Family Paleontology 101: The Decline of The T-Rex Parent

Tyrannosaurus rex, Palais de la Découverte, Paris
Image via Wikipedia

The Mesozoic era was an epoch of magnificent and marvelous social and industrial evolution.  It could be divided in to three principal periods: Triassic, Jurassic and the Cretaceous period.

The 1950’s and early 1960’s were the zenith of our modern society’s Jurassic age.  T-Rex fathers roamed the landscape bringing order, power tools and Old Testament justice to a post WWII primal world in desperate need of control and benevolent, unilateral authority.  The T-Rex possessed an abnormally large mouth from which he would chew out loud, belch, curse and devour any weaker form of life.  He possessed a great sweeping tail that could strike with unusual dexterity – hitting anything, including his own children for the slightest infraction.  His arms were unusually short which precluded him from helping with chores or changing diapers.  He was like a biblical God – – always angry and with lots of rules.  He was the perfect working machine – an eating, sleeping, and laboring automaton that was preprogrammed to improve every aspect of his white picket world. 

As in nature, his progeny were highly vulnerable.  It was a time of great civil upheaval. The ground was rocked by the volcanic violence in the inner cities. There were wars glowing on the distant edges of night fought in the far-off jungles of Southeast Asia.  In every valley, long-haired, social parasites advocated sex, drugs and rock and roll – – all vying to corrupt the hearts and minds of the T-Rex’s children.  He furiously scanned his horizon lines for signs of sedition and malevolent movement.  Threats must be dealt with swiftly and decisively.  It was a fight between good and evil and the largest, most fearsome creature to ever roam the earth was not about to yield to any living thing – a Russian, a hippie or even a Russian hippie.

The female, or She-Rex, gently drafted behind the T-Rex.  This was a time where social conformity and home economic classes promoted feckless obedience and quiet, efficient martyrdom. She would exist to protect his progeny, cleaning up after T-Rex and moving stealthily in the shadows subordinating her identity to the greater purpose of ensuring the perpetuation of her own species.  She made and cleaned the nest. She tenderized everything and she ensured that no one’s lateral incisors went more than six months without being cleaned by a dentist. 

Later in her life, She-Rex would realize that the notion of the nest and the myth of marriage were propaganda promulgated by T-Rex traditionalists who did not understand a balanced, more egalitarian world.  Her world would also soon change.  She discovered she had choices and that her instincts and ideas mattered.  She suddenly understood that she was as essential to the family’s survival as her T-Rex partner.  In fact, she was pretty sure that if she decided to stop doing the laundry, the T-Rex would be forced to go to work in dirty underwear.  This epiphany marked the beginning of the Cretaceous Period. 

The Cretaceous Period of the 80’s and 90’s ushered in an era of permanent cooling from the days of hot, humid chauvinism.  Some trace the decline of the T-Rex to this very time.  A handful of revolutionary historians claim that liberal activists or specifically, Jimmy Carter, killed off T-Rex.  Other more insightful paleontologists speculate that the T-Rex did not die but went into hiding.  In an Ice Age of emasculated political correctness, replete with its time outs, “I” messages and liberated females, the T-Rex headed for the proverbial hills.  The T-Rex father – the provider, the king, master and commander would soon find himself an anachronism – – barely recognizing the wilderness of his youth and lamenting his own inevitable exile.

He still rises each morning as he has for eight decades, stretching weary bones and putting his nose into the salt air that hangs in a marine layer of fog over his seaside home.  He faithfully scans society’s horizon lines in the form of newspapers, the Internet and television – – and does not like what he sees.  He exerts his right to free speech by sending poison pen letters to feckless politicians rebuking them for their fiscal recklessness and their ignorance to the irrefutable fact that free market capitalism and personal responsibility are the cornerstones to any great Democracy.  He is offended by Washington’s patronizing indifference and lack of experience – many of those who “represent” him have never run a company, managed a payroll or had to make difficult decisions involving their own money.

 As he looks across the blue infinity of his beloved Pacific Ocean, his back is turned to an America that once rewarded ability and persistence – – only now choosing to alter the definition of success out of some horribly misguided sense of social equity.  Charlatans, social engineers and unqualified liberal public servants are slowly mortgaging his final days and the future of his children.  Society now considers his unflinching values of self-sufficiency, corporal punishment, personal responsibility and meritocracy to be quaint, nostalgic echoes of a simpler and less sophisticated time. 

 Apparently, he muses, politicians have decided people can no longer think for themselves.   He wonders if there is not some undercurrent of truth in the notion that the next generation lacks the stamina to stay informed enough on the issues to deserve to vote. Perhaps we could make people take a test….

 To those who might question his steel-trap logic, impugn his well-reasoned opinions, attack his seeming lack of empathy or try to leverage this great nation’s future with expanded entitlements and reckless foreign policies, he has just two words, “Piss off!”

 His numbers are clearly dwindling.  Yet, he remains faithful to his creed and to his She-Rex, for everyone knows that a real T-Rex mates for life.  Their heritage is another place and time.  They are bonded by their simple act of survival in a turbulent and treacherous period and in having weathered the tempests together, they share a mutual respect that runs deeper than any sediment of the past.  They have integrity and grit.  They are the last of an extraordinary breed whose over-sized footprints and well-worn paths are disappearing – swept by winds of change and overgrown in a world so deafened by the din of self-interest that one can barely hear them as they share their stories of living and raising children in an epoch as wild and unrestrained as any time in history.

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