January 14, 2006

This Leash Demeans Us Both

There is an episode on the Simpsons where Homer's long-lost brother, Herb, invents a "baby translator." The machine listens to whines and cries made by babies, and then (in Herb's voice) says what the baby wants. At the machine's unveiling, he displays it on several babies.

The first baby comes up with her doting parents, cries into the machine, and Herb's voice says "All I want is candy." To which her ecstatic parents respond "then that's all you'll get".

Next comes a baby wearing one of those baby harnesses that attaches to something that looks like a telephone cord. The baby cries into the machine and Herb's voice says, "This leash demeans us both."

The last baby whines into the machine and Herb's voice says, "I have soiled myself. How embarassing."

At the end of the show, Herb has become rich. He buys nice things for all the Simpsons, because they lended him money to get his start. He asks each of them what they want. When he finally comes to Maggie, who was the inspiration for the machine, the following exchange takes place:
Herb: Maggie...who brought me my fortune. I'll give you anything you want in the world
Maggie: -- I want what the dog's eating
Herb: I'll get you something nice

Why did I bring this up? Because, as Hollywood has mentioned in a previous post, we made the mistake of teacing Pixie sign language. And what is it that she wants? I walked in her room this morning, and the very first thing she did was make the sign for "cheese." She makes the sign 800 times a day. She makes it at every meal. She makes it after ever meal. She makes it before she goes to bed. She probably makes it in her sleep. And the funny thing is, that really IS what she wants. She smiles and eats every single hunk of cheese we throw her way. I fear lest we are raising our child to become a "cheese-eating surrender monkey," to borrow a phrase from Ground's Keeper Willie. Not really. Mostly I have just been looking for an excuse to post and talk about the Simpsons.


Anonymous said...

the simpsons is funny, but not as funny as hearing someone describe what happened on the simpsons. Hope you are feeding her plenty of fruit with that cheese or you'll have a post about baby constipation. eeeew. hopefully without a photo of the acutal diaper. um, i better change this to an anonymous post now, like i did with the pipes comment.

Anonymous said...

Cute about cute Penny with her signs. Are you sure it doesn't slow down regular speech by just being too convenient? I alwalys pushed you kids to answer in words as early as possible.

Anonymous stole my comment about the unhealthy effects of too much cheese!


BTW I'm convinced that the pacifier in the mouth like with Bryan W. slows speech.