Defending Dads

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American Greed?

Neither of my kids is yet 10, but they each have this strange fascination with TV shows that can’t be found on Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel.

They’re into Hoarding: Buried Alive and stranger yet, American Greed!

Hoarding isn’t too bad. Pack rats don’t typically exhibit violent or salacious behavior. Plus, it teaches the kids the value of picking up their rooms.

American Greed, on the other hand, has gone from telling tales of pyramid schemes to unlicensed plastic surgery.

A couple nights ago as bedtime approached, the kids finished their showers and rushed down to the family room to kick it with me. They found me watching the introduction to an episode of American Greed that chronicled the rise and fall of a pair of illegal butt enhancement operations. When I grabbed the remote to change the channel, they begged me to let them keep watching. I was flabbergasted! Am I raising a couple of investigative journalists?

While I try to be vigilant about what I expose the kids to on TV, I don’t want to be overprotective nor do I want to frustrate their curiosity. We watched American Greed together. Thank God the remote control has pause, fast forward and mute buttons!

The kids draped themselves over me and, within minutes, were totally enthralled with the program. It seems some transgender guy in Florida set up shop in a motel room where he regularly injected industrial silicone into the buttocks of wannabe models and other vain women. The transgender then passed his trade secrets down to a female friend who opened up her own shop.

To my chagrin, the kids heard the word “transgender” and immediately peppered me with questions about its meaning. Of course, I dodged the queries like Barry Sanders did linebackers, but OMG! Then, out of nowhere, my daughter, the human dictionary, told my son that a transgender person is someone who has undergone gender reassignment surgery. He, in turn, asked me what gender reassignment surgery was!

“Can’t explain that now, baby boy. We don’t wanna miss the show.”

As for the show, as any reasonable person might expect, the injection of industrial silicone by amateurs into the buttocks of ignorant women willing to blow a month’s salary and risk their health did not have many happy endings, pardon the pun. Some women were horribly disfigured, others died.

Pause. Fast forward. Mute.

“Daddy! Why did you skip that part?” I heard.

“Umm, it was inappropriate for you guys.”

“Really? What were they doing?” Follow up questions, even?

“Stuff that you guys aren’t ready to see,” I said.

“When will be able to see?” they wanted to know.

“When you’re older.” Like in grad school.

The new direction American Greed seems to be taking caught me off guard, but I learned my lesson. I mean, how many pyramid schemes can they cover before every show seems to tell the same story? But disfiguring, potentially lethal butt injections? I think we’ll switch back to Teen Titans Go before bedtime effective immediately.

If there is a bright side to my faux pas, I doubt that my baby girl will EVER consider silicone butt injections!

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