February 6, 2004
Self-Help For Dummies
I really and truly wish I was making this up. But sadly, friends, I'm not. I present to you the conversation I heard not an hour ago inside the walls of a local bookstore. Is truth stranger than fiction? Today it seems to be.
Him: What do you have?
Her: This book about dealing with troubled teens.
Him: Oh good.
Her: There's a quiz in here that's supposed to help us find a way to help her. Just answer these questions.
Her: Does the teen cause disturbances?
Her: Does the teen ever commit or participate in violent acts?
Her: Has the teen ever mentioned or attempted suicide?
Him: Yeah. That time a year or so back. Remember?
Her: Kinda. Ok. Has the teen ever stolen money or property?
Her: Does the teen have a history of drug or alcohol abuse?
Her: That reminds me about something I wanted to tell you about your mother-
Him: Don't start in with that again. She's a poor woman who's not even here to defend herself. Just leave her out of it...
Needless to say, there were a couple of questions I really wanted to ask. I restrained myself.
Question One: Why the hell are you sitting in a bookstore when you obviously have a suicidal lunatic living at home who's probably chasing the dog around with a steak knife? Can you say therapy?
Question Two: Um...I don't mean to be critical but do you really believe you're going to find all the answers in a self-help book? Exactly where will Dr. Phil be when, after said teen has killed said dog with said steak knife, she hotwires the van and sells it for crack?
Question Three: Do you have no shame? You realize you're sitting inside a fairly busy bookstore and discussing the many downfalls of your daughter not to mention your own poor parenting skills? And on top of that, you're talking pretty loud!
Some words of advice if you're listening, dumb couple. Stop at the grocery store, buy a nice bottle of Chianti and a can of fava beans because if you're counting on that book to change your lives, you're really and truly screwed.Posted by Chris at February 6, 2004 4:26 PM