Kung Fu Splinter Removal

Crouching Toddler, Hidden Splinter

Starring!

  • The Chalupa as Toddler (dubbed voice-over by Macaulay Culkin)
  • The Father as Master (dubbed voice-over by Corey Feldman)

Setting!

Grand, melodramatic music…

A thatched-roof hut somewhere in Japan

(NOT a suburban two-story with an SUV in the driveway)…

A toddler, slogging through the rice paddies

(NOT a toddler playing trucks on the deck)…

His master, stern-faced, twirling his long white beard

(NOT a dad sitting on the couch)…

___________________________

TODDLER:  Master, there is something in my toe.  From karate-chopping those wooden boards all day.  I can’t walk – but I’m fine!  No really!

MASTER:  He who cannot carry my rice gruel to me in his Lightening McQueen wagon is useless – (screaming) USELESS!

(speaking slowly…menacingly…)  Come.  Let me look at your foot.  And I will tell you The Legend of Drunken Master.

TODDLER:  (wary)  Chuck the Dump Truck?

MASTER:  Like Chuck the Dump Truck but more Romeo (the Splinter) Must Die.

TODDLER:  (backing away slowly) That’s okay, I’m going to read Oh, the Places You’ll Go With Chuck Norris!

MASTER:  No.  You.  Will.  Not.  (banshee-like scream, drop-kick spin through the air)

The two circle each other in the traditional Kung Fu Hustle.

Toddler runs for the bathroom, Master intercepts with the Fist of the White Lotus, known in some circles as the Fireman’s Lift.

Toddler, however, is skilled in the Way of the Dragon.  Teeth are bared.

At last, Master has Toddler pinned to the bed.  I mean, the rough-hewn sleeping pad on the hard, earthen floor.

TODDLER:  NO! NO! NO! (dubbed translation 3 seconds delayed “NO! NO! NO!”)

Toddler kicks Master in face 15 times (dubbed sound of slapping 3 seconds delayed).

MASTER:  Stop moving your big toe!  I said stop it!  Jean-Claude Van DAMMIT!

TODDLER:  OW! OW! OW! (dubbed translation: “It’s so hard being the Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow!”)

MASTER:  You see this Fist of Fury?  Yeah, it’s got TWEEZERS in it.  And for the record, Bruce Lee made Brandon remove his splinters with his TEETH!

TODDLER:  (sobbing)  WAH!  WAH!  WAH!  (dubbed translation:  “Well “Bloodsport” fucking sucked!”

MASTER:  (stunned) In the name of Jackie Chan’s stunt double, WHAT did you just say?

TODDLER:  Uh, “Bloodsport” is a cinematic masterpiece that showcases grown-men doing middle splits?

suddenly…the splinter is out.

MASTER:  (aged 50 years, lying quietly in a heap on the floor) Get me my rice gruel, insolent wretch.

In the Sierra Nevada beer bottle.

_____________________________

cue grand, melodramatic music!

Sequel to come:  Kiss The Dragon (He Fell Off the Monkey Bars)!

The Emasculation of Mr. Seahorse

When Mr. Seahorse was interviewed by Eric Carl for his famous children’s book aptly titled Mr. Seahorse, he put on a Caldecott-award-winning performance:

Watch as I lovingly carry my babies through gentle currents!

Look!  I’ve scheduled play dates with Mr. Stickleback and Mr. Tilapia!

I’m raising 1,500 beautiful, scaly children!

But once the author-interview ended and National Geographic For Kids stopped profiling him, Mr. Seahorse returned the expensive stretch-mark cream for a full refund and let his tiny shoulders sag.

Because Mr. Seahorse is a stay-at-home dad.

Weary.  Resentful.  Ruled by the iron fist of babycenter.com.

And how did he come to find himself in this position?

Word in the seagrass is that Mrs. Seahorse, a high-powered attorney, lovingly told her husband, “You’re the one with a goddamn brood pouch.  Now suck it up and gestate.”

Sure, they had a romantic courtship for three poetry-and-wine filled days, swimming together in what is known as the “pre-dawn dance” – but before Mr. Seahorse had a chance to say “stop stroking my dorsal fin,” the ovipositor was inserted and BAM!  He was a living, incubating, Baby Seahorse Bjorn.

And Mrs. Seahorse was off “litigating” in other shallow, tropical waters.

Sure, she came to visit him every morning under the premise of sharing a couple of shrimp breakfast burritos, but it was all about the interrogation:  what nutrients are you sucking up through your snout?  Have you fertilized my precious offspring yet?  You call that prolactin?

Underneath it all, the unspoken accusation:  you swim in Jamaican grass, you Charlie Sheen-horse, and I’m going to strangle you with my prehensile tail.

While it can’t be denied that Mrs. Seahorse is a castrating bitch, is there some truth to her fears?  Let us take a closer look at the life that Mr. Seahorse leads:

Day 1 of Gestation:  The Play Date with Mr. Stickleback

At a loss for how to entertain thousands of eggs, they find a sports bar.  Guiness on draft and the Final Four.  The eggs are nicely buzzed and mesmerized by the glowing light of the TV through their father’s paper-thin pouch.

Day 2 of Gestation:  The Play Date with Mr. Tilapia

The men are hungry.  Always so hungry.  It’s hard feeding thousands – harder than they ever imagined.  They find a fast-food joint serving the regurgitated remains of a shark feeding-frenzy.

Day 3 of Gestation:  The Play Date with Mr. Kurtus

Never happened.  Mr. Seahorse is a bit hung over.  And Storm Chasers is on the Weather Channel.

Day 4 of Gestation:  The Play Date with Mr. Pipefish

The two find themselves at Dave & Busters.  They settle in for some air hockey and fried crustaceans.  Mr. Pipefish nails a puck right at Mr. Seahorse’s brood pouch.  Fortunately, the eggs appear to still be…gestating.

Day 5 of Gestation:  The Play Date with Mr. Bullhead Catfish

Mr. Seahorse watches in horror as Mr. Bullhead babysits his newborns, silently thanking all that is good and holy that his duties as a father end when his eggs hatch.  He offers to go on a Starbucks run and never returns.

Days 6-9 of Gestation:  Quality Soul-Searching

Mr. Seahorse ditches prenatal yoga for meditational Yankees vs. Twins.

In considerable discomfort, Mr. Seahorse gets a prenatal massage.  From a starfish named Cindi.  At bar called The Bends.

In preparation for the big day, Mr. Seahorse hires a midwife named Bubbles.

Determined to get his pre-baby body back after jettisoning the interlopers, Mr. Seahorse signs up for post-natal Pilates.  From a conch named Lindi.  At a studio called Marine Core.

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Disturbing?  Infuriating?  Shocking?

Hardly.

Mr. Seahorse is essentially a single stay-at-home marine animal.  Lost and alone while his mate brings home the bacon-flavored plankton.

Can you blame him if he takes his prenatal Doritos with a quart of caffeine?

Will you flog him for choosing ESPN over Baby Einstein?

Are you going to call Seahorse CPS because he’s not entirely cognizant of Egg Alcohol Syndrome?

No.  Because the females of several species called for gestational equality and they got it.

And because this is what happens when you ask a man to gestate.

I, for one, can’t wait until evolution equips human men with brood pouches.

Mild mental trauma from air hockey pucks is a small price to pay for equality.