“I weep for the future.”
~That like, assholish matre ’d in “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off”
Let’s take a moment to talk about the children. Most of our staff never really had what most people would consider a “conventional childhood.” We never had the opportunity to learn how to play 4 square or hopscotch, we just learned the vintages of actual Scotch. We never got to run in the park and skin our knees, we had to learn how to effectively run a craps table (apparently a well trained 10 year old craps dealers is a goldmine for an underground casino). We didn’t get a chance to play Little League baseball, we had to go straight to the majors (the kid from “Rookie of the Year” just joined our staff).
Pictured Above: The Last Time the Cubs Won the World Series
Children offer a unique perspective for us, since we never had a point where we thought like them. When we were six years old, our parents would be concerned if we weren’t belligerently drunk. But when we ask parents why their kid seems so distressingly sober, they just seem to get upset and say things like, “You’re joking right?” and, “What do you mean that a child’s natural state is drunk?” and “You poured what into his apple juice?” and “Get out of here you monster or we’re going to call the police.” It’s baffling.
One day during lunch, our staff was all outside, horsing around and playing our staff-only game of “Kick in the dick, Punch in the tit,” where our female staffers punch each other in the breasts, and the male staffers kick each other in the groin. Come to think of it, no one knows why we play it, and no one particularly enjoys it. But, anyway, as a combination of masculine and feminine voices were shouting, in unison, “KICK IN THE DICK!” and “PUNCH IN THE TIT,” we looked over to see a small group of children had gathered, and were mimicking our every move. Sure, their form was sloppy (the key is to pivot your standing foot during the kick if you really want to try to shatter something) but they were just like little clones. Moldable tiny people.
“AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” (Picture unrelated)
There are many theories about what children are. Tiny people with heads that are proportionally too large for their bodies. “Our future.” The continuation of our species. Lab experiments. We’ve heard it all, and we at America Fun Fact of the Day feel that there is a simple way to think about children.
They are something we have to stop. Children are, in fact, our future, but you know who the future muscles out? The goddamn present. That’s right. In thirty years, those snot nosed kids are going to be the ones to make fun of us for being so “old fashioned” we can’t even adjust our F chip setting to work on more than 5 Farmville accounts, and they’ll say shit like, “Haha, yahoo? What the hell, grandpa, are you living in the 20th century?” Those fucking kids. They’re just waiting for the right moment to muscle us out and form the Republic of, I don’t know, Digimon or whatever (do kids still like Digimon? No? Dammit). So no matter how much we attempt to mold them into little, obedient, groin kicking servants, it won’t make a lick of difference. They’re out to get us. So, before they run us out and change the AFFotD into like, a goddamn Justin Bieber fan page or some shit, we’re going to get our licks in at these brats.
Some people say “Children are the future,” others say, “The future is now.” We say “The future…must be stopped.”
Hey, don’t let poor execution muddle your opinion of a solid idea
The reason why we’re going on this for so long is that we stumbled across an article from Scholastic Magazine. Back in our day, Scholastic Magazine was just that place that sent out those book order forms where you could ignore all the “educational” books and just get yourself a book of Calvin and Hobbes (is it the most American comic, or is it the most American comic?) for like 5 bucks. Apparently now they’re asking kids shit like, “What does it mean to be American.”
Well we got news for you, kids. It’s not your time yet, it is our time. So let’s savagely immolate your opinions, AFFotD style, in today’s fun fact…
America Fun Fact of the Day Insults the Shit Out of a Lot of Kids Who Can’t Defend Themselves (But It’s Okay Because They’re After Our Jobs, and are Stupid)
So apparently, a lot of kids like the fact that America is free, that you can be free in America. Well no shit little Sherlocks, and we like female nipples because they’re on boobs. If you can’t see freedom, you’re not looking at America, and if you can’t see nipples, you’re not looking at nudity. That’s fucking rookie. America is synonymous with freedom, saying your favorite part of America is freedom is like saying your favorite part of sex is sex. We know that. Is your favorite part of water the fact that it’s wet? Is your favorite part of air the fact that you can breathe it? Is your favorite part of cocaine when you take that first bump and you’re like, “AHHHHHH YESSSS” and are just, like, so amped up? Of course it is, we’ve seen Dateline, kids do nothing but snort lines of coke.
“I want to run five miles and listen to nothing but Devo for HOURS!”
If someone asks you “What does it mean to be an American,” do not give us shit like:
I think it means to be free. I wouldn’t want to be from any other country.
Cheyenne L., 10, Wisconsin
To be an American means you have the right and freedom to do what you want. It is great to be an American.
Whitley S., 11, Alabama
Yeah, guess what Cheyenne and Whitley? First of all, your names are shit. Totally shit. Cheyenne is, I’m pretty sure, one of the crayon colors that they used to replace the more racist names. And Whitley sounds like your mom was deflowered by a homosexual British man, who your father probably left her for once he found out she was pregnant with you. But really, what kind of half-assed answer is that? “Being American is being free?” Yeah, and being a porn star is having a monster dong. Being Ernest Hemingway is being an alcoholic. Try to come up with something original, okay? Dumbasses.
And some responses are sort of…depressing. They show that some kids at least have a reasonable expectation for their future failures. These ones don’t even upset us, because we know that at least they’re not going to be competing with us down the line. Let’s look at what “that is actually an acceptable American name” Ashley M from Wisconsin has to say on the subject.
To be an American to me means that I am free. That when I grow up I can pick the job I want, what shift to work. And to have a good education. It means that I can say “The Pledge of Allegiance” and that I can vote for the President, my county clerk, and the Mayor. But to me it means most of all to be free and to be proud that I live in the United States of America here in Wisconsin.
Ashley M., 10, Wisconsin
Yeah, we fucking get it, you’re free if you’re an American, you’re also Orange if you’re an Oompa-Loompa. We also like the fact that, if you get rid of that shit in the middle, little Ashley is basically saying, “To me, being an American means I’m free. But most of all, it means to be free.” She also brags about living in Wisconsin a bit too willingly- no one else goes like, “AND I’M IN ALABAMA YEEE-HAWWW” (They say “yee-haw” in Alabama, right?) But, what makes this interesting is that you can actually tell what part of Wisconsin she’s from, just from that secretly depressing second sentence.
“When I grow up I can pick the job I want, what shift to work.” Most Americans growing up have a series of dream jobs. If you ask a kid, “what do you want to be when you grow up? What job do you want” you will hear one of these possibilities.
2. President of the United States of America
3. America Fun Fact of the Day writer
4. Dinosaur/Planet/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Donatello)
5. Professional Athlete
Those are the top answers. And, you even have the top answers for kids with a slightly more realistic grasp of what employment is, but who also want to be balls rich and super powerful when they grow up.
4. Wall Street Broker
5. America Fun Fact of the Day writer
What do all of these jobs have in common? None of them involve you “picking what shift to work.” Little Ashely here can get whatever job she wants, and more importantly, she can even pick the best shift for her (assuming she gets that good education she’s talkin’ about). Astronauts don’t have shifts, they have launch dates. The President doesn’t have shifts, he’s got meetings. AFFotD writers don’t work shifts, we just drink all day and bang supermodels. You know what kind of jobs you have to actually specify, “And I want the shift that’s best for me”?
1. Factory worker
2. Convenience Store Employee
3. That’s the fucking list
So where does Ashley live? We’re going to guess Hubertus, Wisconsin, an unincorporated town in Middle Eastern Wisconsin. Why? It all adds up. According to this depressing page of Hubertus photos, all that the town has is Bark’s Lake, Bark’s Lake at dusk, and a goddamn Piggly Wiggly. So, there it is, we all know what Ashley wants to be when she grows up. She wants to work the 11AM to 9PM shift at the Hubertus Piggly Wiggly. But she’s not gonna get it, because that position is highly sought after. Sorry Ashley. Boom. Face.
Some kids also happen to have a very vague grasp on what “Nationality” means. Like Rachel here.
It means being special. Everyone is different and has a different personality. So you can be Italian, Mexican, or Irish, and still be an American. So be yourself.
Rachel P., 10, Alabama
…What? First of all, don’t say being American is “being special,” that word carries certain implications that your parents probably told you when you asked them why the bus you took to school was so much smaller than the ones you saw in the movies. And secondly, what the shit are you talking about with that Italian, Mexican and Irish stuff? If you’re Italian, you’re Italian. And you’re probably reading this sentence out loud using large hand gestures. If you’re Irish, you’re drunk right now. But that’s the opposite of what America is, America is not people from other countries. You can be an Irish American, or a Mexican American, or an Italian American, but you’re leaving out the most important word in that description. American. Rachel seems to think being America comes naturally to us, fuck no, it’s hard work. Do you know how many years it takes to train your body to reject water and rely only on whiskey for your liquids intake? A lot, let us tell you. And we didn’t do that to be ourselves, hell no, we did that because that’s the American thing to do.
Even more frustrating are the kids who clearly answered this question just so we’d find it and get pissed off by their view on America. Like these fuckers.
I think it means to support your family, community, and your state. And you could help your school by picking up trash and different things.
Justin B., 10, Alabama
I think that it means to support your community by doing things for it. You could join a trash pickup. You could donate money to the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and many other things. You could join Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts and do things with them.
Eugene D., 10, Alabama
NO! Really? NO! Do not bring nature into this shit. “Support your community”? How does that help you, Justin and Eugene? You gotta get your heads out of your asses. And really, the most distressing thing about this is that both of them feel that the way to “support your community” would be to…pick up garbage? Do you know why we all leave our garbage on the ground as trash? Apart from the fact that all of us have spent time in New York, and it’s sort of the norm there? Because an American picking up trash is like a boxer apologizing to his opponent after hitting him. It makes no fucking sense. We want to pollute! There’s a reason why that floating island of plastic bottles and garbage in the ocean is always described as being “Twice the size of Texas.” Because America wants that. Jesus Christ, kids.
And then, we get kids who live in America’s 51st most American state (Hawaii) that try to write a fucking treaties to tell us what it means to be American. Fuck you, Jonathan B.
To be an American. Many take this phrase too lightly others, too strict. Being an American does not mean that you go to baseball games and eat hot dogs, but to live your life out to the fullest, not just waving around a flag every day. Being an American is to help another, whether it be Polish or Chinese or Afghan or Muslim. Being an American means helping your sworn enemy, even if you do not wish, but you shall help with dignity and pride. Being American means that you capture the true essence of every being, from the simplest little flower to the most-beautiful person in the world. Being American means to be united as one, under whatever deity you worship, and to be able to depend, rely, and give hope to each other. Because being American does not just mean living in America, every person has a part of being an American in them, deep inside, embedded, until they wish to release that piece, and share it with the world. That is what a true American is.
Jonathan B., 12, Hawaii
……………………………………Oh, this fucking kid…….
……..Gotta calm down first…Calm down, and then…Jesus Christ….
ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS, JONATHAN!? Okay, seriously? What the fuck. What. The. Fuck. Who the hell can take “To be an American” too strictly? If you purposely maintained your diet so that you would only shit out miniature American Flags, that’s still not being “Too American.” That’s like saying you can be “too good looking” or “too good at sex” or “too good at gun fighting.” There’s no such thing as being too strictly American, Johnny. Goddamn it to hell.
“Being an American does not mean that you go to baseball games and eat hot dogs,”? OF COURSE IT DOES! Read the Constitution again sometimes. It’s in the DAMN PREAMBLE. “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and insure that we take time out of our year to go to a baseball game and eat hot dogs while getting shitfaced, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.” Seriously, it’s right there.
And what’s this about helping our sworn enemy? Dude, aren’t you in Hawaii? The string of islands that was attacked by the Japanese to start World War II? I think they pretty much reached “Sworn enemy” status then. And we “helped them with dignity and pride,” yes, absolutely. If you view nuking the shit out of them to be “dignity and pride.” And we didn’t give a shit! That’s America! Japan came crawling back to us to give us fine electronics, cars, and tentacle-themed pornography after all that, like an abuse victim on an episode of Maury. Being “American” is to slap around your sworn enemy until they’re bruised and bleeding and hating themselves for not making you love them. Come on, kid, what the hell. Here’s a better way to say what Jonathan was trying to say.
To be an American. Amrrican. Amrrrrrrricaaaaa. You gotta love how that sounds. People named Jonathan who live in Hawaii don’t know shit about what this means. The rest of us know, and we try our best to be as American as a velvet painting of James Dean porking Jayne Mansfield using a mortified European pretending to be asleep as a bed. It means going to baseball games and eating hot dogs, and it absolutely involves waving your flag around every day. Absolutely. If you have a flag, wave it around. Every fucking day. Anyway, I’m tired of describing being American, I’m just going to go and pour myself a few dozen stiff drinks. Because goddamn right, this is America, motherfucker.
Isn’t that better? Go to hell, Jonathan.
On the plus side, at least a few kids fucking get it. We’ve already found them, and legally adopted them to be “Future AFFotD staffers.” We use them to make shoes. Kidding! Just kidding guys. Technically, “sandals” are different than “shoes.”
It is great to be an American. We get to play sports and eat lots of food. We get lots of toys, all because we are free — the best thing of all.
Austin B., 11, Wisconsin
I am incredibly wasted right now. What are we talking about? Oh right. America. Well, I think America is more than being FDR, it’s about being Teddy Roosevelt, because he wasn’t a damn cripple and he shot people a lot. The flask was invented in America- I haven’t heard that before, but it makes sense when I write it down. Right?
Jeff G., 24, Illinois
We don’t know why they got that 24 year old guy’s thing in there, but both Austin and Jeff hit the nail on the head. Playing sports, eating lots of food, and getting toys? That’s what every American strives for. And that flask thing? That sounds crazy enough to be true. We had to truncate Jeff’s answer a bit, it started to get pretty incoherent. Like, there was a 300 word section where he was talking about, “How would you feel if you went back in time to like, the 1940’s, and saw a hot chick and were like, ‘Oh man I want to hook up with that chick,’ but then thought, ‘Holy shit, she’s probably like 90 now.’ I mean, everyone still talks about how hot actors are from that time, and yeah, if I had the chance, I’d motorboat Jayne Mansfield like a 1980’s chase scene filmed in the bayous of Louisiana…” and it sort of went on from there. But still, both of these young men have the spirit of America down pat. Dare we say…they offer us hope for a future America.
Unlike Jonathan. Seriously, go to hell, Jonathan.