Monday, October 13, 2008

Excerpt from Paul Reiser's "BABYHOOD"

Everybody wants to talk to babies, but no one knows what to say. "Hello" is very popular. You can't not say it. You pick up a baby, you just start saying "Hello". Over and over. "Hello...hello...helllll-ooooo..." Like you're on the phone and the baby's just not picking up. In reality, they hear you fine-they're just waiting to hear what you say next.

Usually what comes next is a question. The inevitably high-pitched, dopey-voiced, grown-ups-talking-to-babies voice.

"Who's the cutest baby?"
"Who's got an itty-bitty nose?"
"Who's got a poopy diaper? You? Do you have a poopy diaper and an itty-bitty nose?"

First of all, these questions are way too easy. The reason babies don't answer is because they're insulted. They don't like being patronized.

"You know who the cutest baby is, so why ask? Give me a tough one."

"Who's that in the driveway? Is that Grandma pulling up in the driveway?"

But no that tough. That makes them angry.

"How the hell should I know who's in the driveway? I can barely see over this giant stuffed frog."

Plus, I think they resent questioning in general. It's like an interrogation.

"Who's that? What's that in your nose? Why are you crying? What did you do? And how do you explain your juice ending up on his bib?"

And they start sweating.

"Hey, I'm innocent, I tell ya. I've only been alive three and a half weeks...I just learned how to breathe, for crying out loud...I also, incidentally, just learned how to cry out loud..."

Eli and Abby...enjoy....


hi, i'm nancy! said...

i LOVE paul reiser. Mad About You was one of my all-time favorite shows.whatever happened to him? (i guess whatever happened to him is that he is now doing stand-up comedy about how people talk to babies.)

The Katzbox said...

I think he's continuing to write and produce/direct. I love him as well.

Eliot Bowman said...

That was a good one, Mom.

Brown and Serve said...

It takes a lot for me to laugh out loud when I am reading. I laughed out loud. I think the best stand-up skits are the ones that you can identify in your own life. Although one question that sounds simple, but oh so important... "what's that in your mouth? Say ah ah ah."