Strongarm vs. Gladhand II

Written by

Mountain Goats – No Children

The first time it happened, it scared Ryan shitless. He was sitting on the leather couch, bare-chested because of the Phoenix heat and lack of air conditioning, with a burp rag thrown over his shoulder and the baby cradled on his torso. To make sure Oliver’s head didn’t roll around awkwardly, he palmed it in his hand and was running his fingers softly over the scalp where the skull hadn’t quite melded together yet.

Some shitty 90s MTV video was playing mutely on the television, and that’s when Ryan had the worst thought of his life. He found himself daydreaming about crushing the tender skull under the hard sole of his boot. He wondered if the brains would squirt out, and, if so, where? Would the top part cave first, or maybe they’d just squirt out the nose before that?

Shuddering, Ryan snapped himself back to reality, his physical shudder waking Oli and leading to more crying. Ryan stood and bounced Oli up and down in his arms again, cooing and whispering melodically until the baby drifted off, sucking a thumb.

Soon, this became a frequent occurrence. While pumping Oli’s legs to fart him, Oli giggling the whole time, Ryan would find himself wondering if he had the brute strength to snap one of Oli’s legs. Could he pull the baby in half after wiping shit out of his asscrack? What would happen if he bent a finger back as far as he could? His physical superiority frightened him.

Ryan became so comfortable with these thoughts, he accidentally brought them up at dinner once. “Sometimes, don’t you just wonder how far you could dropkick Oli? I bet I’d double your distance, Karen.” Karen choked on a gasp. Robert stared at his plate and took a very deliberate bite. Oli chirped and flung the ingredients on his plate across the table, then laughed.

Soon after that, Ryan moved out and found a place in Seattle. He grew a mustache and started wearing cowboy boots. A couple years later, he sent $100 cash and a tacky birthday card stuffed into an envelope. It was three months before Oli’s next birthday.

[Buy Tallahassee.]

3 Responses to “Strongarm vs. Gladhand II”

  1. juju says:

    What the fuck.

  2. Sam says:

    I love The Mountain Goats so much. Great writeup.

  3. jace says:

    Darkly fantastic write-up, and great song.

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