A Letter To My Younger Self

Dear 15-year-old me,

It’s me. That is to say, it’s you, but from the FUTURE!

I’m writing to give you some perspective on the years ahead of you, i.e. the years behind me. It’s 2020 now, and so much is different today than it is for you in 1991.

In the coming years, a lot is going to happen. Some of it is so insane, you probably won’t believe me. Then again, I’m assuming you’re going to believe that this is a letter from the future, so I should probably maintain this presumption of your gullibility for consistency’s sake. You were (are) pretty naïve, as I recall.

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The Millennials Are Alright

I was born in 1976, the child of two Baby Boomers. I guess that makes me a member of Generation X, a.k.a. The Generation Least Likely To Take BS From Anyone. We think everyone sucks—us included. We emerged from the womb jaded. Don’t take it personally.

We’re a unique bunch. We grew up with the Cold War, pay phones, three TV channels, having our questions met with “look it up in the encyclopedia.” Don’t have those?1 Don’t worry, a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman will stop by sooner or later to convince your parents they’re morally obligated to buy a set.

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To Tell The Truth, I’m Obviously Lying

Plausible deniability is a crucial component of any ongoing violation of laws or norms. If you’re going to intentionally engage in nefarious deeds, you have to have your story straight for when the eventual scrutiny (such as, let’s say, impeachment) comes.

That which you are straightening is indeed a “story” because it is, by definition, not a true reckoning of whatever drug deal you’re up to. It is at best a quasi-believable version of events that counts on the listener giving you the benefit of the doubt. At worst, it’s a thinly veiled lie.

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My Eye! I’m Not Supposed To Get Measles In It!

A fraction of the population believes that vaccines are an insidious part of an Illuminati-style conspiracy. According to these mental heavyweights, vaccines have been foisted upon the masses by profit-motivated pharmaceutical companies with the blessing and assistance of the United States government.

Occam’s Razor suggests that, all things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the right one. The anti-vaccination crowd, unfortunately, has been boycotting Occam’s Razor ever since Gillette made that “anti-men” video.

When they hear hoofbeats in the hallway, they don’t think the sound is coming from zebras. Come on, that would be ridiculous! Zebras? At this time of year? Localized entirely within your hallway? That’s just dumb.

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Donald Trump: A Trojan Jackass

I have a theory. It’s so far-fetched, even I don’t believe it. But if enough people start talking about it, maybe it’ll help our country. Or it’ll hasten our demise. I have no idea, I’m just a blogger, so take everything I write with your daily recommended allowance of salt.

Unless I’m right, and then YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST, FOLKS.

Here goes:

Donald Trump is an agent provocateur, leading a false flag operation on behalf of the Democratic Party.

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Guide Him In The Direction He’s Already Falling

Imagine you’re buying a car. You do some research, learn the range of prices versus features you like, and check your finances. The bus pulls up, and you hop on board to make your way down to the only dealership in town. You apparently live in a crappy, one-dealership-having town.

A large man—maybe 6’3”, 239 pounds, if you had to guess—approaches you as you exit the bus. His Chinese-made suit is ill fitting. His Mexican-made red tie is far too long. He resembles an anthropomorphic raccoon, if that raccoon were a serial sexual predator.

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A Loaded Red Hat

High school boys in 2019 wear “Make America Great Again” hats for the same reason high school boys in 1992 wore Slayer t-shirts: contrarianism and attention seeking. Well, it’s almost the same, except the members of Slayer are actually good at their jobs and worthy of fandom.

It’s the reason we saw University of South Carolina baseball caps around the University of Houston during my tenure. South Carolina is a thousand miles from Houston, and most of us had never been there. But you see, Carolina’s mascot is the gamecock, and their 90’s era hats said “COCKS” across the front. To quote myself and every dude I knew circa 1998 (and 2019, to be fair), “Uh…huh huh…huh huh…he said cocks.” “Cocks” has a much more je ne sais quai than “Cougars,” no?

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You Never Even Called Me By My Name

My given name is Rickey. Not Richard. Rickey. In fact, I am Rickey, Junior, as I am named after my father. Among family, I’m sometimes referred to as “Little Rickey,” though I am 42 years old and 3” taller than my dad. I’ve stopped growing, but he’s bound to start shrinking any day now, so I fully expect that height differential to keep expanding.

People spell my name incorrectly all the time – Ricky is the most common, followed by Rickie. Sometimes people mispronounce it, sounding more like “hey asshole” than the phonics would otherwise indicate. I always respond, though, so I guess it works.

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Nobody Gets Out Alive

We live in a dangerous country. Would it surprise you to learn that the United States has a whopping 100% mortality rate? And it’s projected to remain the same for the foreseeable future. Sad!

According to anecdotes relayed by the President of the United States on national television this week, the scariest source of our countrymen’s fate is undocumented immigrants. From what I can glean from memes posted by racist senior citizens on “the Facebook,” more Americans are killed by immigrants than by every other cause of death combined.

Okay, that seems unlikely, I’ll admit it. But when has your Aunt Gertrude, an angry 80-year-old woman who hasn’t worked outside the home nor left her Midwestern hometown in the last 20 years, ever steered us wrong? Remember 9/11? Well, Gertie said on 9/12 that she’d “always been suspicious of the Moslems,” and I’ll be damned if she didn’t hit the mark with that shotgun spray of post-hoc accusation.

This just in: Aunt Gertrude never said anything about it at the time, but she never liked that guy you just broke up with, either.

Given our President’s inference that we should fear people from other countries, I decided to investigate all of the ways that people in our country find themselves taking long naps on the underside of the terrain. Imagine my confusion when I discovered that, at best guess, only 456 people per year die at the hands of undocumented immigrants!

Now before you go saying, “any murder is a tragedy, and the murderers shouldn’t have even been here!” keep in mind that the overall number of homicides in the US is about 18,624 per year. In other words, if you’re going to get whacked, you’re 40 times more likely to get whacked by a fellow American. That’s why I avoid each of you at all costs, just to be safe. USA! USA!

I was also shocked to learn how many ways to die are more common than “gittin’ kilt by a got-dang furriner whilst on mah way down to the Piggleh Wiggleh.”

And because I cherry picked the hell out of this list for maximum shock value, you should prepare to be shocked, too!

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Come Join My Wild Pigeon Chase

I own a restaurant in Washington, DC. We’re situated near the Smithsonian museums, the FBI headquarters, and lots of other federal office buildings. As you might imagine, we’ve been a little slower than ideal lately.

Why is it slower than usual?

I told my team that neither their service nor their food was at fault for the slowdown. It’s not competition from other restaurants or food trucks. It can’t be the weather, nearby construction, or the homeless people who ask our customers for money at the front door. While any and all of those issues would be worth an in-depth, intellectual investigation, I told my team that none of those are important.

We’re only slower than normal because of pigeons.

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