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Biff America: Love and handle sucking

Jeffrey Bergeron
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyJeffrey Bergeron
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VAIL, Colorado ” “Michael, stop licking that doorknob!”

Those words made me shudder. During winter in this bacteria-stew we call a community I avoid all human contact ” except for my wife ” and only if she hasn’t been handling children. I avoid sharing pens, utensils, cups and have replaced shaking hands with bowing. The thought of sucking on a doorknob gives me chills.

Michael and who ever was telling him not to knob suck was around the corner and out of sight. My best guess was that Michael was a child or some freaky adult; it was the former.



After rounding the bend, I saw a little boy about three or four years old, standing on his tip toes sucking on the handle of a rest room door.

Fear replaced revulsion. Though the youngster seemed to be enjoying himself, I had a bad portent.



My guess is Mike’s mum had that same premonition because we both began hurrying towards the child. It seems that we were both thinking the same thing ” someone would kick open the bathroom door upon leaving and smash the knob into the little boy’s face.

I got to Mike first and whisked him off his feet and into my arms just as the door swung violently open. The little boy started screaming.

Who can blame the kid? There he was enjoying sucking on a delicious doorknob and here comes this stranger who grabs him like sack of potatoes and swings him away from his meal. I’m sure for the rest of his life he’ll never let a middle-aged albino get near him again.



I quickly handed the screaming kid to his mum who thanked me profusely.

Then much to my amazement the mother comforted her child ” hugging, kissing and nuzzling his tear- and snot-stained face. That same face which only seconds ago was sucking on a doorknob.

I thought to myself ” that’s a picture of love.

We all love in our own way, with varying capacities.

Though I’ve had my fair share of fond feelings ” towards mate, parents, friends, family and any films featuring latex ” I think unless you have lived through it, no one can know the depth of a parent’s devotion.

I have a friend who’s son was stricken by bone cancer tell me, in what I believe was total honesty, that he would gladly take the cancer into his own body if he could save his child. Another friend has a daughter who has serious drug and alcohol problems. This parent, though not blind to his child’s addictions, is tireless in his love and support of a girl that the rest of the world wants little to do with.

“Love is blind.” I would argue it is also genetic. It is much easier for a parent to overlook germs, snot and even addiction because that child isn’t just their relation, but an actual part of them.

My opinions on child rearing are not corrupted by any experience. But I have found whether you are a breeder or childless, the more people and things that you are able to love, the richer your life is.

Certainly it can be more satisfying to love a living thing that is capable of returning that affection ” even cats. But it’s also gratifying to be obsessed with a passion or a hobby. My buddy Karen loves the Broncos even though they don’t love her back.

That might be another definition of love: Loving and not expecting to be loved in return. I have a cousin that loves those porcelain figurines ” I think they are called ‘Hummels.’ She travels all around New England going to Hummel conventions. She’s single, has no children and is allergic to cats. Hummels are her passion; at least they are not inflatable.

This holiday season my mate and I have received lots of love from friends and family. Much of it was motivated due to a loss of our pet. I don’t think either of us was prepared for how hard that loss would be. Nor were we prepared for how much friends, family and strangers would reach out and how much that would help.

Though I’d like to consider myself a good person, I’m admittedly a little cold and perhaps even aloof. With that in mind, I vow to be more loving in 2009. Next time I see a child crying with a snot-stained face, I’m going to offer love, compassion, soothing words and bow.

Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, can be seen on RSN TV and read in several newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at biffbreck@yahoo.com.

Biff’s book “Steep, Deep and Dyslexic” is available from local book stores or from http://www.webersbook.com.


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