Old-Fashioned Know-How

Listen, kid, when you’ve been through the things I’ve been through, you know some things about things. And those things . . . Well, they’re the things that put things in perspective. That’s the problem with kids these days: too many things, not enough good old-fashioned, homegrown, cage-free know-how. And, trust me, I know how.

While you get to ride to “school” in a graphene-coated e-limousine that runs on skim matcha lattes, I had to crawl on my belly over roads made of crushed glass. All this while dragging a giant phonograph that played my mother shouting “You’re not good enough!” on a loop. Except I wasn’t headed to school. I was headed to war. A war that I won single-handedly, because I lost the other hand on the way there. And even though I eventually lost all my limbs, I grew them back through pure force of will. But you wouldn’t know anything about that.

You ever fought a forest fire that you yourself started? You ever had thirteen kids by seventeen different women, created twenty-three different broken homes? Have you ever painted yourself black and white and snuck into the panda exhibit to teach the bears about the birds and the bees, only to be viciously attacked by both birds and bees? No? Never? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

So, while you debate what gender of hot sauce goes better on your digital tofu burger, I spend my time doing my own research, printing all of it out on reams of paper, and then lighting it ablaze, burning my own house down. Why? So I can rebuild from the ground up! You wouldn’t know how to build a house without Mommy or Daddy there to kiss it together for you. And that’s just sad.

Back in my day, we didn’t have “diversity” or “women.” It was a true meritocracy! You ever been born Caucasian and become basically African American by sowing cotton seeds, one by one, for miles, with your fingers? Don’t believe me? Just ask my best Black friend who I whispered slurs to all summer, until he started laughing with me. Plus, my daughter loves Black men. Checkmate, snowflake.

Because I’ll tell you what you can’t buy with your cryptocurrency: common sense, the deep sleep of decades of debilitating alcoholism, and the satisfaction of knowing that the government and your ex-wives can’t come for you now because there is nothing left to take.

So call me what you want: a delusional dinosaur, a walking domestic incident, “Dad.” I don’t care. A lion doesn’t yield to the “Please don’t start with this again” of the nonbinary sheep! At the grand old age of forty-five, I’m the last freethinking human on this scorched earth, and one day you’re all gonna wish you’d listened to the things I yelled out from the back of this ambulance. ♦

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