Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid |

Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid

Todd Hartley
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

When I was 16 I got my driver’s license, and though I hit a car on my way home from the DMV, I felt I was more than ready to drive. At 18 I became eligible to vote, which I didn’t actually do until I was 26. But I was certain I was mature enough to handle the responsibility. And when I turned 21, with seven years of reasonably intense training under my belt, I had no doubt in my mind that I was old enough to drink.

Fifteen years later, at the ripe old age of 36, I had a son. I was not at the time ” nor, indeed, am I now ” prepared and mature enough for that responsibility. I find it insane that we have ages for such mundane activities as drinking and voting but we’ll let anyone of any age bear children.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my son and couldn’t be happier that he’s a part of my life, but as anyone who has children can attest, they make life more complicated. I never had to dress anyone but myself before my son came along, and I definitely never had to spend hours at the dinner table trying to get my wife to eat her macaroni and cheese instead of smearing it in her hair.

That being said, I think I’m a pretty good dad. Sure, I may not be the best dad on Earth. I curse in front of my son on occasion … OK, fine, numerous times a day. I frequently raise my voice at him when he’s playing in the kitty litter or drawing on the carpet with a magic marker. And there was the one time I tripped over the dog and dropped him on the floor. But I can content myself in the knowledge that I am nowhere near the worst dad in the world. That honor goes instead to two imbeciles who’ve made news in the last few weeks.

The first was 35-year-old Heath Campbell of Hunterdon County, N.J. In a much publicized story, Campbell’s 3-year-old son became the focal point of a dispute between his parents and a local supermarket when the market refused to spell out the boy’s name on a birthday cake. Why would a supermarket do such a thing, you ask? Because Campbell named his son Adolph Hitler Campbell, thereby ensuring that the child will have a horrible, horrible life. Thanks, Dad!

Lest you think that Campbell was unaware who Hitler was and gave his son that name by accident, it should be noted that little Adolph has a younger sister named JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell. It’d be tough to accidentally give a child that moniker.

Fortunately for Adolph, his parents were ultimately able to get a cake with his name written on it at Wal-Mart, which seemingly doesn’t have a problem with Nazis or white supremacists.

As bad a parent as Heath Campbell is, though, he pales in comparison to 34-year-old Jesus Rodriguez of Greensburg, Pa. If ever someone should have been denied the right to breed, this is the guy.

Rodriguez made the news on the day after Christmas when police arrested him on assault and endangerment charges after they discovered severe burns on his son’s legs and genitals. So did Rodriguez actively burn his son? Not exactly. The wounds in question were caustic burns caused by a diaper that likely hadn’t been changed in a month.

As the parent of a child who suffers from diaper rash, I can tell you how painful it is, and we change my son’s diaper five or six times a day. If we were to let it go for three days he wouldn’t be able to move his legs. I can’t imagine how bad it would be after a month.

Come on, Jesus; nobody likes dealing with poopy diapers, but it’s something you have to do as a parent. If you think it’s gross changing a diaper filled with feces, consider how much worse it would be to walk around in one for a few weeks. I can think of nothing more disgusting.

Sadly, the only reason that Rodriguez, who is being held in county prison, was caring for his son and daughter in the first place was because the children’s mother is in jail, too. And when they get released they may no longer be allowed to vote, but, incredibly, they’ll still be free to go ahead and have more kids.

Doesn’t anyone else see something wrong with that picture?

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