Parents suffer "sticker shock" for the new baby even before he or she is born. Kids will cost you, and their yard work potential won't begin to cover it. Take a lesson from Daddy Woods, who had Tiger out on the golf course at age 2, or Papa Williams, who tossed Venus and Serena on a tennis court before they could read. Your progeny could bring home the dough if you encourage them early and if you select a solid career path for them before they can argue with you. Here's a suggestion: With Martha Stewart headed to prison and NBC's Today show advertising for an amateur chef/homemaking diva to add to its lifestyle lineup, your son or daughter can start a promising path to payback Saturday at Sur La Table, 4527 Travis St., where 8- to 12-year-olds can attend the Spring Cake Decorating class from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Shell out $55, and your youngster will come home with a carrot cake, superbly iced, plus a new spatula and a pastry bag with tips. Register at 1-866-328-5412 or 214-219-4404. --Annabelle Massey Helber
Welcome to the Machine
Boy, did Charlie Chaplin get it wrong. In Modern Times, his 1936 silent-movie farewell to the Little Tramp character he created, Chaplin poked wicked fun at a callous, dehumanized modern machine age...hold on a sec, getting a notice for an urgent e-mail here. Oh, hell, another inquiry into my penis size. Damn spam-bots. Where were we? Ah, Modern Times. You may know it from its famed scenes of Chaplin as an assembly line worker driven mad by mindless monotony, cracking up and slipping into the gears of an immense machine, but...hang on, that phone won't stop ringing. Oh, great, another automated telemarketing appeal. Back to the film: Luckily, we know today that modern technology has actually liberated us from drudgery. Why, with voicemail, e-mail and automated, self-serve this and that, whole days can now pass without our having any human interaction at all, freeing us up to do more enriching tasks, like answering e-mails and voicemails and looking for low-wage jobs to replace those we were automated out of. OK, so maybe Chaplin didn't get it that wrong. You can judge for yourself March 26 through March 28 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., as it screens a restored version of the classic as part of The Magnolia at the Modern series. Show times are 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday. Visit www.themodern.org or call 1-866-824-5566. --Patrick WilliamsGora, Gora, Gora!
Prepare to barf as Shock Cinema presents the 1976 film Bloodsucking Freaks, preceded by a live performance that impresarios Dan Karkoska and David Hockin promise is their goriest yet. The movie tells the story of Broadway producer Sardu and his evil dwarf sidekick, who stage torture fests with sick comic glee. Unsuspecting audiences don't know the extravaganzas of evil are real. Beware spurting blood. Watch out for flying entrails. Win free prizes. It's at 10 p.m. Thursday at the Angelika Film Center and Café, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane. Admission is $8 cash for 18 and up. Call 214-841-4700. --Glenna WhitleyStreet Beats
When local thespians celebrate World Theater Day with the Masked March on Main, it will be a parade with a twist--literally. Apparently, parade routes can no longer be confined to the world of linear thinking. No, this parade will turn around. Yes, turn around, mid-march, without missing a beat. Those theater people are so dramatic. Come to the intersection of Hall and Main streets in Deep Ellum to witness the spectacular at 1 p.m. Saturday. Call the Undermain Theatre box office at 214-747-5515. --Mary Monigold
Kelly Miller Circus raises the big top
Remember the bright lights and crazy colors of the circus when you were a tyke? What about those death-defying trapeze artists who made you want to stop going to school and run away to join them? But when you saw the circus clowns you changed your mind, remembering the Stephen King movie It that made you scared of clowns for life. And let's not forget the sweet smell of cotton candy, but, when the wind changed, you could smell a wonderful combo of jumbo pickles and a fresh pile of elephant poop. And speaking of elephants, there was a time when kids were too innocent and unaffected to be conscious of the fact that those circus animals may be victims of cruelty. But the members of Kelly Miller Circus will tell you that cruelty is not a possibility at their organization and they strongly believe in the ethical and humane treatment of all animals, especially their own. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals doesn't agree.) Nevertheless, the Kelly Miller Circus will be at Old City Park on March 27. If you come at 8:30 a.m., you get to see the elephants raise the big top tent. Performances are at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the gate for adults and free for children under 3. Advance tickets are $8 and may be purchased at Minyard's, Carnival or Sack and Save Food Stores or at www.oldcitypark.org. Old City Park members pay $7 by calling 214-413-3663. The park is located at 1717 Gano St. in downtown Dallas. Call 214-421-5141. --Jenice Johnson