I was reading "A Modern
Infant Armada", a humor column in Maclean's Magazine written by a
fellow humor columnist. Writing about it now is a bit like a painter
painting another painter or a singer singing about another singer (but
it not like a cook cooking another cook.).
David Russell (yes, another humor columnist named David) laughs at his
neighbor for parking both cars in the driveway to make room in the
garage for four strollers for just one child. I laughed with him. Four
strollers for just one baby is ridiculous, right?
However, David Russell becomes a parent himself, a condition that
afflicts many unsuspecting homo sapiens, and he concludes that a call
to his neighbor is warranted: "I need to see if he can help me get a
"Traitor!" I cried out. "Stroller monger!"
"Who's a traitor?" my wife asked as she walked in the room. "And just
what is a stroller monger."
I resisted the obvious answer - that a stroller monger is somebody who
mongs strollers. "David Russell. He says that one stroller is enough
for any child, but then he decides to buy an entire fleet."
"Say, we could have saved a bundle if we had applied for a fleet
rate," my wife mused.
"What? We don't have four strollers."
My wife smiled. It was a sweet smile you could just fall in love
with...if you did not know that it meant, "Oh yes we do!"
"We do not."
"My wife took out her counting fingers. "First there is the car seat,"
she said, pressing down the first finger. "We snap it into the
stroller base whenever we go anywhere."
"OK, that's one."
"Then there is the SUV," she said, pressing down on a second finger.
The "SUV" is a full sized stroller. We bought it when we were still
squeezing it on a downtown apartment. With no storage space, it stood
in the entrance area, blocking our path to the kitchen and any hope of
escaping if the place caught fire. The SUV is the Hummer of strollers.
"OK, that is a stroller, I will grant you. But that's just two."
"We also have the fold-up stroller," my wife said, pressing down a
"But she's not even using it yet."
"She will soon and we have it now," my wife pointed out. "Then there
is the old fold-up stroller we kept as a backup. That makes four."
"You can't count duplicates. That's double counting."
"It takes double the space," my wife insisted. "We have four
I stared in silence. Slowly it sunk in. Yes, there were two Davids who
were humor columnists, but there were also two Davids who were
Uh-oh. My wife was smiling again. She was watched for just the right
moment to strike. "Our baby has more seats in this house than anybody
"That's ridiculous." No sooner had the words left my mouth than I
remembered the boomerang rule. Words like ridiculous, ludicrous,
silly, stupid and big mouth usually apply only to the person who
My wife rhymed off our seats, "Three on the couch, two chairs in the
living room, six in the kitchen, one in the bathroom and one at each
of our desks. Plus the three red chairs Little Lady has in the living
room. That makes 17."
"Ha!" I knew it couldn't be true.