By STEVE BREWER
Scripps Howard News Service
July 19, 2005
I found the following on the Internet. We'd always suspected a conspiracy. Here's the proof:
Teenagers' guide to chore avoidance
By "2 Lay-Z"
Yo, dude. If your parents are like mine, they're always laying some trip on you about doing "chores."
Man, they just don't get it. We teens are way too cool to be bothered by stuff like dishes and laundry and yard work. We've got more important things to do: Kickin' back. Hangin'. Setting a new high score on our Playstation 2 (and, yeah, yeah, the parents paid for the PS2, like we haven't heard that a million times).
Parents think they've got to teach us "responsibility" and "pulling our weight" and stuff. Like we're gonna learn anything from doing laundry. All we learn is that work is never really done. You wash the clothes, you wear the clothes, you gotta wash 'em again. How's that gonna prepare us for the Real World? Ain't like we're gonna have a job where we do the same thing over and over, every damned day, right?
Teens across the nation gotta unite! We gotta share the 411. Here are some time-tested ways to dodge chores:
The Maynard G. Krebs Memorial Panic Response
Named after that beatnik dude on the old "Dobie Gillis" TV show, this reaction involves screaming "Work!" and fleeing the room. Not only allows you to escape, but also alerts your siblings.
An old favorite. "I forgot" is like a miracle cure, man. There's no argument for it. Your parents get in your face about why you didn't do some chore, and you say, "I forgot," and they lose all their steam.
A Matter of Taste
No matter how slagged your room is, say, "I like it this way." Even if there's so much stuff on your floor, you can only walk around on stilts, the parents will hesitate. They're thinking: Well, if the kid likes his room this way, who am I to insist? While they're dithering, you can escape out the window.
"What work? I don't see any work."
Outright refusal is sometimes effective, especially if the parent is too tired to argue. Caution: Can result in loss of Playstation privileges, injury or even death.
The "Gaslight" Defense
Make the parents think they're losing their minds. Here's how it works: Parent tells you to do a chore. You ignore command. Parent comes around later, asking why it wasn't done. You say: "What? You never told me to do that." Shake your head sadly. Say something like, "Man, you're losing it."
This one works on any chore that doesn't involve your immediate room. Say a parent wants you to pick up stuff scattered around the house. You say, "That's not my stuff. Why should I have to pick it up?" This forces the parent to explain about "helping the whole family" and "the common good" and blah, blah, blah. Eventually, they'll forget the whole thing.
All of these responses are variations on our main theme: The Stall. You're just buying time, dude. The longer you put off doing a chore, the better the odds that the parents will give up and do it themselves.
Remember: You're younger than they are. You can afford to wait them out. Eventually, you'll go off to college or marriage or the Army, and you won't ever have to pick up after yourself again.
After you're gone, your parents will keep your room just the way you left it. Because they don't know how to walk on stilts.
Contact him at ABQBrewer(at)aol.com