Punk Parents

With the "No Future" generation deciding to breed, are we headed for anarchy in the pre-K?

"That's something different for Careisse from how I grew up," says Harrington. "My parents were a lot older. When I was born, I had sisters in their twenties. I feel a lot closer to Careisse, just in age, in attitude even. Sometimes we're more like sisters."

Glenn Harper -- everyone calls him Glenbo -- was 19 when punk hit Houston. He went to college on a tennis scholarship, but "within a year and a half I was kicked out of school and had green hair and was working in a club and seeing bands all the time and doing a lot of drugs. My mother tripped on it; I guess she figured I'd grow out of it." For four years now, he's been the drummer for the Poor Dumb Bastards, whose repertoire he accurately describes as "all about drinking or being naked or passing out." PDB's singer and lyricist Byron Dean hits local stages adorned with nothing but electrical tape and a bottle of Budweiser wedged up his butt. There are few bands in Houston more authentically, loudly, stupidly three-chord punk, and every last member is a daddy.

Glenbo met Janice (pronounced Jeanice), who's now 26, at a bar. They got married four years ago and had Audrey a year and a half later. "When Janice was pregnant, she would come see us practice all the time, and Audrey was in there and she'd kick to the rhythm," Glenbo says. "Now she comes and sees us play and she lights up immediately. I think she remembers."

Glenbo and Janice live in a one-story rental house in the Heights with a front porch and bright plastic toys scattered in the yard and a shiny 1992 Ford Explorer in the driveway, a newly acquired concession to collective family need and, Glenbo says, the nicest thing he's ever owned. Inside the house, blond, energetic Audrey flips through children's books from a densely packed shelf while Mudhoney plays through the speakers. Audrey turns to Glenbo constantly, to show him a picture or a toy. He always says thank you.

Glenbo is a bartender at Rudyard's Pub, where just the other night a stranger walked in and punched him in the head. Glenbo's 35, a big guy who can handle himself in a fight, but still, he has to think about these things now. He busted an ankle skateboarding this summer and couldn't work, which scared the hell out of him, since he's got a daughter to support. "You never realize how selfish a person you are when you're by yourself," he says. "When someone depends on you, you have to share everything you have, or give everything you have. It's something that, outside of having a dog, I've never experienced before."

Audrey changed everything. Glenbo doesn't skate anymore. He quit doing drugs. He doesn't drink nearly as much as he used to. He even quit smoking.

A surviving flood of epidermal ink guarantees that Glenbo still looks like a punk, but it's a way of life he won't go out of his way to encourage in Audrey. "I hope she thinks my tattoos are ugly and disgusting," he says. "She's completely the opposite of us, and I hope she keeps growing up that way." Glenbo and Janice both had fractured families, and if you ask them how Audrey's upbringing will differ from their own, Glenbo's "she'll have two parents" and Janice's "she'll have a stable home" intersect in the middle of the room.

She'll also, they hope, get to grow up someplace prettier than Houston, someplace less big-city, and her parents are saving money for a possible move. They like Flagstaff, Arizona, but they're looking at Chico, California, too. Glenbo figures he can't be a bartender forever, and the next couple of years seem critical, especially since Janice is four months pregnant with their second child. They knew they wanted another, but not necessarily now. "We had a baby sitter all weekend," Glenbo says, explaining the conception while Janice laughs in a chair. "We never get to do anything, and we just went on this drunken-rampage-partying-sex weekend."

This weekend, they're taking Audrey to a place north of town that they read about, a place where they can take a hayride into a tree plantation and chop down their own Christmas tree. "That," says Glenbo, still punk, still proud, without the slightest trace of apology, "is what you do for entertainment when you're married with a kid.

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