I've got no kids, and due to my unfortunate habit of keeping my cell phone pinned between my thighs while I drive, I will probably never have any—but I can live with that, I guess. One thing on which the religious fundamentalists and I agree is that it's a sick old world, but rather than attempt to change it with unwavering faith, I've opted instead to throw myself fully into the decline. I admire the ones who try, though—I really do. In my better moments, I like to believe that one day, upon waking up in a stranger's bathtub with a black eye, I'll take a hard look at myself in the mirror and say, "Hey, maybe having a child will give your life some meaning beyond the immediate base pleasures to which you have devoted so much of your energies. Maybe your spiritual and emotional salvation really does lie in passing on your wisdom to a new generation." But who am I kidding? I'm too selfish to ever focus on anyone else. I mean, God, kids, with their endless demands for love and attention. I've got needs too, Junior. Go surf the Internet and leave me alone.
Sorry Mom, but I don't think you're going to be a grandmother any time soon.
What does this have to do with the Aquarium of the Pacific's Sea Squirt Winter Camp? Well, should I have a child, it's the sort of thing with which I'd like them to occupy their time. It's a three-day camp for kids, ages five to six, to introduce them to marine biology and get them socializing a bit with the world around them. Parents can rest easy knowing that for three days this weekend, from 8:30 to 11:30 in the morning, their children will be more focused on sea anemones than Bratz, more interested in tide pools than toy guns, more likely to recite the Latin names of fish than the lyrics to "My Humps." It's only nine hours, but that's nine less hours of their life they'll be able to spend watching porn at their friend's house. And as a parent, isn't that about the best you can do nowadays?
Sea Squirt Winter Camp at Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, (562) 590-3100; www.aquariumofpacific.org. RSVP at (562) 951-1630. Wed.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. $90; members, $70. For children ages five to six only.