fictoid: Baby Jousting!
The origins of baby jousting are painfully self-evident. Once the Supreme Court signed off on Congress legalizing cheaper pay for women, all the men lost their jobs (well, what did they thinkwould happen? By and large women are better educated and less confrontational).
Unmarried men festered in their parents’ (read mothers’) basements, a select handful making the evening news with a body count.
Married men stayed at home and stewed in frustration, their competitive edge dulled by domesticity.
But not for long.
No one knows exactly when or where it happened, but legend has it somewhere in New York City (why New York City? Why not Texas? Well, too much open space in Texas; this required nose-to-nose confrontation) two fathers pushing baby carriages in Central Park (ground zero for non-New Yorkers’ fantasies about the Big Apple) encountered one another on a narrow path, traveling in opposite directions, of course.
“You move!” said the first father, whom we’ll name Father Percival.
“No,youmove!” said Father Lancelot, and so a legend was born.
They rammed their baby carriages into one another, and whoever lost that day’s competition returned the next, pushing a brand new steel reinforced baby carriage.
Well, that’s all it took for an arms race to begin, and by the time the moms found out about it (via sensationalistic investigative reporting on a sleazeball news site), it was already too damn late: An entire underground culture and economy had exploded, complete with rankings, betting, and stars within the sport.
The babies knew jack about the reason their fathers’ compelled them to participate in such a ridiculously violent (or violently ridiculous, take your pick) sport.
Many moms objected at first, citing fear of their babies’ safety, but between the extensively padded soft plastic weapons and the simply darlinglittle suits of armor, they recognized there was scant danger to their offspring.
The fathers would wear crash helmets, strap in their well-protected child, then ram their baby carriage full tilt as hard as they could into an opponent.
Baby jousting soon became a national sport, the number one show on all media. Professional leagues started and soon not just father / son but father / daughter teams were being touted in national media.
Fathers pressed their wives for more offspring as their infants and toddlers aged out of the sport, and the long stagnant population started booming again.
Baby jousting proved popular enough for fathers to become junior celebrities of their own, pursued and paid by sperm banks who only wanted to sap them of their professional masculine essence.
(There were, of course, dire and dark rumors of to-the-death / all-out / full-bore / full-contact baby jousts, but those tales always came from third world hellholes where life was cheap, such as North Carolina.)
More than a few children grew up with a sense of loss and rejection and resentment that their fathers so swiftly shifted attention to a newborn sibling.
But to be fair, many more grew up with their fathers sharing old stories and replaying past glories, and as such they felt a tighter bond and deeper connection with them. They grew up more emotionally stable but also better able to face whatever challenges life threw at them.
As their fathers were wont to say: “Behind every successful kid is a father -- pushing them just as fast as he can head on into another father’s kid.”
© Buzz Dixon