The birthday I recall with the most detail is my fourth. The year that my father banned pinatas.
The picture my mother took to commemorate that day is a picture of me crying. People love pictures of children crying on their birthdays — it means that the day was a success. The party was so fun that the child developed diabetes and social anxiety disorder.
Anyway, in the picture, I am crying, and if you look closely, I am holding a broken plastic shaft. This is the handle of the toy broom I had received only minutes earlier, which another child proceeded to break by whacking the hell out of the sea turtle pinata my mother had made out of newspaper with my direction and artistic vision. I am crying because the broom is broken. And because my father said that pinatas had seen their final hour.
Now, my question is: Who gave me the broom? What sick bastard gave me a toy broom for my fourth birthday? I consider Barbies enough of a hint that I should have the breast thing done and start exercising and throwing up, but for God’s sake, a broom? They might as well have given me oven mitts and a Petri dish full of sperm.
The broom signifies a lot. You would know this if you had taken some feminism classes, which you probably haven’t because there are only about two tenured professors who are allowed to teach it. The broom means, “Hey, you’re a girl, wouldn’t you like to sweep something?” The broom means, “After you get done with that sweeping, maybe a prince will marry you!”
I’ve always had a real affinity for men. Meaning, I like ’em. I like to talk to them and poke them and do other things with them, like drink coffee or watch movies or do keg stands. Men are funny. They think funny thoughts and then they say them out loud.
In the January issue of Vanity Fair, Christopher “Fuckass” Hitchens wrote an article entitled, “Why Women Aren’t Funny.” The article included evidence such as the fact that Hitchens believes women do not possess a “need to appeal to men in this way. They already appeal to men, if you catch my drift.” According to Christopher “Ass-Munch” Hitchens, women don’t need to be funny to attract men. They just need boobies. Fine. I’ve got those.
Christopher “Lonely” Hitchens goes on to say, “My argument doesn’t say that there are no decent women comedians. There are more terrible female comedians than there are terrible male comedians, but there are some impressive ladies out there. Most of them, though, when you come to review the situation, are hefty or dykey or Jewish, or some combo of the three.” Wow.
He goes on to mention that women are more serious than men, because “for women, reproduction is, if not the only thing, certainly the main thing. Apart from giving them a very different attitude to filth and embarrassment, it also imbues them with the kind of seriousness and solemnity at which men can only goggle.” Hmmmmm. I mean, he is right. I know I have a ritual every morning when I wake up thinking, “Life is funny.” I go into the bathroom, look in the mirror, slap myself, and repeat the word “baby” a couple hundred times until I am reminded of the solemn oath I made to Mother Earth to replenish her planet. And then I go outside and find me some sperm.
I found a picture of Christopher “Eat Me” Hitchens online, and it turns out that he’s pretty hefty and looks a little like a potato. But the best part is that his article is extremely not funny: It includes a poem by Rudyard Kipling.
I mean, men have a real advantage, let’s be serious, because a penis is a hilarious prop and babies are not a funny prop. Man, biology, thanks a lot.
Boys are allowed to make words out of pee, whereas girls are given dolls that look exactly like them. You get the doll and you say, “What the hell am I supposed to do with this?” and then someone says, “Love it.” And you figure, “Um, okay.” And then you carry around a piece of plastic with eyes thinking, “Maybe love will develop. Give it time.”
It all comes back to the broom. Take this broom, love it, care for it, make friends with it. One day it may be your only shoulder to cry on.
Being funny is powerful. Making people laugh makes people feel vulnerable — there’s the chance that milk could come out of your nose or that you might shit yourself. It’s a real fear. Like most kinds of power, people would rather give it to some Potato Face (Christopher “Still a Virgin” Hitchens) than a woman. Plus, it’s probably easier to be funny when people are listening to you.
Whatever — my friends from high school call me Princess Wit. It might be a name I gave myself. I may have to correct them frequently when they call me “Eli.” And so what if the name didn’t stick in college?
Vanity Fair can suck my dick.
Eli Clark wants a pinata. A potato-face pinata. She will hit it with her broom.