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Friday, February 22, 2013

"Dude Rules" - A Life Lesson

I was speaking with a friend today and the idea of "dude rules" came up in the conversation. Her son had a set of rules - a code to live by - which I thought was admirable, since he's only seven. I did not have a code until I hit my teens, and even then it was at best questionable and mostly based on one day getting laid. "What kind of rules?" I asked. "Don't yell across the house at your mother," she said. "That's a start...Your rules, or his?" I asked. "Open doors," she said. Hers, I thought. This made the rules slightly less admirable. The fact that he was willing to embrace the rules at all at his age was still rather remarkable - when I was seven, all I wanted to do was play with dirt and pee out of doors.

When I was a younger man and had yet to enter the caged octagon known as "Fatherhood", I imagined that all I ever really wanted in a child was someone I could cuff in the head when they were stupid and to teach how to master throwing and hitting a hanging curve ball. And to impart all my fatherly wisdom, especially when it came to things like common sense, etiquette and the delicate heart-shattering minefield known as "the fair sex". When I was in turn blessed with not one, but two lovely girls as my only offspring, I figured all the grand knowledge and man-wisdom that I had accrued over the decades would most likely go to waste, which was a grand tragedy, pure and simple.

Then, blogs came along.

I now have a way to share my wizened perspective with others and I try to do so at every opportunity. When I am not busy writing about Doomsday, the dangers of wildlife, the sea and circus clowns, or taking an introspective look at my digestive system and its seriously faulty wiring, I try to offer helpful tips and common sense strategies for maintaining a civil society. This includes being a decent human being and not a savage - which is more difficult than it sounds, apparently. I read every day about rape and murder and senseless assault in our own backyard and around the globe and I wonder what in the name of Jehoshaphat is going on here?

Then I realized: We have no distinct moral compass - no code. In a world that is now based on instant gratification and an obsession with worldly goods and money, there is seemingly no room for common sense and decency, nor the time to teach it. Kids are learning their grammar by texting, their manners from cartoons and their ambition from video games.

I began to think about rules and codes to live by and figured that I had ought to try to sit down and write a set - a sort of Constitution For Boys, to give a road map for behavior and perhaps provide some much-needed guidance for the wastrels that are growing up like stringy, half-witted weeds all around us. The youth of our nation weighs in the balance.
  • Keep your junk clean. Clean junk is the only kind to have - it makes you feel better, it doesn't itch as much and you never know when an emergency might come up and you might need it to save a life.
  • Put the lid down. This might not save a life, but it's just good form, like chewing with your mouth shut and taking your hat off at the dinner table.
  • Don't scratch your nuts in front of others. We're not animals, after all. Find a counter, or a couch to stand behind, then take care of the business. You'll look retarded, but you won't look like a savage.
  • Spit only outside. Unless there is a sink or garbage can close by, try to refrain. Same goes with covering a nostril and blowing snot out the other - you never know where it's going to go. Just do it outside.
  • Don't call women "bitches" or "ho's". Especially around women. Have a little respect.
  • Remember, your friends' nuts have feelings, too. That's right, calm the fuck down. Until you've been kicked there yourself, keep your Keds on the floor.
  • The Vagina is magic - treat it with reverence. But do not make eye contact.
  • Baseball is as fun as football, simply more subtle and less violent. Learn baseball and you learn life.
  • Don't fart when there are girls around - unless you are absolutely certain that it will be silent. Even then, make sure there is a dog handy to blame it on.
  • Breasts are fun - treat them with reverence. But again, don't look them in the eye.
  • Learn to palm a quarter - it will eventually get you laid. This is a throwback to my teenage code, but it has served me well, lo these many years.
I believe that this is enough for part one of this ongoing series. Stay tuned, learn and share. This knowledge is too valuable not to pass on.


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