Dear Youth of the World:
I just read a very disturbing article and I think we have to have a talk.
Now, before we start, I know. I am immediately to be distrusted. I am a grownup! Therefore, my heart must be dead, and I just don’t GET it, man! I don’t remember what it was like to be one of you, the disaffected youth, looking for that new cool thing, that next big rush, anything to kill the dead, dead places inside. I know. How could I possibly understand? Being an old, boring person and all?
Well, I might be old (ahem, I’m not THAT old) and I might be boring (debatable) but I remember being your age. I remember the teenage malaise and the depression and not knowing what to do next and being just SO DAMN ITCHY to do SOMETHING. My something, chickadees, was reading, though, so I guess that’s why this article I read was so distressing.
Apparently, you’ve all moved on from turning Robitussin into street drugs and morphing hand sanitizer into delicious cocktails and have all decided that you want to be movie stars, so you’ve decided to live the life of Jason Bourne or Tom Cruise in those terrible Mission Impossible movies. SO MANY TEETH UGH.
Listen, I like movies as much as the next person, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t think I can DO the things that happen in movies. I don’t think my Harry is going to come find me on New Year’s Eve and tell me he wants the rest of his life with me to start RIGHT NOW and I don’t think I can drive while having a conversation and never look at the road and I don’t think I can go to bed with a whole face full of makeup and wake up looking as fresh as a daisy and I don’t think I can get six days of work done in the span of one kickass music montage. BECAUSE I AM RATIONAL.
But you! Youth of the world! You seem to think that the people in movies are doing their own stunts. And that they aren’t really stunts! That they are REAL THINGS THAT PEOPLE DO!
Things that, according to this article, you kids are doing nowadays because they are BORED and they think they are INVINCIBLE:
- “the choking game”
- jumping off a moving vehicle
- “salt and ice”
- extreme fighting
- “the cinnamon challenge”
- hitting someone over the head with a folding chair
- “train/car surfing”
- “mumblety peg”
- “Chubby Bunny”
Now, you, youth of America, I know you probably are WELL-AWARE of what all of these things are, but we, the fusty old-people of the world, are scratching our heads in puzzlement. So! In order to make us all better educated about what’s going on with the kiddos, please pardon me while I fill in the old people among us about these things you’re all doing.
The choking game: apparently this is just auto-erotic asphyxiation. Do you kids think you created this? Nah. We old people have known about this for years. We (well, most of us) are just too smart to do it. (And apparently, kids are doing this but WITHOUT THE SEX. They’re just doing it because it makes their heads swimmy. There have GOT to be better ways to make their heads swimmy.)
Jumping off a moving vehicle: Well, this is pretty self-explanatory. Except for…um…why? Why would you do this? Because people do it in movies or on television? You’ll get road-rash, kids. That is, if you’re not dead. Who thinks jumping off a moving vehicle is a good idea? Put your hands down. PUT THEM DOWN, I SAID.
“Salt and ice”: ZOMG WTF. Apparently, this is a game. You put salt on a body part. Then you put ice over that salt. It starts to burn. Whoever can leave it on the longest is the “winner.” But guess what’s happening to your skin? YOU ARE GETTING CHILBLAINS. Chilblains! Like an arctic explorer! And if you leave it on long enough? FROSTBITE. According to this totally funny Wiki answers page: “According to the game, the winner is whoever can hold the ice long enough. However in reality, the person who opts to not attempt this challenge is the true winner and the one without a possible hospital bill and missing limbs.” Hee! Whoever wrote this is SCOLDY.
Extreme fighting/hitting someone over the head with a chair: THIS IS NOT WRESTLING. This is REAL LIFE. Those things are all STAGED. There are blood packets and they work that shit out beforehand and they REHEARSE. It is THEATER. You don’t HIT SOMEONE OVER THE HEAD WITH A CHAIR. That’s ASSAULT, brother. Who’s volunteering to get hit with a chair? I guess I can see the appeal of extreme fighting – boys are super-fighty, from what I remember of them, even The Nephew likes to head-butt people, including his beloved aunt Amy – but chair-hitting? Really? That seems super-ragey. I’m adding “because they might hit each other over the head with chairs” to my list of “reasons I am pleased I decided not to have children after all.”
“The cinnamon challenge” – This is apparently swallowing a huge spoonful of cinnamon without taking a drink of water in 60 seconds. The cinnamon clumps up and gags you and then sometimes you inhale it and it gets in your lungs and nose and makes you throw up and sneeze. Fun, right? Listen, you’re all a bunch of pussies. Why don’t you go try the wasabi challenge or the black pepper challenge or the habanero challenge and get back to me?* (*Don’t do this.)
“Train/car surfing” – again, pretty self-explanatory. You’re not Michael J. Fox as Teen Wolf. Don’t do this. You will fall off and you will die. Moving vehicles are a recipe for death. Stop it stop it STOP IT. This isn’t cool or fun or a rush. This is a recipe for death and destruction and limb-missing-ness. Listen! Some kids were driving 110 miles per hour at 5pm (that’s rush hour, for those of us unemployed) down one of our local roads here recently because they thought it would be good-times, Charlie and a minivan pulled out and they hit him and they both died and he’s struggling for his life so wasn’t THAT funny? HA HA HA! No. Because I talked to his wife at work the other night and I can assure you, she wasn’t laughing. I was almost in tears when I got off the phone with her. You little jackasses. Stop risking others’ lives. If you kill someone I love, I’m coming for you. WITH KNIVES.
“Huffing” – oh, for the love of…you dorks, we’ve been doing this longer than you’ve been BREATHING. No pun intended. I don’t even think I have to describe what huffing is, do I? It’s inhalants. It’s sucking down inhalants to get high. It’s the high-stakes version of Whipits. You can do it with spray paint like Ruth in Citizen Ruth (what? you haven’t seen Citizen Ruth? Watch that and see if you want to huff again) or with things like canned air. And it murders braincells like the Biblical Slaughter of the Innocents, babydolls. You’re gonna need those braincells. Well, someday you will. Promise.
“Mumblety peg” – really? You think stabbing at your fingers with a knife super super fast is funtimes? OK. I can’t see that going wrong at all AAAHHH YOU CUT OFF YOUR FINGER! Seriously, this only works in mobster movies. Don’t do this.
“Chubby Bunny” – this is when you fill your mouth with marshmallows and say “chubby bunny!” until you can’t anymore and whoever can put the most marshmallows in their mouth and still be heard saying “chubby bunny” wins and whoever chokes to death on the marshmallows loses. You think I’m being facetious but people have DIED playing this game. Dead dead dead. Chubby bunny’s not for the faint-of-heart. Or people with brains. Also, marshmallows are DELICIOUS. Why are you wasting marshmallows, stupid? And didn’t your mom teach you not to speak with your mouth full? SIGH SIGH SIGH.
OK. So now that we’re all up to speed on your shenanigans, let’s discuss.
People are dying doing these things. I think you can see why. There are various ways that these things are leading to death:
Gross bodily injury, due to things like chair-beatery and car-jumpery and train-surfery and finger-cuttery and ice/salt-freezery
Choking to death, due to inhaling marshmallows, cinnamon, or choking yourself with a belt
Drug overdose, from huffing
I can’t imagine the “high” you get from any of these things being worth being DEAD from INHALING MARSHMALLOWS. Do you really want to be that girl? Do you want to be the girl who died inhaling marshmallows? You’re not going to get a page in the yearbook commemorating you, darlin’. You’re going to be a PUNCHLINE. People are going to be all “Chubby bunny GAHHHHH” and pretend to choke and gag and die and then they’re going to LAUGH AND LAUGH. Or do you want to walk around with nine fingers because you cut one off stabbing at your fingers with knives like you’re a street performer in Thailand? Good luck counting to ten at your future job at the counter at McDonald’s, Sonny Jim. And yes, I get that you want to be cool like Fox Mulder and die of autoerotic asphyxiation, but…wait, you don’t know who Fox Mulder is? Because you are FOURTEEN? Then why would you want to do that?
Kids, I get it. I do. I made some SPECTACULARLY stupid decisions when I was younger. Maybe not 14-young, but when I was a little older, I did not let my brain do the thinking. I cannot confirm or deny that I might have done some binge-drinking and made some terrible sexual decisions and got kicked out of a hotel and (look away, cops!) dabbled in substances that weren’t technically “legal.” I understand, kids. I do. Bad decisions and I have been bedfellows in the past. And I’m sure, somewhere down the line, we will crawl shamefully back into bed together again, because once you bed down with Bad Decision McGee, he comes back all, “Come on, baby, you know we had a good time before, I MISSED YOU” and if he shows up at just the right time you’re all “SIGH OK.” I get it.
But here’s the thing. You’re going to want to live to see your twenties. You really are. Your twenties are pretty awesome. And – top secret news no one tells you? – your thirties are EVEN BETTER. If things keep up at this pace, my forties are going to be AMAZING. And if I’d been car-surfing or whatever the hell, I wouldn’t have SEEN these years.
I know you’re bored. I know you’re looking for the next cool thing and whatever. I get it. But please don’t do things that will kill you. If you have to do dangerous things…how about you TAKE SOME CLASSES FOR COLLEGE CREDIT OOH? Or READ A BANNED BOOK AAH? Or WORK ON YOUR COLLEGE APPLICATIONS EEEE? No? Well, I don’t know what to tell you. Just don’t do the things I listed above. Or have inappropriate sex because you’ll get the herpes. I’m serious, you’re going to regret these bad decisions someday and *I* won’t be all “I told you so” because I don’t do that, but SOMEONE will, and I’ll be thinking it. I totally will.
Thanks for reading, kiddos. If you need further advice, I’ll be RIGHT HERE. Come talk to me. I promise. I’ll be kind and won’t even talk down to you and I’ll teach you new words like “douchecanoe” and I’ll tell you your skinny jeans look ridiculous but I will be SO SUPPORTIVE. I’m like the kickass aunt you always wanted, promise.
Be careful out there, kids. I’d like you to be around in your twenties and thirties, ok? They’re worth it. No, seriously. They so are.
Yours, with love, and also some serious concerns,
(Here is a song to make you happy. This is for the GROWNUPS among us. I love you, too.)