These Are Your Twenties

I've been giving a lot of thought to what TheKidsshould be a-knowing these days, as they make the transition from apple-cheeked childhood to tax-paying, hovel-living, reality-show-auditioning sportfuckers. I've been giving this a lot of thought mostly because it's summertime and I don't want to actually do any work besides the work I'm doing on my tan, and this would be a nice way to eat up a column without, like TheOrangeCountyRegister's Mayrav Saar, opening it up to the "friends" I've slandered over the past year. I do have to say, though, that if I didopen this column to the friends I've slandered over the past year, it would be much more interesting than when the lovely Ms. Saar does so, but only because my friends are better than her friends in just about every particular: myfriends are tall and beautiful and frequently scream at strangers until the strangers cry, while herfriends are a bunch of XBox-playingdorks.

Which brings me to my first piece of advice.

LayofftheXBox.Dorks? Playing with X Box. You? Playing with girls.

Wearsunscreen.I'm just kidding! Don't wear sunscreen at all! Sunscreen is for pussies and those sad, pasty, bluish leprechaun folks with their freckles and their sparse red hair. If you're like me, of hardier, more peasanty, and Jewier stock, then by all means, get some pretty caramel color in you; it's the color of the future, you know (the frothing white separatists consider this a badthing), and it's not like you're going to have any boyfriends come winter, when you'll be that fetching shade of fish-belly white. Sweetheart, make hay while the sun still shines!

Besexy.This I'm not kidding about. You're really sexy now—you are!—and there's going to be a time through a lot of your 20s when you're most decidedly not.You'll be frumpy, you won't wash your hair, you'll be too poor for anything but ramen fixed in 27 different (and ingenious!) ways so you'll have shitty skin, and you'll probably have a serious relationship where you both get placid and fat and then one of you asks the other one of you if you're pregnant while you're minding your own business curled up naked on the futon—that's right, he will walk allthewayaroundthefutonlooking at you, and then he will ask you if you are pregnant!—and then that one of you who was just minding her own business naked on the futon will gently tell the other one of you that he's starting to get a soft, womanly ass on him, and then you'll start in with the fighting about money, and are you going to get married or not?, and you should probably wash your hair, by the way, and I'm sorry, but are razorstoo expensive to make the grocery list?, and then one or the other of you will leave whichever one's left, and you won't get sexy again until you're roughly 32 years of age, at which point you'll be smokingbecause you will have finally washed your hair and bought some high heels (and a razor). So be sexy. Life is happier, spicier and altogether less crazy-making when people want to do terrible, nasty things to you that can't be mentioned in mixed company. And don't be afraid to be nude while you're at it: If your new roommate busts you washing the dog in your back yard in nothing but your CookieMonsterunderpants, well, that's a new roommate who'll keep paying his rent, now isn't it?

Don't smoke.Even though it makes you look really cool and also sexy (see above). By the way, I learned this weekend at Mary Reilly's birthday party that kids in their 20s all smoke Parliaments, which they call "P-Funks," which is just wrong. I have actually smoked with P-Funk, which remains one of my crowning achievements of cool and I'll thank you not to minimize it. Also, I don't understand how Parliaments got to be the "in" smoke. It can't be another "appropriation of black culture" thing, because black people all smoke Kools, which are in no way appropriate for weak-lunged young white boys.

Bemoredrunk.This is the season for wine, roses and drunken friends (for the lit majors, that's OmarKhayyam;for the DianeLanemajors, that's Unfaithful). Also, being drunk helps you to be sexier (see above): you're much more likely to go sit in some strange, handsome man's lap if you're already wasted, and there's no happier place to waste the rest of your life.

Getarrested.Oh, not for anything cruel or sociopathic or brutish. Get arrested for something fun,like public lewdness or some clever bit of vandalism (the kind of vandalism that doesn't actually breakanything, but maybe sets it on fire). Everybody likes a good jail story! And nobody likes a prig!

Readanewspaper.My little brother Cakeyboymay not have a "job" or take more than "one class per semester" (for the past six years), but he came up with a new game where when you spot an out-of-state plate, you have to come up with that state's senator! It gets really exciting when you see NewMexicoand can shout, "PETE DOMENICI!" How come my little brother knows that Orrin Hatchis from Utahand Olympia Snoweis from Maine? Because in his many, many leisure hours, he reads the paper, and so despite all appearances he is not an idiot. Don't be an idiot—unless you're reallypretty, in which case come sit by me.

Don'tjointheArmy.See "don't be an idiot," above. You know why the Army has all those commercials now where the parents are all freaked out that their kid might join the Army, but then the kid explains he just wants to be an engineer, and the parents put aside their trepidation and come around? Because in this case, the parents are right, and you shouldn't join the fucking Army. You know what's worse than student loans? Having to pay $230 to enroll in the VA—and having to pay for your own meals in the VA hospital when they amputate your leg.

Youdon'treallyneedablog.They're way too much work—just ask state Senator John Campbell, whose stultifyingly dull blog caconfidential.comlasted all of 13 days before he came up with the "it would be inappropriate to blog during a campaign" excuse, which, coincidentally, was my excuse with myblog, Still, feel free to stop in and buy a tank top!

Tellyourparentseverything.Just remember: they're not the boss of you anymore! And if they are still the boss of you, move the fuck out! I don't care if you have to live with pimps and hookers in Stanton; poverty's just God's way of teaching you to be creative with your Asian noodle soups. If your parents are cool, they'll delight with you in all your new experiences. If they're not, all your new experiences will give them a stroke. Win-win-win, win-win!

Don'tbeaprince.If you grew up in these parts, chances are your parents raised you to be a young sahib. They taught you to win at all costs and to disregard the needs and rights of others. I know of one woman who was in a traffic collision in her SUV and ended up actually killingthe driver of the other car. She bought another SUV so she would be "safe." That woman is an asshole.

Be a person, not a Republican.



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