>>> Primal Urges
By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf
June 7, 2006

Nathan: So, does a lot go into being a dad?
Doug:
No, Nate. It’s real easy. Like checkers.
Nathan:
Smartass.

My old college roommate and good friend Doug was kind enough to meet me in New York City last weekend. Not that you give a damn. He lives in North Jersey and it wasn’t too much trouble for him to shoot up to the City and destroy a small part of it with me. Again, not that you give a damn. After our debauchery subsided, we decided that it would be best to spend a day recuperating at his home. This is the part where you should start giving a damn.

When I first started writing this column, one year ago, I had a goal. That goal was to teach people how to be good even though they may not want to be. That goal has eluded me. In fact, I had completely forgotten about the damn thing. I haven’t made much of an effort to improve myself in any fashion. There are those who would even say that I’ve gotten worse. And they may be right. But truthfully, I don’t give a damn (I’m going somewhere with this, I promise).

“When you have someone who depends on you for life and love, you can’t afford to end up in jail, or to spend your nights fucking gutter sluts.”

My friend Doug spent Saturday morning, afternoon, evening and parts of Sunday morning with me, both of us acting like nineteen year old alcoholics who just robbed several gas stations. And then, after having this jamming time, we retreated to his place and he proceeded to continue raising his beautiful, intelligent daughter.

That’s right, he has a kid. And she’s smart.

And he keeps a job, and it’s tough.

And I know what some of you cynical bastards are thinking because I think it all the time. You’re thinking, “Who gives a fuck? That’s what people are supposed to do. Life’s a bitch.”

But here’s the deal: he’s a single parent. He’s raising a little girl by himself. I can’t even remember to buy vacuum cleaner bags, and he has to remember every detail of this little girl’s life. He has become a good person, a good parent and a model member of society. And he can still find the time to kick back and get wasted like a Roman Catholic who just found out that purgatory doesn’t exist. Becoming him, ladies and gentlemen, was my goal.

You see, Doug has found a way to manage his primal urges and become a good person. I manage to make it to work on time. Doug is loved by a daughter that he provides for. My ex-girlfriend says that I’m a nice guy between two and six beers. In short, I am a dick and he…well, he is too. Just not in front of his daughter.

And, somewhere between hangover number one and hangover number two, while Doug was getting the Sunday barbeque going, and I was listening to his daughter recite poems and songs, I woke from my drunken, dehydrated, silly stupor and realized that my friend had unconsciously mastered what I had been seeking. He had become a good person, and he hadn’t given up who he really wanted to be. He had learned what the real motivation is for being a decent human being: his child.

You see, when you have someone who depends on you for life and love, you can’t afford to end up in jail, or to spend your nights fucking random gutter sluts. You can’t be a professional bar hopper, and you sure as hell can’t be a kid anymore. So you have to be a good person or you basically become a dirty wart on the hairy ass of life.

And then, shortly before we ate and shortly after I shit out my small intestines (if this hangover were a boxer it would have been Ali), I figured out exactly what it takes to become a grown up.

It takes having a child of your own.

And then it hit me: a revelation so heavy it may as well have been a right cross to my jaw. It hit me like a ton of brick shithouses. I figured out what I need to do to live the life I want. I figured out, essentially, that I am never, not for nothing, no way no how, having children.

I mean seriously, ain’t the world fucked up enough?

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