That's from an email I got the last time I was on the teevee and mentioned the relevant-to-the-convo fact that I was a parent. It was an unpaid teevee appearance—CNN, I think—which makes the "cashing in" charge a bit ludicrous. Making it more ludicrous is the fact that I've twice passed up the opportunity to really cash in on my family.

I was reminded of the "cash in" email this morning while reading Gail Collins' column in the NYT about “Jon & Kate Plus Eight," the reality/horror show that's drawing its bigger audiences ever as Jon & Kate's marriage teeters on the verge of collapse. "Once science made it so much easier for people to have six, seven, eight babies at a time, it seems right that the world would come up with some occupation that would allow the parents to make a living without leaving the nursery," Collins writes. The Gosselins get $50,000 per episode, a windfall that has allowed to move themselves, their kids, and TLC's camera crews into a big house on 24 acres. What the family needs most right now is privacy but the show is now their only source of income, so... it continues. "Reality shows about the day-to-day lives of any family that is not headed by an aging rock star" are one of the worst ideas of the new millennium, writes Collins.

I've been following the Jon & Kate saga via old issues of People while I get my haircut and I have to say... something petty and defensive. Twice I've been offered—twice—a "reality show" about my family life. One was for the same fee Jon & Kate are getting: 50K per episode. All we'd have to do is allow camera crews into our home, allow them to follow the kid around, allow them to follow me around at work and Terry at home. "Insanely permissive sex columnist by day," went one of the pitches, "strictly traditional dad by night." I didn't have to ask the boyfriend: I turned both offers down flat. A reality show? I wouldn't do that to my boyfriend, I wouldn't do that to our kid, I wouldn't do that to myself. And if I had been tempted by the offers—it was a lot of money—just the look on my boyfriend's face when I told him about the first offer—an offer I'd already turned down—made it clear that my saying "yes" to a reality show meant saying "hello" to his Canadian divorce lawyer.

Anyway, I do write about my life a bit—two books, some regular radio stuff—and the kid comes up. So I suppose on some level I have exploited him. But cashing in on him? I had the chance, twice, and said no. Because unlike Jon & Kate Gosselin I'm not bat & shit crazy.