Humor by Greg Schwem

As a parent, I know that by nature children are inquisitive. Numerous times my kids' queries have caused me to fire up Google on my cellphone or, when I'm clearly stumped, reply, "Now THAT'S a great question" and quickly change the subject in hopes they will forget their initial inquiry. This tactic works great if the question concerns sex.

Now, with the presidential election heating up, I fear I will be helpless when trying to respond to their curiosities about politics. Just the other night my 10-year-old made me realize that Nov. 6 cannot get here fast enough. We were sitting at the kitchen table eating ice cream when she blindsided me:

"Daddy, can I ask you a question?"

"Sure honey. Is this another question about where the water goes when it disappears from the bathtub?"

"No, you answered that a few years ago. Now I know there are puppies underneath the tub that drink it."

"Exactly. But don't share that with anybody. Daddy was pretty tired when he gave that answer. What's on your mind tonight?"

"Can I be president some day?"

"Sure, princess. You can be anything you want. Except for one thing. Remember what that was?"

"A lady who dances naked."


"But if I wanted to be president, I'd have to be born in this country, right?"

"Yes. And you WERE born here."

"Can you prove that?"

"I was there in the delivery room with Mom. And I videotaped your birth -- even though mom wants to delete it. Every time I play it, she says something like, 'Wow, it must have been really uncomfortable holding that camera while I was in labor.'"

"So what would I say if somebody asked me where I was born?"

"You show them this piece of paper that we keep in the drawer by the phone. It's called a birth certificate. See? It was signed by an important grown-up. It means that it was really you who came home from the hospital with us."

"How come there's a phone number on the back and the words, 'Call the vet ASAP?'"

"Because Daddy couldn't find a piece of scratch paper one day. More ice cream?"

"Could somebody lie on a birth certificate?"

"Lie? What do you mean?

"Could they say they were born in a different year?"

"Why would anybody want to do that?"

"I once heard my baby sitter Jenny talking to her boyfriend on her cellphone. She said she needed to do something like that before she leaves for college."

"That's why Jenny doesn't baby-sit for you anymore. Trust me, honey, if you show this birth certificate to somebody, it proves you are the age that you say you are."

"But does it prove I was born here? My friend Madison was born in Italy. Couldn't she make something on the computer that looked just like a birth certificate and put 'United States of America' on it?"

"You can't do that."

"Sure you can. We're learning how to use Photoshop in school. It's really cool. You can change stuff around that's on a piece of paper. You can even take somebody's face and it put it on somebody else's body. I once took your face and put it on Snoop Dogg's shoulders. It was really funny."

"I'm sure it was. Look, it's getting late. If somebody ever asks where you were born, just have them ask Mom or me. We will always say that you are our daughter and that you were born in the United States of America."

"I'm glad you're not our next door neighbor Mr. Solomon. Every time he plays catch in the backyard with Brandon, I hear him say, 'I can't believe you're my son.'"

"Brandon really should stop playing Little League."

"Daddy, other than a birth certificate, and a movie, and the word of everybody at the hospital when I was born, you really don't have any proof, do you?"

"No, honey, I guess I don't. Why are you crying?"

"Because I really want to be president and now I don't think I can."

"Based on what you just said, I don't think anybody is going to be able to run for president."

"So what am I gonna do?"

"I have an idea. Do you know what a venture capitalist is?"


"You need a lot of money to be one. But once you have that money, you buy and sell companies."

"That sounds neat. Are there any rules you have to follow?"

"Now THAT'S a great question."

Humorist Greg Schwem is a stand-up comedian and author of Text Me If You're Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad

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Humor & Funny Stories - Are You My Daughter? Prove It! | Humor - Greg Schwem

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