Some people make their imprint on the world by constructing ideological or scientific systems, developing global business empires or making groundbreaking discoveries, while others create extraordinary objects of art, music and literature. The Great Dane, on the other hand, has chosen to follow the course of nature by giving his fertile semen to all women in need. In doing so, he bestows on the world many future generations of Great Danes. But whatever the means, whatever the goal, the difficult part is to follow through on one’s deeds.
It was an early morning like so many other early mornings. The Great Dane woke up with one single cloudy thought in his head, so he drank what there was to drink in the flat, and soon the sun was rising, shining bright and clear. He gave the girl slumbering naked in the corner a quick straight-up-bye-bye, remembered on his way out to wish her good luck and advise her not to eat smoked salami or fish or too many sweets while pregnant. Then he went down to his car and drove with great haste to Teufelberg, the former cold-war listening post at the outskirts of Berlin, to visit his friend the ex-vegan bicycle builder at his workshop. Since the Great Dane’s return to Berlin, there had been so much going on that they not yet had managed to fall into deep conversation about his friend’s forthcoming parenthood. So today was going to be the first day of redemption. The Great Dane already had thousands of happy children dancing, laughing, and singing in the world’s great wilderness, so who else could enlighten his friend about parenthood on behalf of all humanity – or at least all the novice readers – whom we are pleased to inform that the Great Dane plans to write a book about just that topic, sharing his divine wisdom about parenthood and telling fabulous stories about all his magnificent children with their great beauty, strength, health, courage and intellect. Yes true it is, and totally free of charge, he has decided to give the first universal advice concerning parenthood. So read carefully, here it comes:
Raising a strong and healthy child in a rough urban environment is not an easy task. But don’t despair! Even with the limited imagination which most of the world’s average parents possess, the task can be overcome. Follow the guidelines given by the Great Dane, and everything will be just fine.
1. It is expensive to feed a child, so remember to give it less and cheaper food than what you eat.
2. Too many children are weak and whining and have snotty noses. Therefore let your child stay out all day, the whole year in the fresh air. (This advice is not based on the experience of the Great Dane himself. He has only brought it up-to-date. Already in ancient Greece it was common knowledge that plenty of fresh air builds good character, spirit and stamina. And who other than the ancient Greeks would know?!?)
3. Adults may lie to survive, children may not!
4. Your child knows from birth that it’s not a finished product. It has to grow and evolve before it becomes fully human. That’s why every child wants to grow up fast. It can’t just wait and put up with being small, stupid and fragile. It wants to have more all the time. But time is money, and money doesn’t grow on trees like in the good old days of King Solomon. This is the harsh reality of nowadays, and something your child has to learn on its own. So the best thing would be to let it walk barefoot summer, autumn, winter and spring. This will also save you the cost of new shoes.
5. Inform your child of the many possibilities when playing with a wooden stick.
6. And most importantly: Save up to buy The Great Book Of Parenthood. Something that will help the Great Dane feed his many little Great Danes, who one day will inherit the world.
The Great Book Of Parenthood will among other things give advice on: Heavy Drinking and Sleeping Peacefully Through the Night; Various Cures for the Burning Pain of Migraine; There Is Never Such a Thing as No Sex; To Be or Not to Be Wife Battering; One Hundred and Seventy-Five Strategies Concerning Quarrels; The Enjoyment of Being Alone for More than a Second; It’s Like Peeing in Your Pants; Peeing on Command; The Philosophy of Laxatives; What Could There Be in the Little Potty; How Much Can You Squeeze a Pet; The Hot Cooker Effect; The Amusement of Inventing Household Traps; Cunning Places to Hide the Biscuit Tin; Farting for Novices; Farting by Heart; Farting in the Name of the Father; Advanced Notes in Classical Farting; Various Ways of Leaving Your Child; Lying About Lying; Why There Are No Monsters in the Closet; The Use of Rusty Nails in Pillow Fights; The Excitement of Playing Ball Next to a Street; Why Children Should Always Drive Without Bicycle Helmets; How to Avoid Paying Pocket Money; When the Hands are Under the Duvet; In Every Dark Corner of the School Yard; Teaching Teachers to Like Your Child; Why Your Child is Very Special, and the Children of Others Are Not; The True Meaning of the Bees and the Flowers; Hair All over and in Certain Places; What Period?; How to Get Rid of Her New Boyfriend; Drinking for Good Health and Fortune with Your Son; Wine, Weed and Growing Whiskers; Eighteen and Over (the book will unfortunately only contain a superior passage about this topic, commonly known as the Afterlife of Parenthood, due to its doubtful existence. The Great Dane is instead considering writing a book about an almost similar topic: Life Without Children).
(The Great Book of Parenthood can now be pre-ordered through this site. Postage will be added.)
Just Another Alter Ego is a series of articles about a bumpy road trip into an urban utopia: not one still to come, not one that someday may be, but one that already is the hard, thrilling and colourful hyperreality of life in our cities.
Story © The Great Dane
Illustrations © Sally Wilde