by Raphael Bean
1. Gum is some of the best stuff on the planet, and thereare a few different ways to enjoy it. Once you have a chewed piece inyour mouth, you can take it out and squeeze it between your fingers.You can mash it in your fist. You can rub it on the dog, on the floor,or on the underside of the toilet before putting it back in your mouth.Then you can take it out again and leave it on a pillow to surprisesomeone later. Or you can just swallow it, race back to the source ofthe gum, demand another piece, and then do the same thing over again. Icall it Gum-fest.
2. If you play around with them for long enough, mostdoorknobs will eventually open for you. Then you can surprise yourmother by getting up from your nap and coming downstairs all byyourself … five minutes after she left you there.
3. Ladder-climbing is another skill worth perfecting. Onceyou get good at it, you can make your way up into your siblings’ topbunks. This, you will soon discover, is where they keep the good stuff.Like prize baseball cards, seashell collections, and markers. Andsometimes even gum. Did somebody say Gum-fest?
4. A dancing mother can be a scary sight. If yours puts onmusic and tries to get away with any kind of this foolishness, do notstand for it. Capture her attention with a stern stare and tell her“No” like you mean it.
5. Condiments are the very best kind of food. French fries,carrot sticks, and cucumber slices are all very handy condiment“holders.” Using these, an innovative diner can make a meal of ketchup,mustard, and ranch dressing alone.
6. My father is God. He made the world, he keeps it spinning, and he can walk on water. Don’t even try to tell me otherwise.
7. Baby brothers are peculiar things. They are rather wetand squawky, but kind of sweet and warm too. If you have one, I reallyrecommend kissing it gently on the head and bringing it some of yourold toys to play with. Your parents will praise you for a week.
8. Diaper changes are for babies. I may not have outgrown wearingdiapers yet, but I definitely am way too grown up for all that changingnonsense. If you know my mother, could you please explain this to her?I have tried, but she keeps chasing me with the wipes anyway.
9. If your mother tries to put a stop to your fun by saying“No more gum” right smack dab in the middle of a perfectly innocentgood ole’ Gum-fest, throw yourself on the floor and screech as loudlyas possible. Kick your feet and flail your arms until your mother picksyou up and puts you in a different room. She might say something aboutbeing allowed to come out when you stop screaming, but do not let herwords distract you from your goal. Stay in that room alternatelyscreeching uncontrollably and sobbing pathetically until one of yourolder siblings comes in, feels sorry for you, and offers you a piece ofgum. The Gum-fest goes on …