Best Experienced With: Violent Femmes; Crazy
(please right click the link below to open the suggested music to this evening’s fake letter to a mythical hypothetical child in a new browser window. Yes, that is The Femmes covering Gnarls Barkley like Gnarls Barkley covered The Femmes. You are welcome!)
Dear Mythical, Hypothetical Offspring,
If you are reading this, it means you survived and I was able to stop the 2012 Mayan calendar disaster by filling the role of the character John Cusak played in the God awful action adventure flick of the same name. When President Obama called back in 2010 and told me I was the one man that could avert certain death and destruction when the Mayan calendar ended, I remember laughing and telling him that all calendars end………………..then they start again.
If you are alive and getting this letter from your mythical and hypothetical mother on your sixteenth birthday, I guess President Obama was correct. Apparently I single handedly stopped all those volcanoes and land slides and tidal waves and such. You can be proud of your old man as you roll through life. Moroever, your mythical hypothetical mother has at least a half dozen Nobel prizes so you can be proud of both of your mythical, hypothetical parents. Much like I was with my mother and father. Good for you!
The picture accompanying this letter is my favorite photo of us. Your mother took the photo below on a bright sunny Parisian day next to the Eiffel Tower. If you look closely, you can see the fire breathing unicorn that was terrorizing Paris for a month before we got there. I saved Paris from that fire breathing unicorn and they gave us free wine and all the cheese we could carry home with us. You and I also learned to say French stuff like “je ne sais quoi”, although I pronounced it far better than you did because I could actually speak.
You are not allowed to do anything permanent until you are 30 because the hockey stick part of the “time/volume” knowledge chart does not turn upwards until 30. No tattoos until you are 30. No babies until you are 30. No marriages until you are 30. No accepting The Popeship until you are 30. Pets are OK. Get yourself a dog if you have a yard and seven cats if you don’t have a yard. It’s the aggregate weight that counts when you are thinking about acquiring pets. No permanent things until you are 30, please.
On your 30th birthday, you are allowed to go on dates. Love and dating are mostly about timing and random luck. For example, my quest for a sushi dinner with Natalie Imbruglia never really got off the ground and in 2011 my attention turned to Taylor Dayne. Had Natalie and I randomly met somewhere, am certain that we would have had a great time hanging out, yet The Random did not feel like introducing us. Love is a lot of fun; just make sure you treat the highs and lows the same way. Love is very cool and I hope you find a ton of it.
And what of candy, my child? During childhood and young adulthood, the question of candy will invariably arise. Making candy choices is never easy, given the sheer volume of choices and the truth that the worst candy choice will always taste better than the world’s best brussel sprout. Make your own choices and take the following under advisement. Razzles: first they are a candy, then they are a gum. Little round Razzles are so much fun. The best Necco wafers are the orange ones. Pez, while fun, are somewhat dissatisfying. Pez are the ribs of the candy world: tons of work for very little reward. If it’s candy you desire, Pez is the wrong choice. Pez is more of a game than a candy, especially if you are able to do lots of voices and sounds and stuff like that Police Academy guy.
Religion is a choice and the best way to choose the correct one for you is to read up on all religions and visit the services. Find the right fit for your own ethical and moral compass. If you love trees, perhaps Druidism is the right fit. If you dig human sacrifice, maybe you’d be best suited as a Mesoamerican Aztec. If you are good with pedophiles being hidden and shuttled to different geographic locations, join my old friends of the Catholic church. What you choose is not as important as choosing the right fit for you. Your faith will be the certain je ne sais quoi allowing you to make the right decisions when life becomes silly or challenging. See? Told you we learned stuff on that Paris trip. Love and your faith are going to be your spotters: faith and love will catch you when you fall.
When you choose your college major, choose something that provides a broad foundation. The most nebulous of majors tend to provide the broadest base. For example, Philosophy would be ideal. Philosophy of Middle Eastern Cultures that Had at least Three Shorelines and Grew Olives would be far too specific. Get a broad base and add to that base as you get older with further one, two, or four year programs. Get the broad base from 18 to 22 and never stop building on that base. Reinvent yourself every ten years through higher education. Community colleges are ridiculously inexpensive and few avail themselves of the wealth of knowledge that can be purchased there for $100 a credit hour.
On that note, please commit yourself to a path of lifetime learning, even if it does not add to your paycheck. Learn something new each year, even if you are utterly awful at that thing. It’s the journey, not the destination, that counts. Read and write every day to keep your noggin evolving. One evening you may be watching one of the finest comedies ever, The Jerk, and you may need some help on a movie reference that has lost its context with time. Allow me to be of some assistance:
If your mother has not yet apologized to you for your physical appearance, allow me to apologize now. On my best days, I am a solid 6.8 and, always dating above my bar, your mother is a solid 9.723. How you turned out like that is truly a mystery and not worth worrying about. In the medical world, that’s known as Willis/Moore Syndrome and the textbooks have photos of the Willis/Moore children. Good looks are genetic and far less important than who you are, how you treat others, and what you add to the world.
Take care of yourself. Do not overeat or under eat. Take the entire course of an antibiotic, even when you start feeling better. If you sneeze and your snot is green, you have a virus. Antibiotics cannot kill viruses and antivirals only exist for The HIV. Go to bed and get better when your snot is green. Laugh as much as you possibly can each and every day. Make sure you floss every night and get yourself one of those electric toothbrushes that times the proper brushing time. For the love of God, do not bleach your teeth super white after 35 or you will look as silly as Matt Dillon’s character in Something About Mary. Allow yourself to look your age as you get older.
In that same vein, a quick exercise for you, little mythical hypothetical offspring. Count to thirty as fast as you can. Now, say the alphabet as fast as you can. Now, count to thirty as fast as you can, but say the alphabet after each number (e.g. 1, A, 2, B, etc). Now, do the alphabet and the numbers while juggling three random items that may be right there on your desk. That’s what texting while driving is like. Don’t text while you drive or you will get in a car crash and possibly get decapitated. Texting while driving is stupid and irresponsible: you are neither of these descriptive adjectives.
A few final thoughts. Never turn left across four lanes of traffic. Make each day count and feel free to stay in bed all day on days when that’s how you feel like making that day count. When you do get out of bed, make sure you are the candle that lights the darkness, not the voice that curses it. Karl Marx’s best quote is “history repeats itself twice…first as tragedy, then as farce”. It takes three licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop and never, ever, ever, ever start a land war in Southeast Asia.
Your Mythical, Hypothetical (Hero) Father…Mully
The Mind of Mully
My heroes had the heart
To lose their life out on a limb
All I can remember is thinking
I want to be like them
Colin Hay version of “Crazy” at the link below.