ZOË RICE: Let’s get one thing straight. I am not, nor do I intend to be, in the market for a slave. Though I’m no fan of housework or physical labor, I’m probably less a fan of enslaving people.
But that said.
If I were looking, I’d need a small one. I’m a New Yorker – a Manhattanite no less. We don’t have much space. I have a full bed instead of a queen, a 62″ loveseat instead of a couch, and in my studio apartment, I’d need a baby slave instead of a full grown one. So now I know where to go. Leave it to Londoners to miniturize an otherwise full-grown commodity. So tiny and chic! Like a toy poodle, only slavier.
The only thing is that he or she can’t grow. I’ll need a bonsai tree-type, permanently small. Can they do that with babies? Hmmm. Maybe I should be getting my baby slaves from the Japanese.
HOWARD MEGDAL: Sure, a baby slave sounds like a fantastic idea- in theory. But take it from me: this is one idea you should throw out with the bathwater.
When my wife first told me she was pregnant, I rejoiced at the lack of work ahead of me. Free labor! Not when she gave birth, of course, but afterwards. My understanding of child labor laws is that you aren’t even allowed to pay a baby to work until he is 14. That’s well over a decade of nothing but kicking back and watching your baby become a butler.
Well, I don’t know if we got a defective one or what, but my daughter has done next to nothing around the house in her first year. She’s actually expected me to cook for her, clean her, even rock her to sleep. And my repeated requests to her regarding refinishing the bookshelf are met with childish laughter. Don’t ask what happened to the cats when we put her in charge of feeding them.
The only thing she’s produced in that initial year has been excrement and unparalleled joy. Package both of those and a nickel, and you aren’t getting on the subway or a cup of coffee.
So while slavery has a long and illustrious history, don’t add baby slaves to the list of must-have items. All you’ll get is a cipher posing as a slave who you’ll need to put through college.