Let’s face it: teenagers are frightening. They sleep till dark, wallow in filth, spend much of their time steeped in electronic violence and pornography, and the rest of their time getting high and squandering your money. They drive too fast, have irresponsible sex, take insanely dangerous risks, and scariest of all, are perversely adept at making us feel ancient.
If confronted by a teenager, try not to show your fear. Do not talk loudly in an artificially cheerful voice. Do not ask such inane questions as, “How’s school?” and “Where do you want to go to college?” Do not, for the love of God, attempt to “get down” with the teen by attempting to mimic adolescent slang or mannerisms.
Instead, back slowly away taking care to make no sudden noises. Open your wallet, and hand over two hundred thousand dollars to a college, any college, who will take the teen off your hands. With any luck, you’ll get your scary teenager back in four (or maybe five) years repackaged as an adult.
And to the teen readers of HNTAO (yes, incredibly enough, there are some): I’m watching you.