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BABY TALK

 

 

††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††A SHORT STORY BY ARTHUR CHAPPELL

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† DECEMBER 1998

 

 

††††††††††† ď Mother, Father, I have something important to tell you. Oh, please donít faint, or look so shocked. I might only be three months old, but you have been trying to get me talking, havenít you? After all, what were those gu-ga, ga-gu glob sounds you keep making if not some kind of incitement to get me talking? Well, Iím talking now, so what do you want?

††††††††††† Explanations? Impossible is it? Babies canít talk this articulately at so young an age. How do you know, if youíve never listened to us? Well, we can, though weíre not supposed to. I broke silence because I canít take any more of your prattle. I don't like pink girlie bonnets, or that slop you call baby food. Who on earth are those awful people who keep on coming to make faces and silly noises at me? My relatives; Oh, Christ!

††††††††††† Iím sorry my being born was so painful for you mother, but I did try to co-operate with the surgeon as he pulled me round. Why did he slap my feet like that, anyway? It hurt.

††††††††††† Please do me a favour, when I am four. If my drawings are as awful as those of my older brother now, donít patronize me by telling me how good they are. That stuff is crap and you know it. ††††††† Donít keep shoving a dummy in my gob when I cry. I cry for good reasons. I want attention. In future, I might just shout you by name instead. Oh, talking of names, why Norman? Couldnít you wait until I was old enough to pick a name for myself?

††††††††††† Damn, Iíve wet myself again. I wish my body could keep up with my mind. I donít just want to walk. Iím ready for the Internet. Itís my fingers and legs that wonít work that way yet.

††††††††††† Look, this is too much of a shock to you, I can see that. I realise now why other babies suppress their superior intellects. Itís a harsh sacrifice, as we seldom emerge any more intelligent than you adult humans, but if Iím not to be regarded as a freak and carted off to a laboratory somewhere for dissection, Iíd best do it. I will now consciously eradicate my intellect. Most babies do it without telling their folks about it, but youíve seen too much now. Iím sorry if it saddens you. Donít bother telling anyone. Theyíll never believe you. Intellect fading now. E = MC Squared equals The cat sat on the Humpty Dumpty choo choo, ga-gu, whhdf Waah, mmmmmm M, M-Mama!Ē

 

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