First Posted: 1/13/2013
There is a phenomenon that floats around the Heck Asylum every now and then …okay, constantly, and we call it Dead Man Walking Syndrome.
This is an occurrence that transpires when one or both of my sons complete an act so radically stupid that it literally robs me of my breath. I'm fascinated that when such things occur, their marginally-formed brains never turn on the: Crap…I am going to be in SO MUCH TROUBLE switch. It's only once they are caught committing random acts of idiocy that the switch may turn on, but only halfway.
I‘m writing this column to all my young friends out there. Consider this a gift. Read the contents carefully and I will save you from a world of hurt and an epic amount of grounding. Learn from my little spawn's mistakes. Read and learn!
The Very Young Years
When you're 4 years-old and new to a neighborhood, here is what NOT TO DO: open a window, pull down your pants and moon the new neighbors…among whom happen to be a reverend and his wife. Also, do not add the words: Hi! We're new here! Kiss my rear! It just leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth and doesn't bode well for long-term neighborly relationships. Try to borrow a cup of sugar after that nugget drops.
Do not take-off your Pull-Up and have an accident on the garage floor. If you do, confess. Do not run into the house and say you just saw a squirrel and a deer poop in the garage. Simultaneously . Highly unlikely scenario coupled with the ick factor doubles your punishment.
Do not borrow your mother's razor and shave the dog. And worse, put it back, unclean, in the shower. Just don't.
Do not scooter across Wyoming Avenue and encourage your friends to do the same because you swear they were all born with Super Speed. You are a liar and they are a bunch of sheep following their lying leader.
Don't ding-dong-ditch the entire street. Pick one or two houses. I can handle two irate phone calls…but not twelve.
Don't ask your mother why her face is creased, or why her belly looks like Play Doh, or why she has old-lady cold hands.
The Pre-Teen Years
CLEAN YOUR GROTESQUE ROOM. The more it smells like Lizard Gecko feces, the more days you will spend in solitary confinement. Just pick up your stinking underwear for God's sake. That goes for food products in your room, as well. An Oreo is a cookie when it's in the pantry but it's a breeding ground for various things on multiple legs when it's hidden under your bed with a coffee cup of curdled milk.
Don't jump up and down on your parent's bed when the ceiling fan is on. I mean … really?
Be sure you don't pocket-dial your mother when you're out carousing with the homies. The things she hears you say when you don't know she is listening are criminal and worth a spanking and a stint in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.
I know you will start to pull-away from the woman who almost died giving birth to you during these years and I advise against it. If your mother wants a hug, you better hug the needy broad. And if she wants a kiss, don't offer the top of your head. There may be lice in there and she wants a kiss, not a mouthful of hair.
The Teenage Years… Prime Dead Man Walking Days
Do not take the only phone charger your mother owns and leave it at your friend's house for a week. This is rational grounds for losing your own phone forever, or seven days, which in your mind is forever.
If you're a wrestler and don't wear your headgear ALL THE TIME or you will get a fascinating disorder called Cauliflower Ear. Google it. It looks more like mashed potatoes, but whatever vegetable it is, it will turn everyone's stomach. Chicks hate it. And, if you're stupid enough to never wear your headgear and you wake up one day with an ear the size of a Kaiser roll, here is what NOT to do:
Do not go into your neighborhood pharmacy and ask for syringes, like a common heroin addict. (With a buzz cut and a snappy Ralph Lauren Cardigan…but still…) If you should obtain syringes, do not depend on your 17-year-old friend to snap on plastic gloves, tune into a You Tube Video for a tutorial on draining procedures and plunge the syringe into the turnip in order to aspirate. Not once, not twice, but three times. Your friend is a phenomenal wrestler, but a sucky doctor. Did I mention chicks hate cauliflower ear?
When you're 17 years-old and your very generous curfew is not satisfactory when measured against the curfews of friends or enemies, do not decide to beat the parental system. Coming home in time for curfew, pretending to go to sleep, sneaking back out of the house again and then falling asleep and never coming home is: A. Very. Very. Bad. Idea.
The police think so too. Boob.
Kids, here's hoping you take my pearls of wisdom and not repeat my own children's idiotic mistakes.
Some of your stupidity is preventable … most is not. It's just how boys are wired. Most boys. And men too, actually. You're all screwed.
Remember that your random acts of foolishness cause your mother's frown line to deepen and her already unpredictable mood swings to tip the barometer toward the direction of kill.
Have a heart…think before you act.
Well, at least watch your head. That ceiling fan causes a lot of cranial damage. Like, a lot.
Maria Heck frequently dispenses such motherly advice in her column which appears in this space every other week.