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Published February 13, 2009
(from my blog at whatgives.gainesville.com)

I can’t grasp the billion- and, gulp, trillion-dollar figures the government throws around, but there is one number I do understand: 14.

Fourteen children.

The woman who made news recently for giving birth to octuplets already had six children, bringing her grand total in tots to, you got it, 14.

The gal’s mother said her daughter was addicted to children.

I certainly hope so. Because this would be a bad time to discover you’re not too fond of kids.

“Snotty noses! No more snotty noses!”

I’ve never heard of anyone described as being addicted to children before.

Does she snort baby powder in her spare time?

Oh, who am I kidding? This woman is not scheduled to have any spare time until the year 2035. (Not unless you count a possible breakdown in 2011 when the terrible twos hit en masse.)

I don’t presume to know what this woman was thinking when she decided to hit the mother lode. But this is what I imagine was going through her mind.

(“Give me a ‘B’ ”)

“Between Christmas and birthdays my dream of opening up my own toy store will soon be realized.”

(“Give me an ‘A’ ”)

“All you need is love. Employment, money — they’re all overrated.”

(“Give me another ‘B’ ”)

“Before anyone asks ... yes, I am available to stand in for Angelina Jolie in movies.”

(“Give me an ‘I’ ”)

“I’ve got my own stimulus plan. I’m single-handedly keeping hospitals in business.”

(“Give me an ‘E’ ”)

“Everyone say ‘reality TV.’ If ‘Jon and Kate Plus 8’ is so popular with mere twins and sextuplets, imagine the ratings we’ll get! Working title: ‘The Fantastic Fourteen.’ ”

(“Give me an ‘S’ ”)

“Show me the money. I mean ... uh ... send me things. No that’s not it. I’m doing this on my own ... sorta. Let’s see. ‘S.’ OK. Got it. ‘S.’ Sleep is for wimps. Yeah, that’s the ticket.”

Now, what does that spell?

“BABIES! And BABIES. And BABIES. BABIES. BABIES. BABIES.”

(Take a breath.)

“BABIES. BABIES. BABIES. BABIES.”

(Gasp.)

“And still more ... BABIES. BABIES. BABIES. BABIES!”
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