Some people have no business being parents and I'm not speaking in generalities, I’m speaking specifically about the woman in apartment 1-C.
She goes by the name Maddie Pinkwhistle but take it from me, Maddie does not stand for Madeline. It stands for Madagascar. On my ex-mother-in-law’s grave that’s the God’s honest truth. I got it out of Bruno. Supers know these things, he crossed his heart when he told me.
So, a person with the name of Madagascar — oh, and need I tell you, that is not where she was born — already you know it’s not good news, she’s going to grow up to have problems, yes? Of course yes, it’s fated, it’s in her cards.
So her first baby comes along, what does she name him? Tortellini. Tort-a-lini, you ever hear anything like this? And I put 100 and 50% of the blame on her head, it’s not like there was a husband. Somewhere on this earth there has to be a father, that I am perfectly aware of, but husband there is none.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s not a bad mother, I’m not saying that. If anything, she’s too easy on the little momzer — he wants, he gets. He cries, he gets more. So she’s got a big heart, but she’s got no brain.
Let us jump ahead a few years. Again, a big stomach she’s got. Again, no man. I watch her coming and going — what else am I going to do, I’ve got my windows at the front of the house, I should look away when I see her on the steps? No, God gave me eyes, so I look. She’s getting bigger, she’s getting bigger, already it’s not a joke, I’m scared. It’s maybe not so healthy, how much can you ask of skin it should stretch like that? But finally it happens, a baby. Another boy.
I want you should come here a little closer and look me in my eyes. Closer even. Closer, what’s wrong with you, you can’t get any closer than that? Look me right here in my two eyes so you can see what I’m telling you is the truth. That lady what calls herself Maddie went ahead and named her second son Fettuccine. You heard me right. Tortellini and Fettuccine. Meanwhile, they’ve got her last name on top of that. Tortellini Pinkwhistle. Fettuccine Pinkwhistle.
Sometimes at night I can’t sleep, I’m so upset from this. To bring children into the world and then give them such names to wear the rest of their lives, there’s something wrong there. Also, let me add, Fettuccine is no more good-natured than his brother. What a mouth that kid has on him. Where does a child learn to talk like that, and don’t tell me in school, I went to school and you don’t hear such words coming from my lips.
Okay, another year or two pass, again with the stomach. Do you think by this time maybe the woman got herself a husband? I’m asking you, in your opinion, yes or no? Go ahead and guess, you’ve got a 50/50 chance, they call that the law of averages. No, you say? You win the prize.
Another baby, still no man in sight. This time, kanahora, she winds up with a girl. I am talking beautiful here, nobody would say any different. From the second she was born you knew she was something from out of this world. The doctor himself said to the mother “This baby is a Botticelli angel.” So alright, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the woman named her daughter Angela, only she didn’t do that. She named her Botticelli.
Tortellini, Fettuccine, Botticelli. You hear what I’m saying? And they’re not even Italian. If they were Italian maybe it wouldn’t be so bad but that Madagascar woman, she’s from Hackensack. From the Jewish section, in case you were confused.
Okay, time marches on. Feigenbaum in 6-B keels over in his Campbell's tomato soup and it’s curtains for him. They say it was his heart but who really knows for sure? I'm not eating anything out of a can just to be safe.
So, 1,2,3, the apartment gets advertised. Dr. Jeremy Schwartz moves in. A dental surgeon. Very nice hands. That’s the first thing I notice about him. A learned man, too, he subscribes to a lot of magazines, and not all of them are about teeth, either. The mailman told me. No, not Donald, the substitute man, Paulie, he’s easier to talk to. Donald, I don’t have much use for Donald. Don’t get me started on Donald, that’s a whole other story.
Dr. Schwartz is a nice looking young man, has a good head of hair on him, right away I ask him if he wants to meet my niece Jessica. Not the social worker, the school teacher. What a brain she has, plus, an excellent complexion. I don’t push, I just ask the once, but the man’s not interested. That’s very nice of you, he tells me, but don’t bother. Not in so many words, but I got the message: thanks but no thanks.
Yes, okay, he was polite, why wouldn’t he be, he’s a dentist, but still, it was a brush-off. But no is no, so I don’t mention it again, I figure maybe he’s that way, it wouldn’t be the first time a good-looker with a healthy stock portfolio didn’t care for women.
But what do I know? When I'm wrong I admit it, and I was wrong. That woman is big with the belly again and this time Jeremy Schwartz, DDS, is the father. And proud of it. He even wrote a little notice on the back of his business card and taped it to the mailboxes. “Dear tenants of 229 Honeywell Avenue,” (so formal he is!): “Ms. M. Pinkwhistle from Apartment 1-C and Dr. J. Schwartz from Apartment 6-B are pleased to announce the imminent birth of a child.”
Imminent, that’s what I said. Not even the birth yet. Also, it turns out, a marriage is in the works.
The Doctor’s apartment, it happens to be the larger one, so the Pinkwhistles are moving up. I don’t envy old Mrs. Dominy in 6-A. She’s not used to children. With Feigenbaum she got maybe the occasional snoring through the walls, maybe a belch or two, nothing more. He was a quiet man, I’ll say that much for him. Didn’t take out his garbage as often as he should have, but he was quiet. Now Bertha Dominy has to adjust to four children. I only hope it doesn’t kill her, she’s already got arthritis.
So let me tell you this and then you can go — I know, you’ve got your shopping to do yet, you told me already.
This morning I’m at the mailboxes, the Doctor is also at the mailboxes. One thing leads to another, I’m trying to make a little conversation, I say, “Dr. Schwartz, tell me, do you know yet what you’re going to name the baby?”
And he says to me — Spumoni. Just like that, like it’s something normal. Spumoni Schwartz he tells me, and he’s smiling. (Nice teeth he has, but I suppose he’d have to, him being a dentist). Spumoni is good for a boy or a girl, he says, like that was maybe the issue.
All of this goes to prove my point, beyond a doubt, beyond even a shadow of a shadow of a doubt: some people have no business being parents. Some people, before babies are even a glimmer in their eyes, they should be shot. Put me out of my misery already and just shoot them.
That’s only one person’s opinion, of course, if you have another way to handle it, please, go ahead, I’m open to suggestions. But if it was left up to me — Boom!
You think that's extreme? No, I assure you, it's not extreme enough. I'm being a visionary here. And I promise you this, the children would be the first to agree with me.