All you need to have a baby is hormones

MY grandson is 10 months old.

I think it’s time I introduced him to the Bruce Highway. I won’t let go of him, of course. I shall hold him under one arm while I run backwards and forwards across the road.

He’ll be quite safe.


What d’you mean… irresponsible?

It’ll be fine. I mean… all those vehicles are being driven by sentient human beings; people who wouldn’t want to harm a baby — or its idiot grandfather — if they could possibly avoid it.

It’s not as if I’m going to tuck him under my arm while I feed crocodiles or anything.

Funny thing – you need a licence to have crocodiles, so the risks can be kept to a minimum. All you need to have a baby is hormones. There are no exams; no questions; no security checks and not necessarily any help or advice.

You don’t even need to be responsible, clearly.

Of course, it’s not the same thing as cars. You can’t be in complete control of a car if you’re not in the driver’s seat (and sometimes not even then); but you can have total domination of a crocodile, even if it’s twice your length, three times your weight and eats plucked chickens that are about the same size, shape and… texture… as a baby.

I don’t know, Steve (mate), it’s not so much what you did that surprises me. We all do dumb things from time to time. It’s your reaction to our reaction that was really bizarre, mate.

Me, I don’t even trust the cat with the baby. Because… well, because it’s a cat, and it has sharp bits and it doesn’t listen to reason, as in: if you climb on my lap and stick your claws in my legs something very bad will happen to you.

So what’s to stop it lacerating the baby?

Well, me, I suppose. It takes one step too close to the baby and it’ll find itself sliding down the wall

I’m impressed with Steve’s supreme confidence. I’m also appalled by it. Most people in high-risk industries survive on the principle that nothing is certain and everything is possible. You can’t just hook your toe under a croc and pitch it against the wall. And have you ever seen the speed those things can run!

Sure, they have an ungainly waddle… but it’s a trick. They can definitely outrun a bloke with a chicken in one hand and a baby in the other.

But that’s not the point. The point is… why?

If I said I was going to take my grandson to play on the Bruce Highway the second thing my wife would do is ask: why! (the first thing would be to hit me with an axe).

Why, Steve, mate? Because he was feeling left out? Because he felt emasculated by his heroic dad? Because he needed the role model? Because it gave you heaps of publicity?

Whatever the answer, I can’t help asking myself, was it worth the risk?

Oops, sorry, I was forgetting… there wasn’t any risk.

You have the licence to prove it.