A few years ago, I bought my mother a book. It was called Everything I Ever Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten. I never read it myself, but I’m told it’s a folksy, common-sense look at the important lessons we’re taught at an early age, and how we can apply those basic concepts to our daily adult life.
Sounds iffy when you put it that way, no? The only three things I learned in kindergarten were:
“The leg cramps on the way up are nothing, compared to the rope burn on the way down.”
Where would I be if I’d taken those lessons to heart? I’d be a thirty-something single firefighter with an unnatural aversion to tater tots, that’s where. Frustrated? Maybe. Lonely? Probably — though also cootie-free. But happy? I’m not so sure. I’m thinking the lessons learned in kindergarten aren’t so universally applicable, after all. The pop psychology self-help section of the bookstore fails us again. Oh, gasp. Say it isn’t so.
Still, I like the idea that a particular time of life or activity could provide a metaphor for an enduring and effective worldview. I just don’t think ‘kindergarten’ qualifies. But with what shall we replace the book, on mothers’ and guidance counselors’ coffee tables? Here are a few possibilities:
Everything I Ever Needed to Know, I Learned from…
1. ‘Handy’ is one of the worst nicknames you could possibly be stuck with.
2. People who own cats are evil.
3. If there’s one hot blonde chick and a whole bunch of guys around, she’s not doing any of them.*
(*aka ‘The Cheerleader Theorem’)
Watching Scrambled Playboy Cable Channels on the Television in My Parents’ Bedroom
1. You can get away with a lot more, if you learn what ‘Mute’ means.
2. Pizza guys get way more action than I would have expected.
3. A squiggly, discolored nipple is often better than no nipple at all.
The Summer Before Sophomore Year in College
1. Poetry can get you laid, but only if it’s good.
2. My previous lesson about pizza guys was grossly incorrect.
3. Nobody wants to hear my poetry.
Junior High School Gym Class
1. The leg cramps on the way up are nothing, compared to the rope burn on the way down.
2. If you play it right, there’s a certain sad dignity in being picked last.
3. ‘Handy’ is absolutely the worst nickname you could possibly be stuck with.
My First Trip to the DMV
1. Asking, ‘What’s this pedal do?‘ is not an appropriate icebreaker.
2. Everybody in the world has a cooler car than I do.
3. I’m roughly as photogenic as a petrified buffalo turd.
That Time With the Girl in the Back Seat of Her Powder Blue Volkswagen Beetle
1. Girl cooties may not be the dangerous health risk we were once led to believe.
2. If you fumble with the clasp long enough, she’ll eventually take it off herself.
3. The leg cramps on the way up are nothing, compared to the rope burn on the way down.
My Ninth Grade Homeroom Teacher
1. Being sent to detention means you won’t go to college, and nobody will ever love you.
2. It’s entirely possible to drink yourself stupid before eight o’clock in the morning.
3. Spending time with teenagers will rob you of your soul.
That Winger Concert I Got Dragged to in 1989
1. Guys have no business wearing spandex.
2. Drunk big-haired girls will show you their boobs at the drop of a hat.
3. A squiggly, discolored nipple isn’t always better than no nipple at all.
There you go, kids; how’s that for a post? Start with pop psychology, end with Kip Winger’s spandexed asscheeks, and a callback reference to scrambled 80s porn. Where else are you going to get that kind of quality? Who loves ya, baby?Permalink | 3 Comments