[In his column Serrano Time, award-winning writer and goofball Shea Serrano writes about his life and times.]
I am working on a new book. I cannot say too much about it yet, other than:
(1) It is with the same company that published Bun B's Rap Coloring And Activity Book
(2) It will be a real actual book with real actual words (and also illustrations and charts and stickers and all sorts of other neat stuffs)
(3) I have until November to finish it, which means that every day until then I will be overcome with infinity pressure, and around July I'll place my head in an oven and never be heard from again.
It is very cool but also very intimidating. My editor is considerably smarter than I am, so our correspondence is mostly just me saying “yes, ma'am” a lot and trying to make sure that I don't turn in anything late.
While I worked on the rap coloring book, my six-year-old twin sons, Bay and Meechy, helped out where they could. “Helped out” is, to be sure, a kind summarization. Mostly they just sat by my desk and bothered me with ALL the questions while I worked. It was neat, but something I'd hoped to avoid if I worked on another project.
…here we are again and here they are again, asking and needling. I am of course proud and happy that they are proud and happy of the work that I do – I'm told they told their teachers and classmates to buy some copies – but, they're six. Six-year-olds don't know shit about shit.
I asked Bay to bring me some Double A batteries from a drawer in the kitchen once and he brought me back a page of fish stickers. Fish stickers. “Dude, what are these?” I asked. “Where are the batteries?” He scrunched his face. “I couldn't find them, Daddy. Can these work instead?” HE THOUGHT FISH STICKERS WERE AN ACCEPTABLE REPLACEMENT FOR BATTERIES.
So a week or so ago, when I sat down to do some book stuff, they asked if they could help, I made up an assignment. (Probably 70 percent of being a dad is lying about stuff.) I printed out some pictures of some of the people I was researching and handed them over. “I need you guys to draw these for me,” I said. “Can you do that?”
They of course agreed. I handed them pictures of Biggie, OutKast, Drake, Wiz Khalifa, Tupac, Public Enemy and NWA and told them to sit at the kitchen table and draw them. I'd assumed I'd be returned seven well drawn pictures of the people I'd asked for. Instead, I got these:
This is supposed to be that very famous picture of Biggie Smalls. Mostly, it looks like an egg. Kids don't have any respect for history.
OutKast is one of my favorite rap groups; I'm very excited for their 700 scheduled appearances later this year. I actually got to meet Big Boi several months back. We talked for a brief moment on his tour bus after a show, though when I say “we talked” I mean to say that he said hello and asked me how I was and I just stared at him with my mouth open while making this strange humming noise.
Motaro is one of the bosses from Mortal Kombat 2. I definitely did not give them a picture of him to draw. When asked why they drew him, Meechy shouted, “Daddy, Motaro is half-human and half donkey!” I don't think that's true.
Some People Playing Basketball
I didn't give them a picture of anyone playing basketball either. I don't even know where they got a black pen. I just don't know what the fuck is going on, I guess.
Not sure who this one is. It could be Drake. Though, given the way the afternoon went, it could also be Pablo Picasso. It's probably Luigi or somebody like that. I don't know, man. Sorry.
You know, from Mortal Kombat. We got a Playstation 3 for the family for Christmas from my wife's grandpa. (He won it at work, if you can believe that.) I tried playing a new generation game but all of the graphics and first person gameplay made me nauseous, so I tossed it out and downloaded NBA JAM, Mortal Kombat 1-3 and NFL Blitz. That's a little thing called teaching your sons that when something new comes along, discard it and go back to what you know. Life lessons.
Oh, and don't let your kids work on your book with you. That's another life lesson.