Lately, colleagues of mine have gotten into the habit of reproducing human children. I think it is fantastic that people have babies, but I resent one important thing about each of these babies, and all babies on Earth.
Almost everybody in the world knows that I, Seth, am extremely good at basketball. You've read about it, you've seen television programs about it, and you've heard it repeated aloud by your friends and family.
The exception -- the tiny minority of people who do not understand that I am among the world's best basketball players -- is babies. Those of us who subscribe to the Lockean concept of tabula rasa believe infants are born knowing nothing, and that all knowledge must come from experience. Thus, there exists an interim between birth and me dunking on them in which newborns greedily gulp breaths out of our atmosphere while *not* acknowledging that I am a basketball legend. A waste of time on our planet, if you ask me.
What follows is a tool meant to correct this. If you are a new parent, obstetrician, doula, or otherwise a baby-delivering enthusiast, please present this document to any infants you meet. Everything below this point is meant for the baby, and should not be read by adults; just hold your device or a print-out of the words that follow in front of the baby.
Look! A baby rattle! Goo goo ga ga. OK. Now that I have your attention, I'll make this quick: I am Seth, and I am extremely good at basketball. Let me back up. This is the game of basketball:
In basketball, people try to score points by dropping that orange ball into a hoop. I realize you don't understand "points" because you haven't learned about numbers yet, so let's go through those for reference:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
That's most of the numbers. The more points you score, the higher the number. I score a lot of points. Anyway, basketball is that game, and I am extremely good at the game. An important basketball rule is that you're not allowed to run around while holding the ball:
That's traveling. I don't do that. I "dribble" the ball -- that is, bounce it off the floor -- and everyone agrees I do so competently and with a lot of panache.
Another thing I like to do is dunk on people:
Dunking is when you cram the ball directly through the basket from a short distance. It is the most efficient and most impressive way of scoring points in basketball, which is why I do it constantly.
This is an ostrich:
This has nothing to do with how good I am at basketball, but I figure you'll need to be able to identify an ostrich eventually, so you might as well know now.
Lastly, this is a golden trophy:
I have earned many of these trophies by playing basketball better than everyone else. Trophies are prized because they are made of gold. I've never seen a satisfactory explanation for why gold is valuable. Is it seriously just because it's rare and shiny? I've never understood this. Wars have been fought over this shit. It just seems so arbitrary. Don't say "shit" in front of your parents.
The point is this: Basketball, just like numbers and ostriches, exists, and of all the people on Earth, I am among the best at playing it. Armed with this knowledge, you may now resume developing into a normal-sized person.