Monday, March 20, 2006

Still just as useless

Here's a picture of me, my father and my mother 30 years ago today. I'm the one wearing a blanket. As you can see, the nurses are all standing around. A few minutes after the picture was taken, the head nurse spoke up and she said "Leave this one alone." She could tell right away that I was...

No, wait. That's not me at all.

I was still trouble, though. My mother kept the hospital bill; it cost $147 to take me home. When I set things on fire as a child, when I got suspended from school for fighting, when I totaled my father's car, when I drove my truck into the garage wall, when I called from Spain and begged for money, when I moved into their basement, do you think they felt they were getting their $147's worth?

Eilís asked me about this photo; it was taken for the Austin American-Statesman as part of a feature piece they did about what-were-then-modern birthing techniques. As a result, we have all sorts of professional-quality photos of my birth -- most of them with my mother looking hell-fire unhappy. Strangely, one of my favorites is a picture of the doctor after the surgery. He is sitting alone on a standard-issue hospital chair and is holding himself in an exhausted sort of way that suggests my showing up interrupted his recovering from a hangover.

An interesting thing to note about the newborn in this picture, though: that baby looks nothing like me. My mother says that when I was very young I had red hair, yet somehow I've grown up to have light brown hair. I think perhaps the real Chris Cope wandered off at some point, and my dad, in comedy sitcom style, ran to the nearest orphanage and picked out a replacement. He probably painted my hair red for a while, too.

8 comments:

Linus said...

Happy Brithday, Chris. I'm formally extending a polite hello and welcome from the IBWA (Irish Bloggers Welcom Society). We can't decide on an acronym. But if you want to meet up with people while in forn parts, I'm up for a pint, along with a couple of others.

We do need autographs that say 'Chris Cope, Syndicated Columnist, is as nothing compared to Linus.' It's an old custom.

Chris Cope said...

Certainly I'd like to meet with the IBWA! I've managed to lose your e-mail address, however (I am convinced I used to have it), so you'll need to drop me a line.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I think you're right. I think I am the real Chris Cope, and boy, is this difficult... But I CAN speak English.

heatherfeather said...

breithlá shona duit! go maire tú an lá! many happy returns of the day to you, good sir.

mona said...

happy birthday to you
happy birthday to you
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR CHRIS COPE
happy birthday to you!!

..and many moreeeeeeeee....

Afe said...

Having professional pictures of your birth makes it look like an important moment in history. I feel honoured.

Crystal said...

YOU CUT YOUR HAIR!

i noticed on the post above, but can't respond there because it has "bitches" in the title and work will be angry with me.

Monica said...

Happy Birthday to you! We have something in common: the doctor who delivered me was drunk/hungover too! That's what I get for being born the night of the fourth of July!