'As a new-born we attempted to pacify him with soothing classical CDs -- but he simply wasn't having it. Brahms made him scream; Mozart turned him purple with rage. Any kind of rock or pop reduced Bob to a blubbering wreck. And a brief encounter with jazz left him more distraught than the occasion when a mid-wife stuck a giant needle into his bottom.
Curiously, it was only when Bob was accidentally exposed to his parents' most hated genre of music that his true inclinations were revealed. The transformation was astounding. He stopped screaming. A beatific smile crept across his features. He began to grunt in a manner that indicated he wished to be held next to the loudspeakers in order to enjoy country music at maximum volume.
And so, to our intense horror, we have become a country music-playing household. God knows what it's doing to Bob's mental development. If classical music is supposed to enhance children's intelligence, then one can only theorize that country -- at the very least -- might make them inclined to vote for Winston Peters.
Even more worrying is the emotional impact of those country lyrics on Bob's impressionable young psyche. If you believe the newspapers, teenagers are always topping themselves after listening to depressing tunes on their iPods. And I defy anyone to come up with a musical genre more depressing than country. In evidence, I quote from a song called "No Depression" (presumably an ironic title) recorded by the Carter Family in 1936:
This dark hour of midnight nearing,
tribulation time will come.
The storm will hurl the midnight fears,
and sweep lost millions to their doom.
Bob usually gives a huge guffaw of laughter when he hears that last line -- a response which, I fear, is already not a good sign'- David Haywood, 'Nine Months of Baby Hell', Southerly, 31 March 2008
[Read the rest of Haywood's entertaining blog article, and then forward it to your sprogged-up friends - they'll thank you for it]