Lessons in Social Etiquette: Ugly Babies

amanda wood masterpiece

Human babies are not pretty things. Ever. They dribble, goo, spit up, stink outrageously, and make ear-shattering screech-noises at all hours of the day. Their heads are enormous for their body sizes, and they don’t appear to have teeth or anything. They can’t even form words! Instead, they make nonsense gurgle sounds which, quite frankly, terrify me. Some babies don’t have any hair, and some unfortunate babies have far too much hair. Exceptionally ugly babies already have a unibrow. I have seen a few of them, mostly in photographs. I avoid babies as much as humanly possible, and yet, even I have been faced with the question, “Awww, isn’t he or she just the cutest thing?” Of course, it is not.

Now, I am the first to admit that I am not an expert on human infants. But I know enough to allow me to get along with my friends, relatives, or acquaintances who have decided not to terminate certain pregnancies. Lunatics though they may be, it is not my place to alienate them beyond my wildest dreams. Instead, probably because I’m a coward who doesn’t want anyone to be angry with me, I use my cunning skills of tact and deception to fool them. And when those techniques are also used in combination with the deft use of the subject change, a situation first thought to be a hopeless trainwreck will instead turn into a delightful conversation about how nice the kitchen would look if it were a lively peach color, or how we would benefit as a society if we all stopped drinking carbonated soda pops for several years, or even the possible ramifications one would experience from having made a robot that could think, act, and love just like a human. Or at least think, act, and love just like a human dog.

It is easy to see why new parents find cute in their own baby or, in the unholy event of twins or more, babies. If the baby or babies did not weave some sort of evil magical spell over their caregivers, the adults would smother them with a pillow by Day Two of the never-ending screaming, messing, eating, and screaming. Even if the parents outlasted my two day estimation, there would come a day when they would realize that that baby hadn’t stopped screaming, eating, and eliminating their foulness since birth, and it would not stop for many years yet. Eugh. I refuse to dwell any more on the horror of childbirth and human infancy, as it is making me feel too queasy. It isn’t really the new parents’ fault for shoving their baby in your face and asking you to validate whether or not it is cute. It reassures them and keeps them from some sort of soul-sucking depression and subsequent jail time. And I hear the fellas down at the state prison aren’t too friendly with baby killers. You don’t want your friends in jail, they are already paying for their birth decision enough with the actual baby itself. That is why I am here to help you out by giving you ten easy ways to avoid telling those unfortunate souls how ugly and horrible their baby actually is.

Suggestion Number One: Pick Out Baby’s One Good Feature

No matter how god-awful hideous that baby in your face may look, you can surely use your imagination to pick out at least ONE thing about it that isn’t as bad as all that. Usually, when forced to use this tactic, I go for these words: “Golly! Your human infant has a glorious forehead! I bet his baby brains are bulging with the most beautiful intelligence.” Certainly, I would be “stretching the truth” quite a bit regarding the intelligence, but how can you go wrong with complimenting a forehead? You can also be sneaky and compliment something relating to the baby, but not the baby itself. For example, you might say, “Your infant is wearing the most delightful baby sized pajamas. The pinks and blues bring to mind sunrises, and how hopeful each new day is when I wake up. Your baby is my sunrise.” But remember to sound sincere, no matter how sarcastic you may be feeling. Most new parents are so wrapped up in how wonderful they think their child is that they will believe you. Some may even be so pleased with your words that they will give you a gift such as food, money, or a fine cigar.

dolllissa vs ugly baby


Suggestion Number Two: Talk About Baby’s Potential, Rather Than Physical Appearance

Some babies are too ugly to even have one good physical characteristic. When this happens, you can switch gears ever so slightly by talking about the baby’s possible future, always a favorite topic among doting parents. This way, you can avoid an embarrassing and offensive situation but still be talking about the infant in question. I have found that words like this can help: “Your baby girl or boy has a tremendously bright future. Already, he or she has the alert, bright eyes that many other human babies do not have. This indicates to me that this baby is exceptionally intelligent and may become a lawyer, or the mayor of a big city. He or she may even become an international leader of some sort. You have good reason to be proud, baby parents.” Those “baby parents” eat that stuff up and may even go on and on about what else their child could be someday. Therefore, you may want to use this tactic with some caution.

amandoll vs ugly baby


Suggestion Number Three: Have An Accident Just Then

Perhaps one day a baby is unexpectedly thrust into your face, and a familiar voice says, in a trance-like tone, “Isn’t my squealing offspring which has recently burst free from my loins the cutest?” What do you do when you are caught so unprepared-like? I’ll tell you what you will do. You will suffer from an unexpected accident at that moment. Whether you will “suddenly stumble” out into the street to be wounded by a passing motor car, or you will “accidentally spill” boiling water down your pants – it is really up to you. I cannot stress enough how much you must be willing to use your imagination and work with what you have available. Just don’t hurt the baby, otherwise witnesses will say, “I knew that baby-hater had it out for that baby this whole time!” Then there will be a witch hunt in which the “witch” is “you,” and your “devil witch magic” is your “obvious hatred for children.” All it takes is one wrong step, friend, and you will find yourself swinging from the nearest oak tree. Don’t let this happen to you! Start scheming today. In every new situation you walk into, be sure to go over your surroundings to see what could help hurt you. You never know when you will be asked to judge a new baby.

billy vs ugly baby


Suggestion Number Four: Unrelated Conversational Distraction

This is my personal favorite technique, although it takes practice and a natural charisma in case your friend, acquaintance, or absolute stranger is wise to your game. The charisma ensures that you will not necessarily be smacked upside your face for being such an obvious jerk. Charisma in high doses also can make the offended parent believe that you were just being a big kidder, which buys you some time to select your next tactic before they insist on asking you again. And they always ask you again. Anyway, what you need to do is seamlessly change the subject from the baby’s ugly face and terrible disposition to something far more lovely, like clouds, astronauts, or porridge. What follows is a good example of how you can go about this method:

New Parent: How beautiful is my infant to your eyes?
You: It’s interesting that you say that, because I had to go to the Eye Doctor just last week.
New Parent: (lowering baby) Is that so?
You: Yes, and now I shall proceed to go on and on at length about all the eye examinations I know about in painful detail until you put your baby completely down and out of my sight. I guarantee that I will.

Well, actually, that last part of what you said shouldn’t be said out loud. Rather, that is what you will be saying subliminally. And the skilled professional, such as myself, would be able to hear what you were saying for what it really is. But the parent is not a skilled professional, or if they had been once, they would not be now, as their keen senses of perceptions are dulled down by the close proximity to baby that they are subjected to.

saxon vs ugly baby


Suggestion Number Five: Creep Out Parents With Disturbing Compliments

You may be thinking that this bears a strong resemblance to Suggestion Number One, and you would be slightly right. There is a very obvious difference, however. In Suggestion Number One, you are supposed to compliment an existing feature of the small baby, or fat baby, as the case may be. In this suggestion, you are supposed to just come off sounding really creepy – BUT HARMLESSLY SO – so that they will, preferably, never show you their baby again. Maybe you could say something like, “Your earth baby is cute enough to eat! While I would never consider actually eating an infant, I can’t help but admit that I really do wonder how one would taste. I normally wouldn’t ask this, but your baby is so attractive to the eye that I MUST ask – May I lick your baby? Just there, on the arm.” Don’t let them think that you will get any kind of jollies from that though, as that is a punishable offense. And it would be untrue, too, since you find babies to be reprehensible and awful.

omgjeremy vs ugly baby


Suggestion Number Six: Ask Questions About Parents’ New Lifestyle

From what I understand, when people reproduce, they must completely rearrange their entire lives to fit around whatever baby schedule they have set up. And babies are attention-hungry little monsters, so they really make them rearrange quite a bit. In order to avoid mentioning Junior’s very unpleasant jaw line, or overabundance of hair and gums, you could simply just ask “So, now you have a bundle of.. joy.. taking up your time. Tell me, exactly WHAT have you changed in your daily routines?” New parents search for new outlets for their emotions all the time. Human babies come out of the birth canal pretty much as me-me-me-machines, and new parents, up until that point, had been pretty selfish themselves. As soon as they get the chance to talk about their thoughts and feelings and days and everything, believe me – they’ll pounce on it. Unfortunately, they don’t really know when to stop talking, but you already know that nodding and pretending to listen really fools people most of the time. And isn’t it better than having to make up things about how much you like their baby?

haun vs ugly baby


Suggestion Number Seven: Discuss How, Scientifically Speaking, Babies Really Are Somewhat Fascinating

When you are faced with that cursed drooling infant, you may find yourself desperate enough to try anything. One anything you may try, after you find that they cannot be distracted, is to make up things about Science. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Science, that logical and wordy god of us all, can help you once again by keeping you from having to tell them that their baby is the ugliest thing you have ever seen in your entire life. It may help if you’ve at least read some sort of article about Child Behavior or Psychology or something like that. But with a little practice, you can probably even make up scientific theories and scientific lies that will sound believable and somewhat bewildering to the new parent. Mention how you think baby minds are so very fascinating because they are basically a blank canvas which can be painted with your knowledge and the things you allow them to experience. “These moments will shape this infant’s entire life, you know,” you can say with a scientific nod of your head. It is possible that the parents may also have an interest in babies, scientifically, and they will be delighted that you also would like to think about those things. The baby’s face and unusual girth will be forgotten in favor of the baby’s empty brain. Other, slower parents may be thoroughly turned off by your pseudoscientific jargon, and may leave the vicinity altogether, infant in tow. Score one for you, friend.

alext vs ugly baby


Suggestion Number Eight: Talk About Yourself Instead

If you are feeling unusually callous at the time, or the person showing you a baby is not a friend you’d like to keep, or is a stranger whose jib has a cut with which you are unhappy, you could always just start talking about yourself. That’s right. Be rude. But not so rude that you insult the baby itself, as that is taboo in our modern society and grounds for burning at the stake, as mentioned above. When the disliked person comes up and all is like, “Hey, check out my baby. Is it not the cutest thing you have ever seen in your entire life of seeing things??” – go, “I went to the store yesterday and bought these new shoes. I LOVE THEM SO!” And when they are all like, “That’s nice. My baby’s so handsome, isn’t —” interrupt with, “I thought about buying another pair but I decided to save my money. I’m very good with finances, you see. Do you want to know what else I’m good at?” And whenever they try to talk about their child, just talk right over them about yourself. They’ll eventually get the hint. They will also probably also never speak to you again.

jimmy vs ugly baby


Suggestion Number Nine: Lie Outright

If you are of the unscrupulous sort of person that seems so prevalent today, you could always just lie. Remember, too, that there is a distinct difference between blatant lying and biting sarcasm. In the speaking world, it is far too easy to tell these differences, and you could land in big vat of boiling trouble, which is exactly what this article is supposed to be keeping you from. I will now demonstrate the right way and the wrong way to go about this lying business in the conversation that follows:


New Parent: Isn’t this baby the cutest you’ve seen?
You: Yes. It is.

Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? You made the parent pleased and happy, and now they will go on and on for a million years about how their little birth nugget is the most wonderful thing ever. And you will nod and eventually find an excuse to leave. However, just so you know, this is the Wrong Way to lie:


New Parent: Isn’t this baby the cutest you’ve seen?
You: My GOD! It’s is SO CUTE that I think I’m going to JUST DIE OF CUTENESS. I mean – HOW can you make a baby THAT CUTE?! Did you beat it with the CUTE STICK or something?! Christ that’s one cute baby. And I’ve seen cute babies. I LOVE YOUR BABY! Please, can I babysit it for FREE? It would be my pleasure.

Not only was that going too far, but even the densest of parents would know that you were lying. And then they’d think you were some horrible jackass and they’d tell everyone about you and soon nobody would like you anymore and you’d die cold and alone with the thousand cats that you raised from kittenhood eating your unwanted, unloved three day old corpse’s face. I guess it’s up to you, really.

cchris vs ugly baby


Suggestion Number Ten: An Ounce of Prevention is Better Than A Pound of Cure, Supposedly

This is really the best method I can think of. When you see a person enter a room, and that person is carrying an infant you haven’t seen before, just leave. Or always stay on the opposite side of the room, or remain just out of their view. If you totally avoid friends, neighbors, and family members who have babies, you won’t have to comment on the baby’s hideous appearance, right? You won’t have to employ devious tactics and lie to their faces. Your conscience will be clear, and you won’t have to spend any time around those tiny foul smelling beasts and their deafening shrieks. It is a win-win situation! Thank me later.

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