How to Create a Cynic in Less Than 12 Steps
Written by: Alex Sandell
Steps 7-9: Pubic Hair, Prom Night and Physical Education

Now that your child has made it through elementary school, you're free to sit back and watch his or her cynicism take shape seemingly all by itself. By the time a future cynic is 12 or 13 and entering the 7th grade, the school system and puberty will take complete control over molding your son or daughter into a full-fledged cynic.

Junior High is right around the time when a person is beginning to feel extremely self-conscious about their body. Particularly specific body parts used for functions such as going to the bathroom and reproducing (something a true cynic will probably never do. They might find a new use for their hand, though.). In true "we've got to get them ready for the 'real world'" fashion, this is the time the school system decides to force mandatory showers on the students, after phyed.

I dreaded that shower call. I was always so nervous that my penis wouldn't add up to everyone else's that it never did (yes, girls - "stress shrinkage" is real). I'd try to jump from the shower, to a protective towel, to the locker and into my underwear in one magic, David Copperfield moment. The only problem was . . . the other kids wanted to see what was behind the curtain. Time and again, the "curtain" was torn off to reveal my shrunken anatomy. Of course everyone proceeded to point and laugh at this odd patch of pubic hair with the little thing poking out of the middle. What a hell. I wanted out.

I tried a note from my father which claimed I went jogging with him after school and followed that up with a shower, so I didn't need to take one after my last hour phyed class. This note was rejected. I tried just getting my hair wet and pretending a shower was taken. All my shrunken anatomy loving classmates put an end to this by making sure my phyed teacher found out about "the great deception." From that point on I was randomly "inspected" as I washed my trembling nude body. If only "don't ask, don't tell" was around when I was 13 years old. I would have been telling like there was no tomorrow.

I would have been the first one out of that proverbial closet. I would have came to gym with flowers in my hair and a wrist so limp you couldn't get it up with Viagra Brand Vaseline. Yet, it was too little (hehe) too late, and homophobia didn't help me out of step # 7: always make your burgeoning cynic stand naked in front a roomful of his gawking peers.

Rumors of a tiny penis can go on all throughout Junior High and right into High School. They can get so bad, step # 8 becomes nearly inevitable: a true cynic never gets laid during his sexual prime. Trust me; complete lack of sex throughout a person's teen years can make for one hell of a cynic. How else do you ever get to prove that it really was only "shrinkage?"

If you're not "getting any," that most likely means you're not going to Prom. Prom is big with High School kids. At least the ones who had a cooperative penis back in Junior High.

Sitting at home watching videos on Prom Night is the definitive straw that breaks the cynic's back. Prom Night is the time when all the years of hard work honestly pay off and your son or daughter will become a true cynic. The final blow, the last step: a 100%, over-the-top, certified (certifiable?) cynic never, ever makes it to Prom!

They may even have the chance. By this point some women may even want to take them out to the dance. But a cynic will stay at home. "Why the fuck would I want to attend that fucking thing in the first place?" they'll ask, "I'd just end up getting hit by some drunk and be in a wheelchair the rest of my life." This is when the cynic will realize, once and for all, that he's a big fucking cynic.

So, now that it's all been said and done, what will happen to your newly crowned cynic? Well, he could surprise you and succeed as an entertainer. A self-deprecating stand-up comedian. The voice of a new character on "The Simpsons." Maybe even a movie star.

But, most likely he or she will just end up sort of bitter. Writing weird articles that will go unnoticed by publishers. Maybe even an article all about how an individual becomes a true cynic. Wondering to himself when it will get better, but knowing it never will. Why would it? Things never do . . .

1998 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. I betcha you'll just copy it anyway. Then I'll sue you, and lose the case, be out tons of money, and die homeless and broke. Thanks a lot.

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