Hi, my name is Patty. And I'm here to say, I'm a big ole stinky pooper-head.
Hurray, hurray, hurray!
Just checking to make sure you're paying attention but I actually do have a point and here it is: Words matter. They really do.
Actually, you'd think a "words girl" such as me wouldn't need a reminder of that very basic fact, but I just got one, anyway.
It happened as we attended the triple bill of the New York Dolls, Poison (my all time fave hair band) and Motley Crue when they rocked the Covelli Center last weekend.
As I watched a few thousand people blindly singing along to a decidedly sinister '80s song glorifying various - sins - two things occurred.
1. I made a very conscious effort to refrain from singing the lyrics I thoughtlessly condoned by chanting them along with the radio years ago, and 2. I started to wonder if I'm sending Kyle a strong enough message about the significance of being keenly aware of what you say.
I mean, I was a just teenager when Motley Crue, Metallica, Judas Priest, Guns-n-Roses, and a few other select heavy metal bands were at their zenith.
Back then, I wanted nothing more than to bang my head to the hard-hitting sounds made by the groups I so admired, much to my parents' dismay.
And while, for the most part, my idolizing of Poison, Def Leppard, Journey, Aerosmith and Van Halen and other such rock groups was fairly harmless, the afore-mentioned bands were actually a good bit darker and edgier - almost to the point of being frightening, which was naturally the intended consequence.
In fact, when I texted a photo of Kerry and I with Nikki Sixx, the bassist of Motley Crue, last weekend to my BFF Chris Ruggieri of Warren, her response was, "Patty, what is that scary thing between you and Kerry?"
"Don't worry, I'm wearing my cross," I replied.
The entire scene was wildly ironic, as in, Sixx was nothing at all as I'd expected him to be. He was polite, thoughtful, courteous and funny. He spent a great deal of time with his fans, greeting them warmly and even apologizing for keeping us waiting a very short time.
Could this really be the guy who spent the better part of the 80s in and out of consciousness due to a well-documented and very public battle with heroin - and spitting fake blood at fans on a regular basis?
And, just when I'd convinced myself that this was the kinder, gentler Crue, I read a story that Sixx jumped into the crowd at a concert in Maryland the following evening, attacking a man who'd been illegally recording the show with a professional camera.
I don't blame him for being perturbed, but the action did reiterate my uneasiness about the whole conundrum - and it brought me back around to my original concern.
I realize that many entertainers exaggerate their personas for the sake of publicity and record or movie sales. And while we adult media consumers can generally sense paparazzi propaganda - do more impressionable folks mindlessly subscribe to the manifestos of madness (whether genuine or "for show") often promoted by singers, actors and dancers who are starving for success?
Without sounding too preachy or righteous, I have to consider if we really want the next generation glorifying vulgarity and demeaning, sometimes even hateful song lyrics.
Bottom line: Freedom of speech and expression is a wonderful gift. It's just that it's up to us adults to make sure our children know right from wrong, good from bad - and grandstanding from standing for something.
Without being too hypocritical (I had every '80s rock album I could afford back in the day), I'm going to have to admit that I'll need to think twice before letting my son download Eminem, Snoop Dog and yes, even my beloved Motley Crue (et al) to his iPod.
Unconsciously subscribing to song lyrics - or anything else - can be a dangerous, slippery slope.
"You don't want to wake up one day and find out you've been worshipping a bottle of ketchup, do you?" I asked Kyle, who rolled his eyes but got the gist.
"No, Mom. I know better than that. I understand what's important. I'll never believe in anything but God," he said as my heart and soul sighed in relief.
In that case, rock on!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.