kid out of its ovarian stronghold.
I won’t go into any details of the birth, because I really don’t want to revive the memories in my brain, and my wife clearly stated, in between contractions, “You are,under no circumstances, allowed to use any of this in your stand up!!!” But I will say this: it only takes one moment of time for you to realize that your wife is stronger, braver, more capable and more resilient than you will ever be. It’s humbling in a way that’s impossible to describe. And then that magic moment. That event that will forever split your life into two distinct time-lines: ‘that which came before this and that which came after this.’
And what a truly magical and ball-grippingly frightening moment that was.
We stayed for three days in the hospital surrounded by professionals; people who were more than capable and whose job it was to make sure that my wife, my child and I were well taken care of and well informed. The hospital stay was a pleasing vacuum of safety. Like being wrapped in a blanket of impenetrable security. A microcosm of the real world in which things can go wrong, but if they do the “pull my ass out of the fire”folks were within screaming distance.
From there we were thrust into the glaring light of the real world. Away from reassurance and the silky warm grasp of doctors who had dealt with babies almost all of their career. I wondered, as my mother-in-law wheeled my wife out of the hospital, if these people knew who they were letting walk out of there with a pocket sized human. Here I am, a guy who spends most of his time trying to find dick jokes in every day life, a guy who still has a favorite professional wrestler and who on more than occasion has gotten into very loud yelling matches over the redeeming characteristics of Batman over Superman. And here these so called professionals were letting me wander off to raise a child with them waving gayly in the background like Miracle Max from The Princess Bride.
“Good luck with the baby!”
“Think they’ll make it?”
“It’ll take a miracle.”
And away we drove, baby strapped inside the car with USAF cargo straps, feeling not unlike I was being birthed as a parent.
After the arrival of Wonder-Boy I knew that the rules had changed. A switch had been flipped somewhere in the ether that prevented life from continuing as it had been. Along with adjusting to life with a being that is in a constant state of demand, for attention, for food, for someone to change his shitty diapers I also had to adjust how I carried out my hobbies. Which is what brings you here, to this site.
Some of you followed me here from my previous site so you may know the story. For those of you new to this thing here’s a quick synopsis: I used to run a comedy website with a rather dubious name. This website lead to me getting in to some personal and professional trouble. I knew that I wanted to continue to write comedy online but I also knew that I wanted to be able to include stories about my regular life outside of the snarky comedic articles. So in acquiescence to some public and some personal voices I shut down my old website and started this one. I moved a good majority of the content over and during the three weeks that I was going to be home by myself with my son I had plans on starting on new content and revitalizing older content that wasn’t ready to be moved.
But the boy; he had other plans.
You see, I’ve come to understand that babies really don’t give a shit what you have planned. They way I figured it the boy would nap; unless eating, pooping or playing, and in those naps there would be ample time for me to craft my dick jokes. Somewhere there’s a saying about best laid plans and good intentions. The child demanded so much attention that I wondered if I would ever have time to even twitter a 140 character ‘your mom’ joke let alone a fully articulated article about any recent movies. When he cried the only thing that seemed to calm him was to hold him, rock and sway like Stevie Wonder. The only thing I could do in that time frame was to watch TV. Because if I wasn’t going to get anything done I’ll be god damned if I wasn’t going to be entertained.
I spent the better part of a day programming my DVR to record TV shows that I might enjoy in the hours of feeding and rocking. Hours in which nothing else could be done. And I stumbled upon a show on the Travel Channel called ‘No Reservations’ hosted by a gruff, grizzled, overly sarcastic chef with a literary aptitude normally reserved for English Lit. majors and a love of all things New York punk. He chain smoked, drank heavily and has made a career out of traveling to different countries in order to do both while sampling the local culture and cuisine. And for a guy who was locked down in a three bedroom house with an over-needy infant; he was my hero.
I watched as Anthony Bourdain traveled from locale to locale, immersing him self in the local culture with a voiceover narration of a very Hemingway nature and a part of me truly wished that I could do that. And other part of me found a very kindred spirit. Here he was, Tony Bourdain, finding himself in a different environment every week; a stranger in a strange land. And here I was; a father thrust into a world as alien and remote as the streets of Bombay – now called Mumbai, thank you very much cable television education.
In Anthony Bourdain I found a kindred spirit. A man whose travels and exploits I could look to for inspiration in this new adventure, both literary and paternally. I had new outlook for chronicling this part of my life along with an appreciation for all of the adventures my son was about to take me on. Everyone told me that once I had a kid I would have at my disposal a veritable endless well of comedic happenstance to draw upon. And they were right.
If you’re a fan of my old website looking for comedic articles laden with synonyms for penis and an appreciation for sophomoric humor; if you’re a fan of crass and crude stand up comedy; if you’re a new father looking for someone to empathize with you and hopefully make you laugh at the world that you’ve been thrown into kicking and screaming just like your new child; or if you’re just looking for a few minutes of entertainment and time sync on the internet…you’ve found the right place. And you have Anthony Bourdain to thank for it.
Welcome to Whiskey For Breakfast.
And if you happen to see Anthony Bourdain you can go ahead and tell him that I love him, in a very bro-mantic way.
it’s a brave new world