A parent explains pain to David Blaine
by Paige Parker
“David Blaine, the magician and endurance artist, is ready for more pain. With the help of the Liberty Science Center, a chain-mail suit and an enormous array of Tesla electrical coils, he plans to stand atop a 20-foot-high pillar for 72 straight hours, without sleep or food, while being subjected to a million volts of electricity.” — The New York Times.
I don’t like to overstate. Really, I don’t. But I think I speak for every parent, everywhere, at every moment in modern history, when I say:
David Blaine, that ain’t shit.
You spend months ginning up your illusions. Well, do you want pain, David Blaine? Do you want sleep deprivation, hunger, terror and goofy outfits? Step inside my life.
I give to you:
One dinner hour. Two small, feral children. Two large, feral dogs. One pound of spaghetti with meat sauce. That shit happens to me every week, and it’s real, bro. It is real. The sauce is red, the sauce is chunky and the sauce is everywhere.
Six hours. One car. One screaming baby. No hope in sight. Screw your 44 days in a box hanging over a river. Was anyone throwing Cheerios at your head? I sang the theme song from Elmo’s World as loud as I could for three hours, just to stay in the game. That is psychological warfare. That takes some mental gonads.
Forty eight hours. One Christian holiday. One visit with extended family. One leaky air mattress. One toddler who wants to cuddle. I don’t know everything about you, David Blaine, but even money says you have a bed of nails somewhere in your past, and you know what? You can suck it. The leaky air mattress pulls you close with the promise of a good night’s rest, then slams you on the floor at 3 a.m. in a urine-soaked vinyl sack, with a 2-year-old drop-kicking your head.
They say you’ll be wearing a steel chain-mail body suit and a wire helmet while you’re performing your stunt, David Blaine. I suppose you think that’s cute.
Have you ever, on a Sunday morning, stepped to the curb for the paper in your 5-year-old, tomato red, $8 velour maternity bathrobe, and realized that you’ve locked yourself out of the house? Trust me, you’d want a bolt of lightening to strike you dead.
You’re a show-off, David Blaine. A dozen years ago, you spent 63 hours encased in a block of ice in Times Square. I, on the other hand, have been frigid for three years and have never once sought publicity. (OK, maybe I’d like a little recognition.)
You were submerged underwater for seven days and seven nights. Ever gone two hours with your lower extremities submerged in a 58 degree kiddie pool? No? Then shut up, David Blaine. Just shut it. Shut your pie hole.
Ever been prescribed iron during pregnancy?
Ever had someone spit directly into your eye?
Ever had a child drop a handful of gooey sand into your open mouth?
Ever gotten hungry enough on the way home from work that you stopped on the side of the road and picked old raisins and goldfish crackers out of your son’s car seat?
David. David, David, David. Here’s what I want you to do the next time you’re in the mood for pain:
Go to Times Square with a cot and a medical-grade breast pump. Hook it up. Pump for 15 minutes. Wait three hours. Pump again. Do this every three hours for the next seven months.
It’ll shock you. I promise.