Silver Alert: Retirement, golf, and herpes…the truth about The Villages

0
Slide1This week my daughter informed me that I am old. It seems that anyone over the age of 25 is a geezer in the eyes of a 9-year-old girl. Being diagnosed as newly geriatric, I ran out and bought some vaginal lubricant, booked an Alaskan cruise, then decided that I probably need to start planning for my future. Retirement is only a broken hip away and I have yet to invest in a medic alert bracelet or moth balls. When I finally do make that spectacular fall in the Wal-Mart dairy isle, I want to be sure that my pelvis will be prepared to retire in style. I want to be where Medicare and senior discounts run rampant, and the elderly have one final chance to sow that last remaining, wheezing, arthritic wild oat. I’ve heard of a place where old people can limp freely, dig for spare change no matter who stands in line behind them, and Depends undergarments are available in a variety of fashion colors. This place is known as The Villages. It’s located here in Florida and it makes a Sigma Theta Pi fraternity house look like a daycare. Here the classic concept of a wet t-shirt contest takes on a whole new meaning, mostly because the hose must be pointed at a 90 degree angle south.This place has many rumors surrounding its history and only cantankerous shuffle board players truly know the truth. But today, in honor of my newly found geriatric status, I will dedicate this blog to exploring some of these rumors. Together we will delve into my version of the truth about this place. I have no facts to support these claims, but does anyone really care about facts? No. The truth is stupid, unfun, and smells bad. For instance, my life was perfect until the day that I discovered Cinnabon cinnamon rolls have 1400 calories and 75 fat grams per serving. That day ruined my life. So now I make my own truth. For example, elephants do not fear having their tusks ground into aphrodisiac powder, children slaving in foreign sweatshops are given at least 15 minute lunch breaks daily, and aspartame is now part of the food pyramid. Today grab some tennis balls, lock ‘em onto the walker, put on the superfluously gigantic sunglasses, and knock over a small child with your cane, because we are going to where handicapped parking is more common than herpes on a meth whore. Here are the top Villages rumors for your review, enjoy.

 

  • Golf carts replace electric scooters, and legs, as the main means of transportation. True. It is imperative that a Villager owns not only a golf cart, but it must be sick and a completely pimped out whip. Perhaps a Mercedes or BMW. If you cannot afford one, there is a weekly golf cart drag race for pink slips.
  • There is an entire college for bored, old people. True. The courses include knitting, pet care, and pole dancing. An EKG and a waiver are required before entry.
  • You will never be lonely. True. Even if all of your friends die, you can just enroll in the senior enrichment course entitled “Séance With Friends.” That way you can reunite with all of your dead friends by candle light every Friday, its BYOB and no Vapo-rub allowed. The spirits with asthma complain.
  • The Villages have the highest STD rate in the country. True. It’s well known that swapping partners, one night stands, and rendezvous are commonplace here. If a woman wears gold shoes that means she is available for sex, but not guaranteed to be herpes free. Key parties are also relatively common, but golf cart keys and Viagra fill the swap bowls. No nitroglycerin is allowed at these events as this ensures the paramedics will probably only have to come once instead of making multiple trips.
  • Old people are encouraged to take an active role in their community. True. One day a golf cart overpass was blocked by a newly built wall the city had put up temporarily during construction. The outrage against this wall was so severe that several old men and women were caught vandalizing and tagging the wall with spray paint and gang signs. They organized, and a crazed gang of geriatric rioters started to tear down the wall with their walkers and bare hands. Don’t try to obstruct the golf way, the consequences are dire.
  • You have to be rich to live here. False. There are weekly committee meetings that are held to update the community roster and talk about Merle’s gout. Anyone who dies is taken off the roster, and hospitalized or incapacitated residents are placed on the “injured roster.” This allows the vultures ample time to start lining up for all of the sick persons worldly belongings. Homes, golf carts, cars, and porcelain teddy bears can be bought for unbelievable prices, making The Villages lifestyle completely affordable for anyone on a fixed income.

I imagine the list could go on, but my arthritis is flaring up and its time to go take my Metamucil. Once you read this, be sure to delete any evidence of the article from your computer as The Villages Mafia has a reputation for being quite malicious. The mafia called a Silver Alert on the last person that exposed their secrets. He couldn’t drive or take walks anymore because every time he was seen out in public, people assumed his Alzheimer’s was out of control and would call 911 to report him for wandering. You’ve been warned. Now get out there and eat because the early bird buffet specials end at 4pm.

 

How To Avoid Being Stabbed In The Face: Expert Advice from a Neighborhood Watch Captain

0

Neighborhood watch FB picOver the last several months my neighborhood has been victim to numerous criminal incidents. Several Disney Princess lawn decorations were vandalized, a cell phone was stolen at the community park, and a group of teenagers decided to pee in the bushes and subsequently freaked out a bunch of soccer moms. Living in suburbia, we have the expectation that nothing criminal should ever happen here, especially since we have a homeowners association with rules and stuff. Why could this possibly be happening?  I just no longer feel safe walking my Shih-Tzu or lounging by the community pool. Scott and I knew we had to take action, so we started a Neighborhood Watch Program. It’s been two weeks and we have yet to catch the Little Mermaid vandals, or retrieve the cell phone, but we are working hard to persevere through these difficult times.

Then yesterday, I was watching the news and apparently a man across town had been stabbed in the face. I started thinking about being stabbed in the face; that would suck. I have to be completely honestly for a moment, I am always grateful for not being stabbed in the face. Maybe I should just let the violation of Princess Ariel go, after all I wasn’t stabbed in the face. Are my expectations too high? Should the acceptable standard of living be simply to not get stabbed in the face? I’m not sure, but this whole garbled mental conversation with myself made me realize, that while I work in a pretty dangerous field, I have managed to never get stabbed in the face. How is that possible? I believe it is because I have a basic understanding of the average nut job who insists on causing society grief. You see, criminals are often patients in the emergency room and after you’ve taken care of one crazed freak who was Tazed in the nipples by the police, then you’ve taken care of them all, and you tend to learn a few things along the way. So today I will present a few concepts that may or may not help you avoid being stabbed in the face.

  1. Realize that appearance means nothing. Everyone and anyone can be a criminal/pervert/freak. The seemingly normal guy in Ralph Lauren polo shirts who waves at you every morning from his driveway, is probably hiding a skin box in his closet or has a ring finger collection in his freezer.
  2. Understand that age does not matter. Criminals come in all shapes, sizes, and age groups. I took care of an elderly man, who was in his late 90’s. He had come to the ER wearing nothing but his undies. While I was working to get him settled, he pulled out a miniature gun from his underpants, pointed it at me, and threatened to blow my head off. This thing was approximately 3 inches long, max. I grabbed the “weapon” by my thumb and first finger and screamed, “Gimmee that thing! You’re gonna put an eye out.” I learned later that the gun is called a Derringer, and it’s actually capable of putting out more than an eye. The old codger was actually going to blow me away. Thankfully he had a wicked case of Parkinson’s so his arm was shaking like a vibrator. It also helped that he had the grip strength of a four-year old girl.
  3. Plan your escape ahead of time. If you are faced with a situation where you are grabbed or put in the position of being face to face with an attacker, the experts say that you should do something to repulse the person attacking you. They recommend that you make yourself vomit, pee on yourself, or poop your pants. If my husband is ever taken captive, he should have no problems defecating on demand, I however do not have the colonic skills to do this. So if you’re like me, it’s probably easier to poke them in the eye or squeeze a testicle until it explodes, I’m sure they would find either of these options repulsive.
  4. Always be cognizant of non-traditional weapons that can be used against you, and remove them. I made this mistake once, it has never happened again. For some reason, my problems are always with the elderly, but anyway, the guy was in his mid eighties and I had walked in to his room to listen to his heart and lungs. I bent over his stretcher when suddenly he grabbed my stethoscope that was hanging around my neck and strangled me with it. He pulled me in really, really close to his mouth and started screaming, “Gimmee a smooch!” All I could see was dentures and the smell of  Vick’s vapor rub nearly asphyxiated me.
  5. Always pay attention to your surroundings. Experts say that criminals prey on distracted people, so basically everyone who owns a cell phone. I wonder if the criminals are checking their Facebook status before they mug you. Anyway, stay alert and always expect the worst. A co-worker of mine didn’t follow this rule several years ago and ran into a dark room when she heard someone screaming. She didn’t’ bother to assess the scene and determine if it was safe, she just ran in. When she made it through the doorway she was knocked unconscious by a patient who had filled a sock full of rocks. He had just ripped out his roommates trachea and then whacked her in the head so he could make his escape.
  6. Don’t trust anyone. I know this sounds cynical but one time I had taken care of a woman who had two broken wrists. She sustained these injuries after trying to strangle her 90-year-old husband. She told me she had been trying to kill him for years because she was tired of him demanding homemade biscuits. I think it would have been easier to just lose the recipe. I also took care of a woman who would come to the ER every few weeks complaining of belly pain. She underwent hundreds of tests over a years time, but we could never find anything wrong with her. One night the ER doctor ended up committing her to the psych ward because we all just assumed she had to be crazy. A few months later we found out that she had actually been poisoned slowly by her husband. He had been trying to kill her because he had won a small fortune from a scratch off lotto ticket and didn’t want to share ,so he started adding rat poison to her drinks. Mystery solved.
  7. Criminals are completely unpredictable and are basically a big, fat, bunch of liars. They’re a lot like politicians, only they wear a lot more orange. Do not believe the 700 pound woman rolling on the floor with chest pain after being caught writing bad checks at Wal-Mart, she is lying. Do not believe the 155 pound man who is “unconscious” after being caught robbing a 7-11. Just throw around the words “penis and catheter” and he will magically awaken. He’s a liar too. Do not believe the man who says he fell on the bag of cocaine that is now lodged in his rectum, Ziploc bags do not have an osmotic pull capable of yanking them through blue jeans.

Well, there you have it, apparently these concepts are the reason I have survived 20 years in America’s emergency rooms suffering from nothing more than an occasional weird rash. I’m sure there is more to it than this, but I have to pee and then plan my next Neighborhood Watch meeting, so I’m cutting it short. Have a safe April and try not to get stabbed in the face.

The Humans of Facebook

2

A few months ago, I wrote about a former patient that I had taken care of while working in Detroit. He was a foul-mouthed gang member who spent hours screaming obscenities throughout the ER. At one point during the evening he started hollering about disrespect and flipping gang signs. I looked around and realized what he was screaming about. I leaned down and whispered, “That’s not a rival gang member you idiot, he’s an interpreter for the deaf.” A friend of mine had read the post and told me that she couldn’t believe people could actually be that ahem…dumb. She proceeded to explain her beliefs regarding today’s society and the dumbing down of people everywhere. She blames technology. I disagree. This event actually happened before the advent of cell phones, internet, and texting, and the only proof that it actually happened is my recall of the event. He was not very intelligent, this is true, but it was definitely not caused by technology, probably just bad genetics. Personally, I believe people have always been kooky and a little foolish, but now we have all of this technology that records our stupidity and affixes it permanently into cyberspace. I guess Facebook is sort of like our society’s hieroglyphics: a historical record of everything absurd thing we do for future generations to laugh at. I bet in a thousand years they will look at us and wonder why we were so obsessed with taking self-portraits. I wonder what an Egyptian hieroglyphic selfie would look like. Anyway, in honor of all that is idiotic, and our narcissistic need to plaster it all over the internet, I now present “The Humans of Facebook.” God help us.

Narcissism Captured:
“I don’t care what you think unless it is about me.”- Kurt Cobain

Facebook stupid post 2

Fb2

Think like a firefighter: Secure the scene before you put yourself in it!!!

“I try to give people a different way of looking at their surroundings. That’s art to me.”- Maya Lin

Selfie poo

FB3

Paying it forward via the Mountain Dew Facebook Fan Page:
“We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.” -Unknown

FB4

Is there a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow flag?
“I support gay marriage. I believe they have the right to be as miserable as the rest of us.” -Kinky Friedman

FB1

Are you absolutely sure we are at the top of the food chain?

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”- Albert Einstein

FB7

FB6

FB5

FB9

FB8

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into The Humans of Facebook. It seemed like an appropriate post for April Fool’s Day.
***Update and suggestion: Click on the actual pictures to see them better especially if you’re not able to read the microprint:) Also….pay close attention to the selfies in the narcissistic section…see if you can spot the problem:) Leave a comment if you figure it out!!!

Five Coping Skills To Deal With An Annoying Person: Don’t get your hopes up they probably don’t work

0

Over the last year, I’ve had to deal with a psychotic freak who has decided to jam herself into my life. She’s like a case of explosive diarrhea after bad sushi, unrelenting and causing me serious rectal pain. It seems she derives some sort of sick, twisted, pleasure out of tormenting me for no apparent reason. In fact, I think a raging vaginal yeast infection, with open, oozing, sores would be less annoying than this person. So in honor of the unwanted parasite, and my lack of coping skills, I have decided to explore several new ideas and concepts to help me deal psychologically. Today I will share those with you, so that other people can learn to cope too. I don’t believe that any of these will actually work, but I will walk you through them anyway. Here we go: Five ways to cope with stress caused by a stalker/freak. Get out the incense, light a candle, and breathe from the diaphragm, not the contraceptive one…enjoy.

  • Bath Salts: These have been highly recommended by several of my holistic, all natural, flower snorting friends that lean way too far to the left, but the instructions are not clear. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to soak in them or snort them.
  • Acupuncture: The releasing of stress using the ancient Chinese art of pressure points. This method may work, as long as I can relieve my stress using the pressure points on someone else’s face.
  • Overeating sugar, bad carbs, and chocolate: I love junk food, especially when paired with a 44 ounce glass of Diet Coke. Over indulging in candy always reminds me of that movie “Charley and the Chocolate Factory” with the bratty girl who swelled up like a gigantic blueberry after eating blueberry candy. I guess it was anaphylaxis and apparently it was before the advent of the Epi-pen. If that movie were made today, they’d probably use peanuts. I heard they kill 100 people a year, impressive.
  • Voodoo: I love the idea of sticking pins in a voodoo doll’s face to have vengeance on my tormentor. I’m just lacking the appropriate supplies. First, I don’t have access to a Voodoo priestess. Second, my local grocery store doesn’t sell chicken’s blood. And third, I don’t have a Voodoo doll.  The best I can do is Paul Newman’s Italian dressing, organic parsley, and a Cabbage Patch.
  • Prayer: I actually do practice this one. I find myself praying for peace, prosperity, and a plague of gigantic, flying, locusts to descend on her house and devour her hair and peel off her skin. Logically I know that God is not going to smite this person on my behalf, but like a small child nagging for a cookie, there’s always a glimmer of hope that He will at least give her a disfiguring rash. Leprosy would be good.

So there you have it, sure-fire ways to unload stress and find your chi. These haven’t actually worked for me yet, and there is no scientific evidence to back their efficacy. But for now, I’m still hoping a house falls out of the sky and lands on my stalker, or a rabid elephant stampedes down the street and shoots peanuts at her face. All because I find it extremely therapeutic imagining ways to rid her from my life. I’m thinking of writing a self-help book about my experience, I’m sure it will be a New York Times Best Seller, or at least maybe it will make it on the clearance rack.

Global Warming Helped My Arthritis: Five Subjects To Complain About

0

Transfat blogThe other day I was held hostage by a random stranger who had cornered me into listening to his political rantings. I listened politely for about thirty minutes as he rambled incessantly about Obama and the government. Trying to pull me into his debate, he asked me if I felt Florence Nightingale would be disappointed by the state of healthcare, if she were alive today. I responded with, “The singer? Probably not. All of those Hollywood people lean way to the left.” He seemed confused. To put it plainly, I’m just not that politically deep.  I’m a huge fan of aspartame, I don’t care if deoxyhydrogenase is in my kids Cheerios, I feel that losing part of the ozone has helped my tan, and I don’t really see a need to make aluminum foil helmets to keep the government out of my brain. So today in honor of people who insist on asking me weird political questions, I decided to review some controversial topics, or at least a few topics that annoy me, enjoy.

Breast feeding:

Four years ago I spent eight hours turning my lady parts into a fetal obstacle course to give birth to an eight pound boulder. I was exhausted, so maybe I was dreaming when I met the hospital’s lactation expert for the first time. I swear she descended out of the sky like Glenda the Good Witch declaring the magical power of the breast. She had an angelic choir singing in the background, when suddenly the door to my hospital room flung open, and I was surrounded by the breast-feeding SWAT team. They proceeded to assault me with lactation propaganda and terminology, using words like colostrum and engorgement. Normally I would find these words pretty funny, sort of like kumquat, but at that particular moment I wasn’t really in the mood to laugh at the nipple mafia. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t slept in hours, or maybe it was simply because I felt like someone had detonated a grenade in my pants. Either way, I wasn’t thrilled about being dragged into lactation boot camp. Somehow amongst the chaos I managed scream out that I had absolutely no intent to breastfeed. There was a collective gasp, and panic ensued as they tripped over themselves frantically trying to shut the door to my room. They were struggling desperately to silence me so the other new moms on the ward wouldn’t be poisoned by my disdain for swollen, leaky boobs. Like a Mormon bicycle gang, they persisted in their mission to convert me from the bottle, but I stood my ground. My position on breastfeeding: not every woman wants to have two huge, leaking, watermelons, jammed inside an ugly, spandex bra with nipple flaps. That’s why God made Similac.

Gender Equality:

Equality sounds great in theory, and I’m all for it, but only to a certain point. For instance, if my house is burning to the ground, and I have my choice of a 200 pound, physically fit, fireman who can carry me down a flight of stairs to safety versus a 120 pound, flat-chested female that has to drag me down the stairs by my feet, smacking my head on every step on the way down, just take a wild stab at who I am going to choose. Other than that scenario, women and men are equal in every way, except for the mood swings, menstrual cramps, facial hair, breasts, testicles, and vaginas.

Facebook:

There is a group of people who I have named, “The Chronically Ill Facebookers.” Every phlegm ball, vaginal itch, and freaky rash is recorded on the news feed in excruciatingly, nauseating detail.  They develop a sore throat and immediately recruit a family member to contact The Make A Wish Foundation on their behalf. If Facebook could give rectal exams, then I could see this as a crucial place to post your entire medical history, but just to clarify, the like button is a thumbs up, not an index finger.

On another Facebook note, I do not care if someone has decided to eat steroids for breakfast, wear leopard print spandex, and post a gazillion selfies of themselves in the gym club mirror. Fiber bars and “chocolate” protein drinks may help you stay regular, but they taste like a cardboard box covered in mulch.  Bad carbs are what makes America great. Who would we be as a nation without Doritos, triple bacon cheeseburgers, and McDonald’s French fries? Okay, we’d be skinny, but that’s not the point. I was in the gym recently and a woman collapsed on the floor having a diabetic emergency. When I went to help her, I asked the crowd gathered around us to please have someone bring me some sugar. Everyone stared at me as if I had asked them to slaughter a goat and sacrifice its heart to Beelzebub. No one knew what to do. I literally had to scream at out, “Listen people, someone go find me a bad carb. It’s called Mountain Dew or Snickers!” I am completely opposed to any Facebook post related to someone’s pectorals, bulging veins in the neck, anything related to “eating clean”, and any post referring to “leg day.”

The Environment and Big Pharmacy:

There is a group of people out there who believe that anything that was not squeezed out of a body orifice or derived from hemp, is evil and comes straight from the devil’s rectum. They will ride an environmentally friendly scooter, 45.6 miles to the nearest organic propaganda store to ensure that not one preservative dare touch the skin under their armpits. They would prefer to carry body odor around like a Boy Scout badge, while protesting the government, pharmaceutical companies, and vaccines. They like to wear handmade sundresses recycled from disposable baby diapers, make their own tampons, and compost their poo. I’m sure there are some out there that not only hug trees, but are currently involved in a completely inappropriate, triple X relationship with some of them.  Lastly, these people have absolutely no sense of humor because when they tell me that I should stay away from GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms), and I respond with, “Oh, you mean the people at Wal-Mart?” They refuse to laugh.

The Death Penalty:

Absolutely.

There you go, I have exposed myself and all of the deep, inner workings of my brain. I’m sure you found it fascinating, as well as informative, and plan to spend the rest of your evening reliving the experience. I hope you had a magical President’s Day this month and are prepared to vote again in the next few years, not that I actually care. Just remember to keep your “I voted” sticker out of my face.

Understanding Women: A Quick Reference Guide For The Confused Man

0

xy for blog

I was forced into a very long and boring conversation with a complete stranger last night who decided that I was going to be his personal marriage therapist. I’m not sure why he felt that I was qualified for this uninvited and unwelcome task, but for whatever reason I was the chosen one, maybe because I couldn’t back out of the room fast enough to escape it. After listening to this guy blather on for an hour about his marital issues and flaccid penis, I started to develop a twitch in my left eye, then decided that I was hungry, and ultimately came to the conclusion that men are complete idiots when it comes to relationships. So today I have written an easy to follow guide for men that can be printed, folded up, and crammed in your wallet for easy reference. Sit down, pull your hand out of your pants, grab a beer, and keep reading because it may save your life one day, or at the very least, get you some action later tonight.

  • When a woman tells you that someone has wronged her in some way, a best friend betrayed her, someone cut her off in traffic, or anything that resembles these themes:
  1. Incorrect response: “Move your head baby, the game is on.”
  2. Correct response: “She is wrong and deserves a stake through the heart. May the gates of hell open and swallow her whole. May God plague her family with open, oozing sores! I will run out, buy a Voodoo doll , and we can stick pins in it’s face all night long while we drink margaritas and laugh hysterically at her pain.
  • When a woman asks you if she is fat:
  1. Incorrect response: “Maybe you shouldn’t wear Spandex.”
  2. Correct response: “You are a heavenly goddess. You make all women look like buck toothed farm animals with bad breath. You make Kate Upton look like a donkey pulling a Mexican burrito cart.”
  • My best friend just got flowers at work, how come you never buy me stuff?
  1. Incorrect answer: “Are you on your period?”
  2. Correct answer: Pull out the wallet and spend money: Flowers, jewelry, a puppy, a stripper gram, a new car, a new house, and pretty much anything that she can brag about. It is essential that she can ensure all other women in her life will feel more worthless than Mariah Carey’s personal assistant or an ugly mail order bride from Russia.
  • When a woman is comparing herself to beautiful women in magazines:
  1. Incorrect response:  An obvious erection.
  2. Correct response: “What woman? That’s a chick? Obviously that he-she has fake boobs and they’re crooked! I bet her nipples are sewn on backwards. I think her plastic surgeon should have his medical license taken for making her look like Jack Nicholson taking a crap. Sports Illustrated sales will plummet this year because the photographer is obviously gay. He essentially put a teenage boy with breasts on the front cover. It’s an atrocity.”
  • When a woman is pregnant and asks if this baby makes her look fat:
  1. Incorrect answer: “That’s a baby? I thought you just failed the Weight Watchers thing.”
  2. Correct answer: Pretty much anything but the line above. You may want to refer to number 2 again for the correct response.

There you have it, a quick reference guide for men everywhere. Also know that these answers can be used in almost any context for any question posed, they’re universal and completely interchangeable. We women appear to be very complicated creatures, but in reality we are very simple. We only require a few things: to be the sexiest, hottest, most desirable, spoiled rotten thing in your life so we can make our friends jealous by shoving it down their throat. It’s that easy. Now get out there, buy some crap, grab us by the hair, and lie through your teeth by telling us our Victoria Secret sweat pants and old t-shirts turn you on. After all, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I’m sure you’re going to need the practice.

Is Santa Real? No, But He Is Morbidly Obese: 5 Things I Want To Teach My Kids In This Life

0

January has arrived. ‘Tis the season for unrealistic resolutions, an expensive new gym membership, and post-traumatic holiday stress disorder.  As we anxiously await the influx of credit card bills from December, let us reflect upon the holiday season and rejoice that it’s finally over, at least for another eleven months. No more Christmas blow out sales, post-holiday dinner reflux, and no more children’s holiday programs. I love my kids, but having my brains ripped out during a zombie apocalypse would be less traumatic than attending one of these events.

This year my daughter’s fourth grade Christmas program was held at a local Barnes and Nobles cafe. The evening quickly escalated into a parental mosh pit of crazed suburbanites trampling each other to get a snapshot of their kid singing Rudolph. I spent the entire night wading through a mass of fanatical parents who were sucking down Mocha Frappuccinos as their tone-deaf kids banged on tambourines. Let me put this night in perspective for you. When I was 19, I went to a Metallica and Megadeath concert. It was a menagerie of drunken, sweaty, hairy, twenty-something year old men, violently thrashing around to heavy metal music, stage diving, and getting in to bloody fistfights. That concert was a thousand times more sedate than this Christmas program. In fact, this children’s event made the Metallica concert look like the Nutcracker Ballet. Twenty minutes in to the show, I witnessed an old lady take an elbow to the head as a demented soccer mom shoved the old lady’s wheelchair three feet and then flattened several people, just to get a picture of her kid singing Feliz Navidad.  After two hours of pushing and shoving through the chaos, the show finally ended and there was a mass exodus of people cramming themselves through the door at the exact same time.  As I watched the crowd dissipate, I thought about all the rude and deplorable behavior that I encountered that night. Afterwards, I decided that I do not want my kids to grow up acting like these nut jobs. So today, I will share with you five things I want my kids to learn in this life. Ann Landers would be so proud.

Be honest:

When my daughter was five, she went to her great grandmother’s ninety second birthday party. Her grandma blew out the candles on the cake and then announced to everyone that she was really happy to be 92 years old. Kaiya gasped when she heard her age, looked her grandma in the eyes and politely asked, “Shouldn’t you be dead by now?”

Be generous:

When Kaiya was seven she approached me and said, “Mommy, I want to start an online program for sick kids so people can give us money to help them.” I was so proud and praised her for how thoughtful she was. Suddenly, she stopped me mid-praise and said, “When we get to a million dollars we can shut down the website and keep the money for ourselves. Mommy we can buy a mansion!” I need a bumper sticker that says, “Proud mom of a white-collar criminal.”

Know how to recognize real danger and get out of its way:

About three years ago, there was an attempted abduction of a seven-year old girl at a Wal-Mart. The crime made national news because it was caught on the video surveillance in the store. The video was really amazing because it showed how the little girl escaped her would be kidnapper by punching, kicking, and screaming to get away. The surveillance video was on YouTube, so I decided to show it to Kaiya in an effort to teach her about how to fight back if someone ever tried to kidnap her. We sat down and watched the entire video together and her eyes were wide, with what looked like fear. At the end of the video I asked, “So Kaiya, what did you learn from the video?” She grinned as she answered me, “Don’t shop at Wal-Mart.”

Don’t be a victim:

Kaiya was in preschool and was being bullied daily by a disgruntled four-year old boy. Several attempts were made to get the school to intervene without success. Frustrated, I finally told my daughter that she had the right to fight back and defend herself. The next day I went to pick her up and found her with the four-year old boy in a chokehold. After the squabble was broken up, the teacher looked at Kaiya and asked what she had to say for herself. I stood confidently beside her as she answered the teacher proudly, “I’m not a victim. I’m a survivor.”

Don’t be a slave to anything, especially fear.

One night my three-year old, Cheese (that’s his nickname), had a nightmare about Santa entering his bedroom during the night. I asked him what Santa did in the dream that scared him and he told me, “He said Ahhh-choo!” Basically Santa snuck in my kid’s room and sneezed on him. He was terrified of Santa for weeks until we told him that there is no such thing as Santa, he’s just pretend. He’s already started telling children everywhere not to worry about that fat, allergic freak who breaks into homes every Christmas, because he’s not real. I can’t think of a bumper sticker for this one yet.

So there it is, my exemplary parenting style with undeniable results. My kids are on the right track and I couldn’t be more proud. I’m thinking for next year’s Christmas program I might just have Cheese sing a song about Santa not being real while Kaiya collects money for the sick kids in a fireman’s boot. I wasn’t planning on teaching them to panhandle, but you can never go wrong with acquiring a skill in today’s job market.