Pop Quiz

Hoffman and Redford

The Pulitzer Prize winners will be announced Monday. I’m always amazed that men win awards for journalism. Because we make the absolute worst reporters — especially when it comes to domestic issues.

Case in point: last week I ran into our neighbor, who is pregnant. I asked all the right questions, but was unable to relay any useful information to my wife. I was like, “They know the sex!” and my wife was like, “No way! What are they having?” and I was like “[brainfart]… I forget!”

(I should point out that I loathe the word brainfart. Also the expression shits & giggles.)

Right. Where was I? Christ, you see what I mean? It’s like parenthood obliterates your ability to retain anything. ¿Like when you glance at your watch, and then three seconds later someone asks you what time it is — and you have to consult your watch again? That’s my everyday.

To highlight my impairment, my wife is always peppering me with hard-nosed questions about our son. Like I’m the kid’s press secretary. A typical exchange after I pick up our son from preschool:

Wife: Did he poop at school today?

Me: I can neither confirm nor deny that our son pooped at school.

Wife: They give you a sheet with this information. Did you pick up the sheet?

Me: I have no specific recollection of being given a sheet.

Occasionally I’ll get a scoop, only to learn my reporting is sorely lacking. Like following an afternoon with my son, I’ll relay the apparently critical information that he did, in fact, poop. But this only leads to more questions from my wife. Like, “What did it look like?”

What did it look like? Is she serious? You betcher sweet patootie she’s serious. My wife employs various approaches to interpreting the stool of her offspring. Sometimes she examines it like tea leaves, searching for auguries, omens, and adumbrations. Other times she’s a forensic scatologist, analyzing the specimen under refracted light, maybe sending a suspect sample off to the lab to be cultured, scanned, then spun in a centrifuge.

Here, to prove what crappy reporters we men are, take this short quiz. If you’re self-grading, you must accurately record your answers before grilling your partner. You may as well call this the:

Daddy Confidential Pop Quiz

1. What size shoes does your child wear?

2. What size anything does she wear?

3. How much did your child weigh at birth? (Oh man I used to know this one!)

4. Does s/he have an innie or an outie bellybutton? (I just threw that in so you wouldn’t get a zero.)

5. What’s your child’s sign on the Chinese astrological calendar?

6. What’s your child’s regular star sign? (Admittedly this is pointless, silly information as opposed to, say, a player’s slugging percentage.)

7. What’s his blood type? (My wife is an armchair phlebotomist. She actually knows all of our blood types, plus the ramifications for donating and receiving transfusions.)

8. How many distinctive markings can you name to identify your child, if only to invalidate the claims of Nigerian kidnappers? (I’m fairly certain my wife lies awake thinking about this.)

9. Continuing the kidnapping theme (and no less mysterious to me), what is your child wearing right now?

Oh and I forgot to explain the implicit wager for this quiz. If the father gets more correct answers, that’s redeemable for an instant blowjob. Unless you’re divorced. In which case you get something better: reversal of child-support payments! If the mother gets the most correct answers, then the status quo is preserved and everyone can go back to what they were doing.

When they announce this year’s Pulitzer Prize winners, I doubt I’ll pay much attention. I don’t even think I’m nominated.

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