6 Urban Legends We Need To Teach Kids (For Their Own Good)

I'm worried about the future. Not because of global warming or wars or Zayn Malik leaving One Direction, but because of the world's kids. They're kinda shitty, guys. I mean, I didn't want to say it, but somebody had to say it, so I'll say it. Kids these days are kinda shitty. Back in my day, we respected our elders, probably because we didn't have cell phones, our video games didn't involve so much murder, and so on.

If I'm coming across as a grumpy old man, then good, because that's what I was going for. Grumpy old men kinda have a point, so I'm happy to be compared to them (notice how I respect my elders, you fucking twits). But unlike grumpy old men, who are content to wave their canes from their front lawns and smoke pipes, I actually have a solution for all the problems ruining modern-day kids. We need to scare the everloving bejesus out of them. How? Well, kids are stupid. So all we have to do is teach them about ...

#6. The "Shares Articles On Social Media Without Fact-Checking" Gremlin


I don't know if you've heard, but there's something of an epidemic of false information on the Internet. People seem very comfortable telling stories and acting like they're true, without bothering to check whether they in fact ever happened. I don't have any hard data on this issue, but just speaking anecdotally, I would guess that on any given day, roughly every fucking thing you read is total hogwash. Hogwash, I say!


All because we can't control ourselves. We can't resist the urge to throw interesting things on our Facebook, because doing so allows us to take a little bit of credit for them. "See? Obama is building an army of robots out of all the trans fat he won't let you eat, and I discovered it (by reading an article about another person pretending to discover it)!" It makes us feel powerful, and that little bit of pseudo-credit makes us not even care that we're ruining the concept of truth and the integrity of the Internet, all for the satisfaction of our raging, incompetent ids. It is vitally important that we solve this issue, which is why I propose ...

What I Propose

The "Shares Articles On Social Media Without Fact-Checking" Gremlin, or the "Clickbait Gremlin" for short. Tell a kid that that if they share a news story on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social media they're using these days (Something called a "Tumbler?"), then they'll be stalked by the Clickbait Gremlin, for he is the vessel through which the cruel vengeance of truth shall be delivered.

The Clickbait Gremlin works quickly, and mostly at night. He adjusts clocks so they're just a few minutes slow -- and then, a week later, a few minutes fast, making them embarrassingly late to everything for a few days, and then frustratingly early for a few days after that. He'll change the expiration dates on all their cheese and eggs, but not their milk, because he doesn't work with milk. He'll hack into their cell phones and swap the contact information of their ex, their parents, and their favorite pizza place. He will slowly teach them that nothing in their life can be trusted ever again.

Only then, when they're forced to wander a life wrought with fear and doubt, will the children of the future finally realize the evil of what they've done and stop sharing articles by goddamn Gawker without fact-checking, seriously.

#5. The "Reckless Resource Use" Gnome

sodapix sodapix/F1online/Getty

"Oh god, he's going to proselytize about the environment," one of you screams, furiously masturbating in erotic anger with one hand while you stroke your limited edition Legend Of Zelda action figures with the other (it's fine, I'm not judging you). No. That's not what I'm going to do. I don't care about global warming or running out of oil to power our cars or children's screams to power our doomsday machines. I'm just irritated with my neighbors. Let me tell you what living in Los Angeles is like.

Right now, we're in a drought. A nasty one. We seriously might all die, except not, but bear with me: Right now we're buying water from farmers in Northern California just so we can avoid eating our ramen cold and dry like Channing Tatum in Foxcatcher. But that's just a Band-Aid; with our failing water infrastructure, a day of reckoning casts a terrifying shadow over us all. And every morning on my way to work, you know what I see?

A fountain of arrogance.

That water could be keeping us alive, or at least fill up my toilet bowl so I can poop in it. How do we stop this reckless disregard for our most precious natural resource? This is how.

This Is How

The Reckless Resource Use Gnome is sneaky, and he's always watching -- but he waits to strike until he knows you're most vulnerable: the moment you only have one left. "One" what? One anything.

The gnome will take your last roll of toilet paper, right after you check your stock and decide you don't need more. He'll sneak into your sock drawer, steal your last condom, and use it to parachute to safety. He'll shotgun your last Dr. Pepper right after you order pizza. He'll sneak your last, ever-so-satisfying sip of scotch while you're briefly distracted by a spitball launched from his own mouth. Just when you thought you had one more, you'll have nothing.

And the gnome will look on, knowing that justice was done.

#4. The "Is Mean to Animals" Kaiju

Pattie Steib/iStock/Getty Images

Let me tell you a hypothetical story. Let's say you get a cat from a shelter, and she lives with you for years. She travels with you around the country, from state to state, because your feet get itchy if they stay off the clutch for too long. She's got a soft coat and a mean hiss and she can hold her own in a fight with a dog twice her size, and she looks like this.

When she's trying to sleep and you're taking a picture of her.

But she never walks right, because her leg was broken a long time ago and didn't heal properly. And she's always skittish around new people -- more so than a normal cat -- because a long time ago one of your roommates slammed her in a door. That roommate is cat food now (I know a guy) but I'd prefer it had never happened in the first place, to this is how you prevent your kids from ever being that roommate.

Prevent Your Kid From Ever Being That Roommate

Tell them that if they're mean to animals, the "Mean to Animals" Kaiju will find their house and sit on it until they're dead. Tell them that the giant robots we built to fight those kaiju will just be all, "yeah, okay. Fine. Sit on that guy's house first, because no one will care once he's dead and our floundering construction industry could use the stimulation." Then we can turn them into cat food too. The really cheap kind. As a side note, this is the only monster on this list so far that I genuinely wish really existed.

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J.F. Sargent

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