Do you remember that Alan Pasons Project song “Games People Play“? I barely do, but what I do recall of it was a mess of whiny, annoying pop drivel that made me reach for the tuning knob on my old radio in a desperate effort to find something entertaining to keep me from having to do my homework. And no, I didn’t play video games largely because I sucked and was massively uncoordinated in the fine and gross motor skills department. But as a child I wanted to do something well enough to impress my dad so I’d gain his love and respect as any child would. And show him he was getting old.
Hence this episode of the parentally-themed, Picasso-esque visual tour de force brings to light a topic that so many of us, the intentional and accidental creators of offspring, must deal with – the generation gap. Happens to all of us, the coolest of the cool, the dopest of the dope, even the hippest of the hip, including those who have had multiple hip replacements. We eventually stop being cool as nature intended us. Were we to remain eternally cool, we’d piss off our kids so much they’d either run away and join the circus as some do, or they’d kill us for stealing their thunder. Nature has this way of replacing the people who are ahead of the curve with those just behind them, kind of like ducks flying south in a V-shape. At some point, the lead duck has to give up and let a stronger duck ahead.
But that doesn’t mean parents have to completely give in to our children. In fact, by being intentionally uncool, non-hip, or even lame and loser-ish, we hold the great trump card in the eternal battle of child versus parent. All it takes is some well-timed and skillfully placed verbal blunders, particularly in front of the kids’ friends,even better if you’re in your underwear or wearing a filthy mustard-stained t-shirt with swear words on it, and you have sunk their battleship like an Exocet into the side of a Bismarck.
Armed with the knowledge that your child will one day replace you and make you obsolete, much like that last technology with the came along and made the one before that look so yesterday, know that for a brief time, say about 10 years if you’re lucky, you will appear cool, the hero, the dude to your child and then it all goes south in a medley of disco pants and bad hairdos and they’ll make fun of you too. Until their kids make fun of them.