Hindsight

The following is a set of questions, ones that I would often pester my parents with when I was younger. This is how I would have responded to these questions, if asked them today.

I. MONEY

Why do we put money into the bank?

We can’t trust ourselves. And those large multinational corporations need to borrow their resources for ravaging the environment/civilized society have to come from somewhere. But mostly, we can’t trust ourselves. It’s safer there.

Why are we driving, not flying to Utah for the family reunion?

Now I’ve told you because it’s more fun, but that’s a lie. We’re too poor to fly. And we want to take you away from your friends for as long as possible.

Why do credit cards work?

So they can take your money before you have it.

Why do you balance your checkbook before you get out of line?

Because only poor people balance their checkbook. I mean smart people.

Can I have that?

Yes, anything you want. (This is also why we are poor.)

II. ANATOMY

What is inside my body?

Disappointment.

Why is my skin this color?

Because my skin is that color. And because I love you.

Can I have another glass milk?

No, you’ve had like eight glasses in a row, it’s starting to creep me out.

Can I see Judge Dredd?

You’d be disappointed, so no. Let’s harbor that illusion that it’s a great film. And it’s rated R, so no.

Aunt Lois, can I have that Korn cd?

No, it’s terrible music. Buy anything else. Anything. (I wonder sometimes what kind of person I would have turned out to be if Lois allowed me to buy Follow the Leader. I shudder.)

Can we ride in a hot-air balloon?

Yes, whenever you want.

III. TOOLS

What does that tool do?

Get out of the way, you’re in my light.

How is a house built?

Uhhh….lots of wood and glass. And a concrete foundation. There’s some carpet in there too. And a television.

Can we have a pet bear?

No. Because even if you buy it when it is a cub, and raise it, and it loves you everyday, and you think it is your best friend, it’ll grow into an adult bear. And then one day, you won’t be his best friend. Then he’ll claw your face off, and you’re dead. I know this. Because it happened to my friend. (This is what my father would tell me when I asked for a bear. Seriously.)

Did Eddie Murphy used to be funny?

If by funny you mean overrated, then yes.

Is god real?

IF YOU ARE!

 

IV. SCHOOL

Why do I have to go to school?

The state makes you go, so when you enter adult society, you aren’t a complete idiot. That and so you aren’t sitting around the house all day while I am trying to sit around the house all day, in private.

Why do I have to do well in school?

Here’s how the public school system works: If you excel in the public school system you will be rewarded with more opportunities and privileges to help you excel in the university system, and once you excel there you can excel in whichever system you choose to enter after, be it business, medicine, law or vampirism. If you can do it the first time, you can do it the rest of your life. The reward for this monotonous thinking? Money!  Yes, son, you’ll make a shit-ton of money in the hypothetical future. Yes, that green stuff in my wallet, and that big number on those receipts my wallet is filled with. That can all be yours, unless you die in a tragic accident before that. But with money you can buy larger and more extravagant stuff than regular old poor people and generally be considered a bigger success. And the bigger the success you are, the better the person you are. It’s known as Worthington’s Law. Never heard of it?

You can excel in every system by following the same ways to succeed in high school. 

1) Don’t backtalk.

2) If they’re older than you, then they’re worth your admiration and respect. Bend over backwards to learn from this person and/or let them torture you. Never call them by their first name. (This is why frats/businessmen refer to their esteemed elders by their last names/nicknames. First names are disrespectful to teachers.)

3) If you don’t think you can do it by your own means, cheat.

4) Don’t stand out until right before your imminent, albeit fleeting, victory. Then reap all the praise.

5) Participate in extracurricular activities.

6) Don’t backtalk.

7) Neglect development of critical reasoning skills and refine your ability to excel at standardized methods of tests.

So shut up and do your homework and get ready for that WASL. Unless you want to be an artist/poor.

Do grades matter?

Yes, unless you intend on getting high and playing video-games for the rest of your life. Grades mostly sort out the cattle without having to examine the goods too closely.

Why do we study history? It already happened.

So you don’t make the same mistakes they did. Like communism. (What my parent’s actually said.)

Why can’t I use the computers in the classroom?

Because they’re made out of cardboard and taffy. And you could break it.

Can you help me with my homework?

Just let me do it for you. You could screw it up.

Why did I see my two girl teachers kissing?

Because they’re free now.

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