I’m sure you’re aware of this phenomenon. I first learned of it when I was young, probably in 3rd grade, and on vacation with my family. We went to a restaurant across the street from an old-fashioned toy store and it had a lot of pictures of dogs, along with one big poster claiming: “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”
Even at the delicate age of nine, I knew enough to look at that and say, Fucker, no you didn’t. I’d already learned more that I just knew would be important eventually. Like Kindergarten didn’t teach me how to add numbers–or at least, not a bunch of them, and not double digit ones. But when I go to the grocery store with $40 exactly, I need to know that.
What exactly do all these people think they learned in kindergarten?
- Share Everything. Especially herpes. This is probably what gives rise to that whole thing where if someone from your workplace calls you in the middle of the night because there’s a problem and it wakes you up, you immediately call three other people to share your misery. The thing is, in Kindergarten, we don’t learn to share. We learn that if we don’t share, Teacher Lady will be upset and will be nicer to the other kids. We learn that sharing makes her like us and treat us better–unless, of course, her nephew’s in the class. While this does seem sort of accurate for later on in life when you’ve got a job and a boss, I bet the second you got into first grade, you wondered if your new Teacher Lady would let you get away with not sharing. What you really learned? Fear the man.
- Don’t Hit People. Even in self-defense. It doesn’t matter how long Jimmy has been punching you. Teacher Lady will see if you throw one punch back, and then you’ll be In Trouble.
- Take a Nap Every Afternoon. Go on, do it. You won’t get fired or anything.
As you can see, this list is clearly bullshit. I turned to other lists that reference pop culture, things that are for and about adults (well, to an extent) in hopes that they’d tell me what I really needed to know. Batman comes first because–well, he’s the Batman.
- Never trust a man who smiles all the time. Man, fuckin’ happy people. They’re the worst.
- There are two faces to every friend…and enemy. Yeah. Seriously, don’t trust anyone. They might be a psychotic murderer half the time.
- Learn to trust. Wait. Didn’t you just tell me not to do that? Like…twice?
Clearly, even Batman is unreliable in terms of life lessons. Moving on, then–what can Star Wars teach us?
- “Don’t tell me the odds!” Yeah, that’s right. Buy that lottery ticket every day. I mean, what are the odds that you don’t win? Wait, no–knowing that would clearly be a bad thing.
- Don’t ever apologize to your boss. Wait, hold on. This is on the Star Wars list, but I think it belongs on the NCIS one.
- Sand people always walk in single file to hide their numbers. I can’t even begin to tell you how useful this one’s been to me. Those sand people. Tricksy motherfuckers.
So the lessons we learned from kindergarten, Batman, and Star Wars aren’t the only things we need to know. What else is there?
Did any of these things teach you how to manage your finances? Balance your checkbook, file your taxes? Because in Real Life, those are things you need to know.
Did you learn how to take care of a baby squirrel that you find shivering on your porch one night as you get home from a party? No? Then what are you going to do when you find it?
Did they teach you how to type? Good luck getting a job without that one. In fact, did they teach you any marketable skills? Didn’t think so.
Did any of them teach you how to cook? You gonna sustain yourself on take-out, then? Oooh, your doctor’s gonna love you. I hope you at least learn to make enough meals to impress your date.
Wait. Shit. You guys know what I just realized?
Everything I need to know in life is written up somewhere on the internet.
What did I miss? And where did you learn everything?