DON’T SWIM IN THE GULF WATER! That’s what the experts say. Also: wear enough sunscreen so that you look like a marshmallow. And since we’re on the subject, don’t eat sugar. Or flour. Or gluten. Or breathe too deeply while in the upright position.
Kids, don’t go barefoot. Don’t climb trees, or play with bee-bee guns, or eat undercooked hamburgers—which will kill you. Don’t play Red Rover, you could break an arm. Don’t play baseball, unless you want a concussion. Don’t play tackle football. Don’t fistfight, you’ll go to jail. Don’t eat too much birthday cake, and don’t you dare ask for more ice cream.
You’ll get diabetes.
Don’t watch Westerns—too violent. Don’t play with cap-guns. Never use the term, “Indians,” that’s offensive. Say instead, Native Americans. Don’t swing from the monkey bars, don’t use tire swings, don’t cuss. Just sit Native-American style on the floor and watch the Atlanta Braves take a whooping from the Cleveland Native Americans.
Don’t pee outside, ride bikes without helmets, or walk to school. In fact, don’t WALK anywhere.
Don’t drink anything stronger than apple juice, don’t stay up past nine. Don’t laugh at dirty jokes. And for God’s sake, don’t memorize any. If, by accident, you happen to remember one, and later retell it…
Have fun in Hell, kid.
Don’t, under any circumstances, talk about God in public—this makes people think you’re a religious nut. Besides, nobody cares what you believe. All that matters is what people on television believe. Similarly, don’t talk about politics—unless, of course, your party is the correct one.
Don’t bring your dog to shindigs. Don’t cut your grass too short. Don’t stare at the sun. Don’t use bleach. Don’t use the word, “y’all,” “ain’t,” or, “reckon,” people might think you’re a redneck.
Don’t hold doors open for girls, don’t offer to pay restaurant tabs, don’t call women, “ma’am.” This is sexist.
Don’t talk about things like Muslims, Mexicans, guns, gays, lesbians, presidents, or terrorism—like I just did. Don’t try to comprehend anyone else’s point of view. Just hate them. Tuck yourself in a corner and scoff at things you don’t understand. Watch the angry talking-heads on television tell you how afraid you’re supposed to be.
Don’t apologize, even when you’re wrong. Don’t cry in front of others. Don’t tell people how much you love them.
You don’t want anyone mistaking you for a pushover. Be aggressive, overly cautious, and too afraid to have fun.
And, please, whatever you do…
DON’T SWIM IN THE GULF WATER!