Dr. Faux is on vacation; he will return in two weeks. For this issue we are reprinting one of his columns from country CONNECTIONS, the July & August 1996 issue. It has been edited for length and topicality. —Ed.
Dear Dr. Faux:
My husband and I chose not to have children, but our best friends have two. Recently when they come to dinner they have frequently brought their children even when the kids have not been invited. The children don’t behave well. They frighten our cats and are generally obnoxious. Our friends don’t seem to notice. Their attitude is, aren’t they cute? And even when they don’t bring them they talk about them all the time. How do I tell our friends that we enjoy their adult company and to leave the kids at home?
Sign me: Don’t Like Playpens in Denver.
Dear Don’t Like:
Dr. Faux understands. He is sympathetic and will share his genius for a pittance, considering the depth of his insight and the number of responses that he is required to churn out during a session of letter answering. Dr. Laura Schlesinger gets the big bucks for her superficial responses to questions on grooming while Dr. Faux gets nothing for his masterful responses to the true problems of living, to anguished cries for help. So let us now move on to your problem. Dr. Faux is being timed and must manufacture brilliance, ream after ream, yard after shining yard or his salary will be cut and Muffins and Tom-Tom will be required to leave Fancy Feast and go back to Dead Chicken for Cats. But before he answers your fascinating question allow Dr. Faux to digress and speak of himself for a change and to say that he is quite enraged that he is thought of (and paid as) the pieceworker of the advice columnists. Dr. Faux had a dream last night where he was working in a low-ceilinged, unventilated room in Honduras for Kathie Lee Gifford. But instead of producing Kathie Lee Leisurewear (“Modest Clothes for Vacationing Christians”) he was creating piles of answers to stupid questions. In the dream, Kathie Lee was the plant manager and was dressed in S&M gear, as a dominatrix. She was standing on a little stage at the end of the room flicking a whip over Dr. Faux’s head. The whip had a phallic handle with a knob on the end that looked like Regis Philbin’s head. Her black leather brassiere had an adding machine motif and her bikini bottom looked like a teller’s cage. She was bumping and grinding and singing “God Bless America.” Her hair was still that horrific off-red but was much bigger and had been pouffed into the shape of the Crystal Cathedral—with a tiny Reverend Schuller inside. He was peeking out over Kathie Lee's giant forehead giving a sermon entitled “How To Remain Christian During Orgasm.” Tiny Reverend Schuller said, “Never say, ‘Oh, god!’ or ‘Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!’ for that would be sinful. Say ‘Happy, happy, happy baby. Oh, happy baby.’ ” It was horrible. And in the dream Kathie Lee would scream “Amen!” and bump to important points in the tiny Reverend’s sermon. And her face was so ecstatic when she said, “Amen!” so contorted with Christian orgasmic joy when she bumped, that Dr. Faux couldn’t concentrate on answering questions and just sat staring at happy, happy, Kathie Lee and her bumping and grinding. And then Tiny Reverend Schuller was replaced with a tiny Frank Gifford in his football drag and Kathie Lee’s big hair became a football stadium and Frank said, “Down! Set! Hut one! Hut two!” And Kathie Lee screamed, “Happy, happy, happy baby!” And Dr. Faux woke up. What was your question? Something about bringing those children, uninvited, to dinner and prattling on about them? Here’s the answer. Pay attention. You won’t hear this quality from Dr. Laura Schlesinger. Your friends are testing you. They know that you don’t like their spawn, and they are saying, Like us, like our progeny or we’re out of your life. They’re hoping you’ll make the move and break off the relationship so that it won’t be their fault. Don’t disappoint them. Here are some ideas for de-parenting your life. Here’s how to tell them that you don’t enjoy their children. The next time they’re over without their spawn, say “And how are the kids?” And then stick your fingers down your throat and make a retching sound. Or, if the darlings have again accompanied mom and dad (though uninvited), you must kneel and gather them to your breast, look at each child with a questioning and concerned countenance and then say to mom, “Did you know about the pill?” Believe Dr. Faux. Your friends will come to understand that you don’t like children and especially theirs and that you don’t mind moving along friends-wise. Not liking children is not a sin. No matter what Kathie Lee says. The world is choked with both breeders and brood. They are draining our resources. Think of the rain forests. And for more insight, send for Dr. Faux’s latest book in his Tough-Love Series, Wear a Condom, Save A Tree.