Ask Lex Aupulents, Bonded Etiquette Arbiter

Dear Lex,

I'm currently in the Boy Scouts, and I just hate it. The meetings are boring, the outings are boring and dangerous, and I always end up sleeping next to a fat kid with gland problems. The uniform I'm required to wear to school each week makes me the target of beatings, and my scout kerchief has been used to carry out painful binding rituals upon my person. Needless to say, I'd like to quit, but I fear this would devastate my parents, especially my dad. How can I get out without hurting their feelings and move on to another less beating-intensive organization?

Whupped

Dear Whupped,

While I have never been one to advocate violence—primarily for reasons pertaining to the care and maintenance of the cuticle—I must say I believe you deserve the pounding your chums have been handing out. The Boy Scouts are a vile organization started by Robert Baden-Powell, a ghastly man who made his name in the British army by forcing his men to eat their own horses. For this, he was made a general, one can only assume because to the British, raw equine innards seemed an exciting alternative to their usual fare of colon tartare.

Still, you were right not to mention your desire to your parents. That would not be sporting. And as it turns out, recent developments in the nation's capital will make it possible for you to accomplish your goal without appearing to precipitate the divorce.

Without getting into any of the dreary details, it has been decided that certain types of people cannot be scouts. Yet, it turns out, these types of people tend to make the absolute best scouts. Hopefully you can now see what your course of action should be. But, on the off chance that you attend public school, I will be explicit. If you want to get out of the scouts, you must become one of these types. To become one of these types, you must become a great scout. If you become a great scout, your superiors will suspect you are one of these types and press for disassociation.

Therefore, rather than attempting to push the scouts away, you must embrace the scouts. And by embrace, I mean you should take every single scout in your pod or sect and hold them in your arms. Lingeringly. Hard. Tight. Repeatedly. While you have them thusly, whisper, "Oh, yeah," or, "Momma like?" if you happen to be holding your scoutmaster.

Change your look. Ask your grandmother if she has any pictures of the Andrews Sisters performing during the war; tailor your uniform accordingly. Complain —frequently—that the uniform's bulky fabric makes your rear end look big. Begin making cutting comments about other scouts' appearances. Take an untidy chum to task for "looking like Bea Arthur without the facial hair."

At your weekly meetings, insist that after the Pledge of Allegiance everyone remain standing to recite "What I Did for Love." Pine often for the outings. Tell your adult leaders that you just can't wait for the day when you can be out. Use those words exactly. When you do go on outings, immediately insist on official Boy Scout games, especially Indian leg wrestling. This involves two young men lying next to each other while intertwining their bare thighs. Win or lose, ask your opponent if you were "any good" and "Will I see you again?"

When you've Indian leg wrestled with everyone, insist on duck fighting. This calls for two boys to throw themselves against each other while grasping their own ankles. This will get you arrested in certain areas of Boston, but it's an officially sanctioned Boy Scout game. Play this game with passion, great hot passion. Make sure everyone is aware that you enjoy this game. A lot. Really a lot. When you're not talking of outings, talk of grasping ankles. Say, "I will fall against any boy here, any time. Please, won't someone make me grasp my ankles?"

Most of all, make sure your enthusiasm for these outings is well-known. Express frustration that you cannot go into the woods more often. Let everyone know that if it were up to you, you'd spend the rest of your life going into the woods, accompanied by men you hardly know.

Then, Whupped, figure out what to do with all your free time.

 
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