When Jello Biafra last passed through Toronto on his spoken word tour a couple of years back, he noticed an excessively-pierced guy sitting near the front row. Between topics, Jello walked up to him and said, “Wow, that’s a lot of piercings.”
He then turned to the audience and asked “Ever wondered what kind of fashion your children will take up, just to annoy the hell out of you? I’m thinking horns and tails, they’ll think it’s cool, and you’re not gonna like it.”
That got a lot of laughs, but somewhere in the laughter was that nervous note that said geez, he’s right.
Some people ask why I’ve never gone for the piercing or tattoing thing, especially since I have some kind of a rep for being the type of person who’d go for just that. I could in all honesty say that we can rule out earrings and nose rings, because my large, round face just doesn’t lend itself well to that kind of thing.
That, and I hate needles. Really, really hate ’em.
I’ll simply borrow a line from the younger brother from the movie Once Were Warriors when asked why he didn’t adopt Maori traditional tattoos to show Maori pride: “Mine are on the inside.”
(Besides, my large, round face already clearly says I’m a badass. In it, you will see the features that could only be those of a descendant of badass Chinese pirate Li Ma Hong. My Mom’s family traces their ancestry back to him, which explains a helluva lot about Mom and also why you shouldn’t mess with her.)
Anyhow, I was reminded of Jello’s remark after reading Megan Lindholm’s short story, Cut. It’s not a new one, having appeared in the sci-fi magazine Asimov’s back in 2001, but it’s a very interesting read. It’s not what a lot of people would consider to be “science fiction”; there are no robots, nanotech, aliens, starships, cloning or virtual reality, and while there is mention of computer, it’s just a prop, no more significant than a telephone or toaster. Still, it is about the future — in more ways than one — and how you’ll react to it might depend on if you’re about to leave your parents’ nest or starting one of your own.
I found myself siding with grandma. Damn, I am turning into my parents. Good thing they’re right-on people.