Because this is a Congregational church, meaning a church run by the congregation, the members are often called upon to speak during the service. Part of my strategy in becoming secretary was to avoid ever having to speak in church, but, apparently there are a lot of people like me who feel the same way. So whenever our committee chair asks who will get up during service and talk to the congregation about something, I keep my head down and type furiously, despite the fact that this question usually creates a sepulchral silence, and there really isn’t anything for me to type.
One of the jobs I have been avoiding for years now is giving the Word For All Ages. The WFAA is delivered to the younger members of our church during both services and is intended to amplify some of the key points of Christianity–easy, no-brainer stuff like Love Thy Neighbor and Obey Your Parents.
As I said, I am secretly lazy and selfish, which means that if someone asks me directly to do something, I can’t say no. My heart is screaming “Nooooooo, a thousand times no!!” but my mouth is saying, “I’d be charmed to give the Word For All Ages.”
And that is how it came to be that I found myself in charge of preparing and delivering the Word For All Ages.
I have had the entire summer to tie myself up in knots of anxiety and dread over this simple assignment that other people routinely pull off with style. For some reason, the notion of accidentally bumping the ornate and unstable baptismal and knocking it to the ground and then audibly cursing has featured prominently in my nightmares.
WORD FOR ALL AGES/October 21, 2012/by Mistress Pixel
Good Morning, how is everyone doing today?
Even though some of you are still a ways away from your junior and high school years, today I want to share with you some of Mistress Pixel’s tips and tricks for being a successful young adult. Everybody ready? Parents, this is for you too!
So the first thing I want to talk to you about is lying versus benevolent evasion. We all know lying isn’t nice, right? And a lot of times you are seriously tempted to lie when your folks ask you stuff. With benevolent evasion, you can still do what you want without lying to your mom or dad.
Instead of telling lies, which is wrong, simply don’t reveal anything about anything unless asked point blank, and then only reveal the most generic details about your activities. This gives your folks the feeling that they have been responsible parents, and allows you the opportunity to avoid upsetting them. Boys, this is something that comes naturally for you, but girls, you will have to work extra hard to keep your yaps shut.
The next thing I want to tell you about is peer pressure. Now we all know that parents think you would only drink alcohol if you were forced to at gun point. Understand that as parents, the idea that you might purposefully do shots is too painful for them to face up to, and so they have invented this concept of peer pressure to help them deal with the fact that you want to get fuck– , I mean intoxicated. We know you are going to drink, right? Well, my advise to you is stick with beer and avoid hard liquor. This way, you will be too full, and too busy making trips to the bathroom, to get really hammered and make bad decisions.
Verily I say unto you, Do Not Smoke Cigarettes. But pot is OK. In fact, I would say that if you are smart you skip the beer and instead, fill your red cup with seltzer and then have a hit or two of some nice mellow kush. That way you will be sober enough to care for your friend who did not follow Mistress Pixel’s 5 Steps To Better Partying and did too many shots and is now vomiting on some kid’s parents’ bed.
As long as we are in the subject of beds, I just want you to know—parents, listen up now—that you should always use protection. Mom and Dad, be sure condoms are easily available for your kids in the house. And kids, be sure to always have a few on hand. Check the expiration date before you use them!
Kids, always be polite and respectful to your parents. Come home promptly at curfew. Smile and occasionally thrill your parents by spontaneously sharing with them some small detail of your life that you know will make them happy. If you got an A on your lab report, let them know! They will bask in the glow of your success and the fact that you spoke to them without being prompted.
Be involved with something you are passionate about. Play music, or a sport, or join a club at school. Realize that fun can be had without partying.
By all that is holy, do not partake of anything in pill form unless it is Tylenol.
Work hard in school and stay out of Police Beat. If you are a smart and a talented student then you owe it to yourself and your folks to have excellent grades and be college bound. For those of you who struggle a bit in school, God loves those who always do their best, and your parents will too, so much so that they will be more likely to stay off your case about other stuff.
Good student or average student, it is not that hard to avoid encounters with the police if you just use your noggin. Boys, do not hotbox and then speed. Do not wear your hats backwards. Do not carry a bong in your car. Do not fight. Girls, do not get so drunk that you need medical attention. Do not fight.
If there is a chance that you might have had more that 2 drinks in the hour before you are called upon to drive a car, then I say unto you, call your folks and tell them you are sleeping over, or, ask them to pick you up. Do this for your friends as well.
Now, let’s say a little prayer.
Dear God, help me and my parents survive my teen years and help me to reach my full potential as I navigate high school. Let my parents dwell in ignorance as best they can while I experiment with everything that is terrifying to anyone with a fully developed frontal cortex. Amen.