Sunday, March 14, 2010

On Fatherhood

Dear Readers,

The Rake's lifestyle, while at times glamorous and fantastic, is not without its hazards. Secret disease, imprisonment, malnourishment, and paralyzing substance dependency are commonplace and should be expected. However, for the most devout aspiring cads, there is one stumbling block that has the potential to financially cripple and truly reveal the heartless nature of the rake; I am referring, of course, to Fatherhood.

Attempts to prevent these little complications are bootless; an unfettered, hedonistic lifestyle is bound to produce several illegitimate spawn and they - like death and divorce - are inevitable products of the path we have chosen to follow. Instead, I will essay to instruct you how to deal with these little bundles of joy when they come running to you with outstretched palms and opened mouths.

Now, I am not some base scoundrel who has no interest in ever knowing these petits Gaspards et Gaspardettes - verily, I long for the day when I can proudly watch my son get disqualified from a high school fencing match for an illegal flèche. The fact is that at the moment, I am simply too young and insolvent to support anyone but Gaspard - a Herculean task in itself.

So what to do if a child from an old affaire de coeur comes to collect? For sons, the matter is simple. I merely tell the little scamp that we in the Lerâteau family follow the ancient Gallic custom wherein male children do not appear before their fathers nor endeavor to be seen with them in public until they are of age to bear arms, at which point the father will see it fit to admit them into their society. Taking this tack usually gives one between 8-10 years to come up with a more permanent plan.

If you are not French, or the issue in question is female, the situation is stickier. First, take the child for iced-cream. It is well known amongst our kind that any severe emotional blow delivered to a child is softened by sweets. Explain to them softly and kindly that the term "bastard" does not carry the social ramifications it once did. Swear to include them in your will*, and promise that one day you will accompany them on a walking tour of the country where you will exchange your life stories. Essentially, keep hope alive for the future without alienating yourself from them completely. After all, it is confirmed that children from broken homes either go on to be fantastic successes or miserable failures. It is also confirmed that successful children, whether out of filial piety or guilt, nearly always end up aiding an ailing father who may or may not be homeless and thirsty.

I could write volumes more on this subject, but that is all for tonight. I shall soon relate to you how to actually raise a child if he is clever enough to endear himself to you. Goodnight


*Do this verbally, with no notary present.

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