Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Hauntingly Horrible Middle Children

          In the spirit of Halloween, it only seems fitting that I strike a decidedly darker tone with this post. It wouldn’t be the first time. In year’s past, I’ve posted about two of Hollywood’s scariest Middle Children: Leatherface, the only character to appear in all nine “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” movies, and Michael Myers, star of the “Halloween” movie franchise. The mere mention of those Mid Kid’s names can send chills down the spine, but frightening as they are, they’re not actual hauntingly horrible human Middle Children. They just play ones on the big screen.
          But not to worry. I didn’t have to search very far or wide to find some horrifyingly despicable real life Middle Children. Throughout history, we’ve had more than our fair share. In fact, some of the most frighteningly evil people of all time were Middle Children. Just check out The Top Tens list of “The Top 10 Most Evil People of All Time.” Six out of ten on the list were living, breathing, real-life Middle Children! Well that’s just swell. As if trying to improve our reputation wasn’t already hard enough. And just listen to the names of the Middle Children on that list. It’s like the Heinous Hall of Fame. A real Who’s Who of horror.
The Wrath of Khan:
one scary Middle Child.
          In no particular order, the list includes genocidal Deutch bags Adolph Hitler and Heinrich Himmler, mass murdering terrorist Osama bin Laden, and brutal dictator Kim Jon-il. There’s also some real OG villains on the list, like Genghis Khan -- one of the most brutal and murderous leaders the world has ever known, responsible for the deaths of as many as 40 million people. After one particularly gruesome massacre, the piles of his victim’s bones were mistaken for mountains. He once disposed of an enemy leader by having molten silver poured into his eyes and ears. That’s one scary, pissed off Middle Child.
          Of course, you don’t become such a deeply feared and twisted figure overnight. His murderous ways can be traced back to his youth, when Genghis killed his half-brother for not sharing his food with him. Even from the grave, the Great Khan remained a deadly force. To keep his burial place a secret, he left instructions that everyone involved in burying him was to be killed.
Vlad the Impaler:
he staked his reputation on brutality.
          And let’s not forget Vlad the Impaler, another maniacal Mid Kid who makes the... cut. Over the course of his lifetime, it’s estimated he was responsible for the deaths of more than 80,000 people – mostly by, well… do I really have to say? His blood thirsty ways are said to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But if these chart-toppers aren’t enough to make you lose some sleep tonight, there’s also serial killing Middle Children like John Wayne Gacy, and “The Green River Killer,” Gary Leon Ridgway.
          Of course, this all flies in the face of what the experts say is our inclination to be diplomatic, peacekeeping types, eager to avoid conflict. 
          But you never know. Bwahhhhhhhhh! 
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Thursday, September 14, 2023

Middle Child Tears Achilles, Gets SO MUCH Attention.

          Monday night was a bad night for Middle Child Aaron Rodgers. Very bad. But his illustrious 19 year NFL career has been mostly very good: a 4-time league MVP (two of them back to back), 10 Pro Bowls, Super Bowl MVP, almost 60,000 yards passing, 475 touchdowns, plus he set a slew of records
          Deservedly, he’s been awarded for his on the field accomplishments with the kind of attention mere mortal Middle Children would die for. But he’s also done a great job drawing attention to himself off the field. From breakups with celebrity girlfriends and alternative COVID-19 treatments to darkness retreats and sipping hallucinogenic psychoactive tea,  he’s certainly no stranger to the limelight. Still, there’s one kind of attention even the most desperate Middle Child tries to avoid: medical attention.
          Well, most of the time.
          I mean, what self-respecting Middle Child hasn’t thought about inflicting some minor bodily harm just to get a little attention? Or at least faking it. You know, like wearing a finger splint when you were a kid for no particular reason. Taping your fingers together. How about a superfluous sling? Or maybe donning an unnecessary ace bandage for a fake ankle sprain. If you were really convincing, that might even get you some crutches! Ooooh. Crutches always get attention.  
          When I suffered my very own honest-to-goodness serious football injury when I was younger (a severely dislocated pinky), it required surgery and a hospital stay! SO MUCH ATTENTION!!
          Of course, it was nothing compared to what Aaron Rodgers is going through.
          But please don’t tell anyone. 
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Monday, August 28, 2023

Is Threads the New Middle Child of Social Media?

          Threads, Marc Zuckerberg’s “Twitter Killer” app, was born on July 5 and welcomed into the world in a big way. Within a day it had over 30 million users. New app downloads surpassed 150 million in less than two weeks, making it the fastest-growing social media platform in history. As of today, there are an estimated 125 million Threads users. That’s pretty impressive for the new baby of the social media family. But to be honest, that 125 mil is chump change compared to sibling social media platforms like Twitter X, with over half a billion users, and Instagram, with more than two billion users. And while Threads came out of the gate red hot, since its launch there’s been a 20% decline in active users. The time people spend on the app is tanking too, down to around six minutes -- less than a third of what it was during the first week. It sure looks like people aren’t paying as much attention to Threads, which makes it feel less like the adored baby and more like a forgotten Middle Child.
          Truth be told, there’s a bunch of other social media apps you’ve probably never even heard of that have more active users than Threads, which might not sound like good news, but I guess the flip side is at least you’ve heard of Threads. So that’s a start. Any Middle Child would be happy to at least be recognized, even if they don’t get much attention. 
          As I’m always sympathetic to the plight of any Middle Child (human or not), I have welcomed Threads into my own social media family, along with Twitter X, Instagram, and the granddaddy of them all, Facebook. I was actually surprised that I was able to get the same handle on all four platforms: @midkidunion Then again, I guess I shouldn’t be. I mean, who else would want it?
          As you can see however, I’m not so sure I’m qualified to assess the popularity of this new platform -- I have a whopping 0 followers on Threads. Not at all what I needed after suffering through another demoralizing Middle Child’s Day. (SEE PREVIOUS POST)
          So here’s what I’m asking: follow me on Threads to take a look at life through the distorted (and possibly cracked) lens of a Middle Child. (But just in case this whole Threads thing doesn’t pan out, you can also follow on Instgram and Twitter X!)
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Sunday, August 20, 2023

A Post-Middle Child’s Day Breakdown (Emotional and Otherwise)

          FULL DISCLOSURE: yes, that was me in a previous post  getting overly excited about Middle Child’s Day 2023 falling on a Saturday. I figured since it was a weekend, there was no good reason for people not to celebrate. Sure, I had high hopes, but I must’ve just been high because my prediction of a “Saturday Surge” ended up to be more like a Saturday slump. I guess I didn’t figure into the equation the fact that people would have to be aware it was Middle Child’s Day before they would celebrate Middle Child’s Day. Ooops. Mea culpa. My bad. 
Middle Child's Day 2023: All talk, no action.
          Oh, it’s not like I didn’t try to get the word out. Believe me, I tried. I spoke with radio stations all across the country. Richmond was a riot. (LISTEN) Hartford was a hoot. (LISTEN) I even made my pitch all around the world Canada Calgary – all to no avail. There was no flood of requests for membership to the International Middle Child Union. Traffic to the blog was hardly bumper to bumper. And #middlechildday didn’t even trend on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. I guess X doesn’t always mark the spot.
          Am I disheartened? Sure. Am I disillusioned? You bet. But am I ever going to give up on my quest to raise awareness for Middle Child’s Day? You wish. Rejection and disappointment were the cornerstones of my upbringing. Being a Middle Child all these years has prepared me well for the rough road ahead. As I continue my uphill battle for Middle Child’s Day recognition, I’m reminded of the immortal words of Chumbawamba: “I get knocked down, but I get up again, they’re never gonna keep me down.”
          It's only less than a year ‘til Middle Child’s Day 2024!!

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Wednesday, August 9, 2023

2023 Middle Child's Day Gift Guide

          Over the years, my annual Middle Child’s Day Gift Guides have mostly featured Middle Child themed novelty items – everything from Middle Child mints and soaps to Middle Child wines and beer. But this time around, I’m taking a different approach. This year’s collection features gift ideas that scream, “Hey, look at me!” These gifts can help the Middle Children in your life attract the attention they so desperately crave. Because after all, to a Middle Child, that’s the greatest gift of all. (Most gifts available on Amazon for easy delivery by Saturday!)
A FLARE FOR ATTENTION: Misplaced your Middle Child, again? They’ll be hard to miss when they’re waving a highly visible signal flare. Order on Amazon 
LISTEN UP: Many Middle Children always feel like no one is listening. Problem solved! With this 20 watt megaphone, they’ll never complain about being ignored again. Order on Amazon.
TOP BILLING, AT LAST: let the Middle Child be the star of the show for a change. Put their name in lights with a customizable sign. Order on Amazon.
WIGGING OUT: Don King, Nicki Minaj, and Donald Trump are just a few of the well-known Middle Child celebs who know a crazy haircut is the shortcut to getting attention. Order on Amazon.
TAKE CENTER STAGE: Middle Children are tired of living in the shadows of their siblings. Give them a chance to be in the spotlight. Literally. Order on Amazon.
             ATTENTION GRABBING GARB: this collection of designs
            has attention seeking down to a tee.
                 Order on Amazon                                                  Order on Amazon

               Order on Amazon                                           Find an exclusive collection of 
                                                                                      Middle Child gifts and apparel
                                                                                         at the Smack Dab Shop.

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Monday, August 7, 2023

NEW Middle Child's Day Greeting Cards!

          Barbie gets the Dream House. Barbie gets the cool car. Barbie gets to be an astronaut, a doctor, even President. It’s always Barbie, Barbie! And as if that wasn’t enough, Barbie gets the number one grossing movie in the world!!
          Being one of Barbie’s middle siblings has never been easy, but with the spotlight shining even brighter on big ‘sis, now it’s harder than ever. That’s why this year’s collection of Middle Child’s Day Greeting cards is dedicated to all the Middle Children in the Roberts family living in Barbie’s shadow. If I forgot any, that would only be fitting.
(Click on image to enlarge. Right click to e-mail.) 

See the entire collection of Middle Child's Day Cards: 
- 2023 Middle Child's Day Gift Guide!
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Friday, August 4, 2023

The Joke's On Us: Part 2

          Being a Middle Child is no laughing matter. Okay, maybe it is a little. Middle Child's Day is a week away, and with it comes the mandatory Middle Child mockery. You know, “It’s Middle Child’s Day. But nobody cares!” Or “It’s Middle Child’s Day? I forgot.” How original. Hardy har har.
          In an attempt to preempt all the not-so-funny funnymen and women, I’ve assembled a curated collection of comedians – all certified certifiable Middle Children themselves. These MidKid stand-ups won’t stand by while others make fun of us. They are taking matters into their own hands, sending a powerful message to the world: we can do the job very well ourselves, thank you.


NOTE: Nate Bargatze is NOT a Middle Child, but his bit is so funny, I just had to include it.

Who’s the funniest in the family? Read “The Joke’s On Us” 
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Wednesday, August 2, 2023

A Smack Dab Barbie Flashback

         The Barbie movie is a global smash! With Middle Child's Day fast approaching, I thought it would be a good time to revisit this post about Barbie’s middle siblings: Check out “The Sad Saga of Barbie's Middle Siblings: a Smack Dab Investigative Report.” 

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Sunday, July 30, 2023

What If Dr. Suess Wrote a Middle Child Book?

          This is not my first Suess-related post. Back in March 2018, I posted a birthday tribute to Theodor Suess Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Suess), like me also a smack dab Middle Child. Recently, I was reading one of his stories to one of my grandchildren and I got to thinking, “What if Dr. Suess wrote a story about a Middle Child?"
          I wondered how that would go, and with Middle Child's Day just around the corner (August 12), I figured now would be a good time to find out. So I channeled my inner Suess, and came up with this…

The Joke's On Us (Part 2)” 
Middle Child comedians poke some fun at... Middle Children!
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Monday, July 24, 2023

Get Ready for a Middle Child's Day "Saturday Surge"

          This year, Middle Child’s Day (August 12) falls on a Saturday, and as the world’s leading only Middle Child advocate, I have two words for restaurants and bars around the world: stock up! Yeah, I
know Middle Child’s Day usually passes unsurprisingly unnoticed. Every year following Middle Child’s Day, I share my disappointment with the world. But I have high hopes for this year. After all, it’s a Saturday night! There’s no work or school for most people the next day, so I figure everyone has the whole day and night to celebrate.
        Look, I’m not going to make excuses for the lackluster enthusiasm for our eponymous day in years past. But there’s been rain, flooding, high winds, wildfires, bad air quality, and global warming -- not to mention a worldwide pandemic!
          Unrealistic expectations aside, despite a history of low interest for Middle Child’s Day, I remain unwavering in my belief that this year will be different, which is why I’m urging proprietors to be prepared for a Saturday surge of MidKid revelry. I even have a few thoughts for a Middle Child’s Day menu. Maybe a ‘middle cut’ ribeye or strip steak? Or how about a Middle Child twist to a Martini or Manhattan? Just add some extra bitters. 
NEXT ON THE BLOG:  "What If Dr. Suess Wrote a Middle Child Book?"
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Monday, July 17, 2023

How Far Would You Go to Get Attention?

          As Middle Child’s Day approaches, I thought it would be a good time to ask a question that I’m sure every Middle Child has at least one good answer to: What’s the craziest/dumbest/most desperate thing you ever did for attention? Now, before I go any further, I want to be clear that this isn’t a question only Middle Children can answer. After all, we don’t have a monopoly on trying to get attention, even though we’re pretty darn close. Everyone has exhibited some good ‘ol Middle Child attention seeking behavior at some point in their lives, so we all can play along. I’ll go first…
          For as long as I can remember, I found making someone laugh was a great attention-grabbing tool. As a child, and as a grown ass man for that matter, I still find it very effective. There are those who would say I would do almost anything for a laugh (a.k.a. attention). In particular, I always got great pleasure out of making my younger sister laugh. Maybe because it was so darn easy -- she thinks everything I say is funny, even when I’m being dead serious.
          I remember one time when we were kids, we were in the back seat of my parents car on a long ride home. My sister and I were sharing a box of raisins. My older brother probably had a box of his own. I don’t remember why, not that there’s ever a good reason, but I was suddenly consumed by the overwhelming need for attention. So while my sister was looking out the window, I took two of the raisins and placed one in each of my nostrils. Seemed like a good idea at the time, and boy did it work. My sister had a fit of hysterical laughter. In fact, she was laughing so hard, it got me laughing.
          In hindsight, it would’ve been so much better if I had breathed out instead of in when I started laughing, but I wasn’t used to having raisins in my nose and was so caught up in the euphoria of all the attention I was getting, I wasn’t considering the anatomical consequences of my actions. I’ll spare you the gory details, but let’s just say raisins are much less painful when they enter your digestive system through your mouth rather than your nose.
          Lesson learned. 
          (FULL DISCLOSURE: This probably wasn’t even the most outrageous thing I did to get attention. More like the one I was least embarrassed to admit!)
          Here’s a clip from comedian John Mulaney’s most recent Netflix special, “Baby J” (it was great, by the way), where he shares a pretty dark childhood plan he had for getting attention...

          Okay, so now it’s your turn. Share your most ridiculous attention-grabbing scheme by commenting below, on Twitter @midkidmusings, on Facebook at the I.M.C.U. page, or if you feel like pissing off Elon Musk, on Threads @midkidunion. Winners will receive some attention. What else?
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Friday, July 7, 2023

New Middle Child Study Findings Surprise No One

          Over the years, many studies on birth order have yielded not-so-good news for Middle Children. A 2011 study of workers with siblings found that Middle Children earned the least. A 2014 study found that Middle Children are least likely to find love later in life. A 2017 study found that we’re most likely to be troublemakers, delinquents, or worse yet – criminals. A 2019 study found that we’re least likely to feel comfortable talking to our parents about sex education. Still, other studies have found that Middle Children are less likely to be close to our mothers, less likely to turn to our parents when under duress, less likely to be family oriented, and more likely to have maladaptive perfectionism. (Whatever that is, it doesn’t sound good!) But do these so-called experts really know what they’re talking about? I mean, a few years back the Pew Research Center reported that Middle Children were on the verge of extinction, yet here I am. So I decided to conduct a little study of my own. My research methodology went something like this…
           Shortly after last Middle Child’s Day, on September 14 to be exact, I went off the grid. No Facebook or blog posts. No radio interviews. Not a peep, or even a Tweet for that matter. The purpose of my disappearing act was simple: find out what would happen if the founder of the International Middle Child Union and world’s leading Middle Child advocate, just vanished – not heard from for almost 10 months! Surely, my thousands of followers would think something was amiss, I hypothesized. They’d be absolutely panic stricken. Maybe even heartbroken.
          Not so much, it turns out.
          I hardly needed a team of data crunchers to analyze the results. A grand total of ONE follower inquired as to my whereabouts, and that was after being incommunicado for almost 9 months!                    Jeepers.
          While this desperate attention grab may have fallen way short of expectations, it only serves to
strengthen my resolve. Like a good Middle Child, no one may be listening, but you haven’t heard the last from me. In my role as International Middle Child Union boss, I am more committed than ever to finding a cure for Middle Child Syndrome while raising awareness of Middle Child’s Day. With only a little more than a month to the big day (August 12), I clearly have to make up for lost time.
          Not that anyone noticed.
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NOW ON THREADS! (But I'm not sure why.) Follow @midkidunion

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Middle Child's Day: A Look Back

          For those of you who forgot or didn’t even know – and I’m guessing that’s most people – it's been a whole month since Middle Child's Day. August 12, to be exact. I've taken my self-imposed post Middle Child's Day mental health break, and am finally ready to talk about how the day went.
          I’m sure many of you were too busy celebrating World Elephant Day, National Vinyl Record Day, or a host of other lesser holidays to remember, but here at the International Middle Child Union Middle Child’s Day Command Center, we were working around the clock and around the world to make sure people didn’t forget. I spent most of the day spreading the word over the airwaves from Boston to LA, making stops in Allentown, Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Des Moines, Hartford, Kansas City, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Seattle. I even reached all the way up to Toronto and all the way over to New Zealand, appearing on the nightly public affairs program “The Project.”
          Closer to home, however, things did not go as well, as the day was unacknowledged by several members of my own family. Ouch. And when I see tweets like these appearing on Middle Child’s Day, it’s hard not to get a little… disheartened. 
          So every year after Middle Child’s Day is over, I can’t help but wonder if maybe I could’ve done more. I start to think that all my effort was for naught. But just when I think it might be time for the I.M.C.U. to close up shop, I get a sign that maybe I’m actually making progress. This year, that glimmer of hope was “The Daily Chronicle,” a one-sheet newsletter circulated at my mother-in-law’s nursing home.
          Middle Child’s Day was the lead story -- headline news, above the fold! And then I find out “The Daily Chronicle” isn’t just available at my mother-in-law’s skilled nursing facility. It’s available at senior living settings all across the country!! Granted, it’s hardly reaching the masses, but it certainly has better circulation than most of the people who read it, so it’s a start. 

NEW ZEALAND UPDATE: On a recent broadcast of the New Zealand nightly current affairs show “The Project,” Kiwi rugby legend/guest presenter/Middle Child Kieran Read  offered to be a spokesperson for the I.M.C.U's efforts to raise awareness of Middle Child’s Day in New Zealand. As head of the I.M.C.U. I’m jumping at the opportunity! I may not know a scrum from a ruck, but I do know having a Kiwi rugby star on our team would be huge. In fact, I’ve already cooked up a fancy title for Read: I.M.C.U. Regional Director, Southwest Pacific. The transition from rugby union to Middle Child union should be an easy one for Read. It would be a no-show job for the most part. But if the day ever comes that we get a Middle Child’s Day parade in Auckland, I definitely expect Kieran to be our Grand Marshall riding on the I.M.C.U. float.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Official Middle Child's Day Recognition in New Zealand?

          The night before Middle Child’s Day (a.k.a. last night), I was featured in a segment on the New Zealand nightly current affairs show “The Project.” I was on the show a few years ago when the threat of Middle Child extinction was all the rage, but the focus of this piece was about my ongoing, relentless, and questionably effective efforts to raise awareness of Middle Child’s Day.
          Part of that effort has included reaching out to cities and towns asking for official recognition of Middle Child’s Day, but this time I decided to swing for the fences and made an appeal to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, asking her to issue a proclamation acknowledging August 12th as Middle Child’s Day in New Zealand.
          Official recognition from a whole country -- wouldn’t that be something? I mean, who cares that New Zealand is only about the size of Colorado and has roughly as many people as Louisiana? Not me. So what if there are five times more sheep than people. Official recognition would be nothing to sneeze at. Unless, of course, you’re allergic to sheep. But hey, ya gotta start somewhere. And New Zealand is as good a place as any. They've even had to deal with some Middle Child issues of their own in the past, being left off world maps as I wrote about in a previous post. So it seems like a good fit.
          Of course, the PM hasn’t responded, and probably won’t. But I’m not going to let that ruin my day. No, today is a day for celebration. Nothing's going to burst my Middle Child’s Day bubble! Until I realize that no one remembers it’s Middle Child’s Day. Well, that was fun while it lasted.

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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Ten Years of Middle Child Melodies

          As you probably haven't heard by now, the International Middle Child Union is celebrating 10 years of obscurity. As part of the festivities, I thought it would be fun to take a little stroll down our very own Middle Child Musical Memory Lane and revisit some of our favorite Middle Child melodies. What better place to start than with our take on the Simple Minds classic “Don't You (Forget About Me)”...

          Gene Autry had a huge hit in 1950 singing the story of a fluffy bunny, “bringing every girl and boy baskets full of Easter joy.” “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” became one of the most popular Easter songs ever. As you might expect, our Middle Child rendition tells a slightly different tale...

          “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is an American classic. The Middle Child version is, well, a whole other ballgame...
          Everyone knows the story of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” Of course far fewer know of  his Middle Child Syndrome suffering sleigh mate...
          Okay, this next one isn't a song, but while we're in the Christmas spirit, I couldn't resist sharing our telling of “The Middle Child's Night Before Christmas.”
          And speaking of holiday spirit, leave it to a Middle Child to turn “The Festival of Lights” into 8 nights of agony...
          When #middlechild started trending for no apparent reason a few years back, I thought maybe all my hard work was paying off. Then I found out that rapper J. Cole had just released his mega-hit, “Middle Child.” Of course, we couldn't let him have the last word...
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