Change is Good, Right?
My son Patrick is always on the alert for yet more proof of the absurdity of our curious species. His latest example is from a country notable for its humorless espousal of personal freedom: the Netherlands.
It seems that a 69-year-old Dutchman named Emile Rattelbrand (not brained) has petitioned the courts to change his birth certificate to reflect the age he actually feels, which happens to be 49. Emile claims to be in fine fettle, looking more like the younger age. Although his photo somewhat belies this claim, I concede that he looks to be in decent shape.
One of the reasons he gave is perfectly understandable, if weird. It seems that a fellow of 49 would have a much better chance of attracting ladies on the hook up and dating app, Tinder. Being of a rather venerable age myself and not in the market, I confess I hadn’t heard of it. Although their web site glosses over it, son Patrick claims many if not most of its customers use it to hook up for casual sex. Apparently, Emile feels that greater numbers of passionate ladies would consider a tumble with a chap of 49 rather than one pushing the dreaded seven oh.
Looking at Emile’s photo, I think a few other changes might help him to convince the courts to change a 6 to a 4 on his birth record. He has decidedly grey hair. A trip to the hair salon could easily fix this. I would caution, however, against going black. I had a grey-haired editor working for me who decided to go back to his youthful black (he was Cuban). He came to the office one day with not only coal black hair, but coal black beard, mustache and even eye brows. The laughter of his female colleagues’ echoes in my brain to this day.
The youthful Dutchman also could use a bit of skin tightening. A visit to a plastic surgeon would soon fix this, giving him every chance of convincing a judge that he had found the fountain of youth. Alas, without a change in the law, it might be of no avail. But Emile should take heart – the good burgers in the Netherlands legalized drug use years ago, as well as euthanasia.
Changing official birth records is not unheard of, even in this country. Although only some states permit it, it’s now possible to change the sex on a birth certificate (although some unfeeling states demand proof of sex reassignment surgery). Mistakes apparently are made at birth. The nurse or doctor who fills out the birth certificate – a legal document – often does so after merely looking at the newborn to determine if the squalling tike has a tiny penis and scrotum or a vagina. Apparently, the actual sex at birth is subject to later review.
If a person wishes to live as the opposite sex, he or she should be free to do so. After all, some people have been doing this for hundreds or even thousands of years. But the governmental sanctioning of the falsification of public records is going too far, isn’t it? If you can change your actual birth sex on a public record when it’s not actually possible to change your sex regardless of how many hormone treatments and surgeries you undergo, why can’t old Emile change his date of birth to increase his chances of getting lucky? Actually, I’m feeling pretty chipper myself this morning!
Copyright 2018, Patrick F. Cannon