5 Things You Learn From a Lifetime of Screwing Up
We have offered you a wealth of valuable and insightful advice over the years, to the extent that you may have come to think of us like some sort of profane Old World grandmother -- as caring and wise as we are caustic and chock-full of synonyms for "penis." But perhaps you feel that all that well-intentioned advice doesn't apply to you, not because you're a well-balanced human being -- God knows nobody is mistaking you for one of those mythical beasts -- but because you are now and plan to continue being a gargantuan fuckup for the foreseeable future.
"No, I'm drunk and high: It's called multitasking!"
Nobody's judging you! I myself have been a semi-professional fuckup for the bulk of my life, and I regret nothing (if only because I don't remember most of it). In fact, I'm of the opinion that our lives would be downright boring without the occasional barrage of hilarious mistakes and ill-informed decisions. So here are a few pieces of advice solely for my fellow fuckups. I offer it not to help you be a better person, but to help you be a safer, more efficient, and beyond all, more hilarious fucker of ups.
On the Subject of Hallucinogens
Don't get me wrong: If you don't do drugs, I am not advocating that you start. I'm just saying that, if you are already setting out on a lucrative career of Laughing at Infomercials at Three in the Morning, please at least consider minoring in the promising field of Hallucinogenic Hilarity. Because if you're experimenting with narcotics now, odds are you're going to move on to something harder at some point -- if only to try it. And if it's a toss-up between stuff like coke and heroin or a bag of mushrooms, you grab that bag and run like you're a tiny Italian man in need of extra lives.
"A-ha! I can'a see through time'a!"
Here's a good rule of thumb: Do about half as much as your friends tell you to.
They will tell you to "eat the whole thing" of whatever they give you, regardless of the size of said "thing" or the strength of its contents. That's because stoners operate on a binary system of measurement: Something is either cashed or there's "a whole thing of it." If you're worried about your impending levels of inebriation, just take a little at first and squirrel some away for later. Also, if you can at all help it: Do not do hallucinogens in the city.
Right angles are the wrong angles. I know you don't think that geometry can bum you out, but just the simple act of being around man-made structures can ruin a good trip. Out in the woods, you might operate under the delusion that you've become a Gummi Bear, and you will definitely meet some kind of spirit wolf; in the city, some dude might lick your elbow on the subway, and you will definitely see somebody get hit by a car. It's a whole different, and generally much worse, experience.
"Whoa, trippy! This guy says he needs money to pay for insulin ... this is the worst high ever."
Another good rule of thumb: Make absolutely sure you're not driving anywhere on hallucinogens. Don't just assume you'll know better. You cannot trust your high self; that bastard has no idea what he's doing. You need to stay one step ahead of him. So take your keys out now and set them in the paws of an old dirty teddy bear with one eye missing. I know that doesn't make any sense to Sober You, but trust me: Stoned You will not cross the bear.
"THE BEAR CAN SEE YOUR INTENTIONS LIKE STARS IN THE SKY. THE BEAR DOES NOT APPROVE."
Buy a Bitchin' Car
Or truck, or motorcycle, or whatever your heart desires. As long as you can picture Burt Reynolds or Steve McQueen jumping that bitch over a river, you buy that sucker. No, it is not a practical conveyance. There is no justifying having any kind of awesome vehicle in your young adult life. Conventional reason says that you should buy something reliable that gets good gas mileage, because you don't have money for repairs or the tiny war crimes that gas prices have become. And besides, if you can afford any kind of bitchin' transport as a young adult, it's probably beat to shit and only technically street legal if you file it with the DMV as "Farm Equipment: Tractors and Misc."
But that's OK, because you know what's cooler than a cool car? Telling everybody you're working on a cool car.
You know what they say: A Camaro in the garage is worth 10 Fiestas on the road.
Or at least they would say that, if they had a bitchin' Camaro.
"I used to worry about stuff like insurance and gas mileage -- now I only worry about drowning in pussy! No seriously, I'm so scared. Somebody help me."
This is the only time in your life when routine car troubles are still a reasonable excuse. Once you're a for-realsies adult, God forbid that ever happens, they expect you to plan far enough ahead to compensate for any recurring vehicular mishaps. You're also probably young enough that you still have carless friends whom you can merrily squeeze for double the amount of gas money that ferrying them around costs you. Get high with Paco and Bill and take 'em to Taco Bell, then ask them both to pay for gas: Each is too ripped to realize the other has already paid. Boom! You just made $10 for a $2 trip.
You know what that's called? That's called profit. This rusty Camaro is technically a business! You could probably write this shit off on your taxes, if you made enough to pay them, or cared enough to do them (which you absolutely don't).
Put Your Dick in Crazy
Everybody will tell you not to, and technically, they're right: Don't trust your heart to people with emotional problems, because they don't have the ability to properly care for it. Don't enter into any commitment, implied or otherwise, with a mentally unbalanced person, because you don't know what they'll do if they ever feel slighted by you.
These are all very true and entirely reasonable pieces of advice. They're just omitting one incredibly important detail: Psychopaths are amazing in bed.
"Sure, I'll probably punch your mother one day, but I'll do that thing you like in bed that everybody else thinks is gross!"
Oh yes, they will absolutely make your domestic life hell. You'll long for the days when you didn't wake up with the word "BETRAYER" smeared in poop on the hood of your Camaro -- but everybody needs to have sex with a psychopath at least once, if only to set a point of reference for exactly how much shit you're willing to deal with for the promise of exotic intercourse. Oh, and ladies, this applies to you as well: "Put your dick in crazy" is just a saying, probably because "Let crazy put its dick in you" sounds a lot worse.
Here's a good rule of thumb: If somebody's not yelling at you by the time you're done bonin' - your partner, your parents, the neighbors, the National Guard - then you have not yet begun to bone.
On the Subject of Beer
Don't buy anything good.
Don't even think about it. Not even mid-grade beer. Not even faux-mid-grade shit like Weinhard's or Rolling Rock. If possible, you want beer so shitty that it's actually a knockoff of other shitty beer. Buy beer at the Dollar Tree. Buy it from strange-smelling Russian surplus stores. Because no matter how great a beer tastes, quality starts to cut off sharply once you're about three deep, and it goes right out the window entirely the second you pour it into a funnel.
Also, you want low-alcohol beer. I know you think you don't. You're hardcore: You want the most alcohol you can get for your money. But that's a mistake. It is way more fun to get hammered on 12 PBRs than it is to get equally hammered on three pints of imperial stout. Plus, when you inevitably have to apologize for all the things you did last night, "God, I'm sorry, man, I had like 15 High Lifes" is a much better-sounding excuse than "God, I'm sorry, man, I had like two Old Rasputins."
Get a Job
No, this is not the practical section of The Fuckup's Guide to Fucking Up. The only practical section is the blank chapter at the end that you can roll up and smoke. True, there are very good reasons for having a job as a young adult: learning responsibility, getting work experience, or even just funding tonight's party. That's not really why you want one, though. The real reason for an aspiring young fuckup to hold a steady job is that a job is where you make your connections. Don't know a weed dealer in your town? Get a job in fast food. Now you know 10.
Sick of hanging out around the corner from the liquor store, tapping on shoulders and asking strangers to buy you beer? Get a job at a convenience store. No, I'm not suggesting that you sell yourself beer, or even worse, steal from the store. You don't have to -- just ask Skunky Mike, your 26-year-old burnout of a manager. He will happily buy you several shopping carts full of booze if one of those bottles is for him.
"Sure, buying for minors is a crime -- but so is paying for your own Night Train!"
If you're not willing to get a job, at least get a fake ID. Work at Burger King for like 16 hours until you can afford one, then quit: You are now the beer-bringer, the holiest occupation in the entire Kingdom of Underage Drinking. Your tithe is a meager 10 percent of all purchases. Now you never have to pay for drinks again.
If it's not a job, or a fake ID, then develop a newfound respect for your older brother. Or suddenly start finding that 21-year-old douchebag from philosophy class really funny -- whatever you do, just don't shoulder-tap. This is important, not because I'm trying to get you to drink (again, I'm not advocating this stuff; I'm just saying that if something is worth fucking up, it's worth fucking up correctly), but because any complete stranger who wants to buy a kid beer is not a stranger a kid should be around. Don't go pick up your bottles from that sketchy dude's trunk, don't go with him to the ATM to get cash, don't hop into his car to hit up another store because "the teller saw you guys outside and didn't want to sell to me" -- just tell Philosophy Terry that his "Sartre? More like Fartre!" joke was fucking hilarious, and keep all of your holes intact.
And that's why I don't do advice columns.
Buy Robert's stunning, transcendental, orgasmic science fiction novel, Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, right here. Or buy Robert's other (pretty OK) book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead. Follow him on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.