4 Winter Styles to Keep You Warm

Liar liar pants on fireWhen it comes to fashion advice, we all know that the only authority better than a teen boy is a poodle. Since poodles are terrible communicators, though, most people just listen to teen boys.

As a teenager myself, it would simply be unfair to keep all of the good fashion knowledge secret. Especially the brilliant winter fashion we come up with.

Winter fashion is unique due to its two distinct schools of thought. The first is that there is no such thing as winter fashion; you might as well wear your basketball shorts, short shorts, short-short shorts, and invisible shorts regardless of the outdoor temperatures. The second thought is that you should wear something that looks like you wrapped a bedspread around yourself, so that you can stay warm.

Clearly, there are downsides to each course of action. You can look great, until you have to amputate a leg due to frostbite, or you can feel great, and look like an obese grizzly bear. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to both look and feel great.

Set Your Shorts on Fire

Shorts allow you mobility, fashion, and fashionable mobility. Sadly, they expose your knees down (in guys’ case) or your nose down (in girls’ case) to the wild temperatures of winter.

But, if you set your shorts on fire, they will actually keep you warm! Obviously, however, you need to wear fireproof underwear and spray flame-retardant on your legs to stay safe*.

All of a sudden, you’ve taken shorts and made them even cooler, or shall I say hotter. As you’ve probably witnessed in your chemistry class, teens have a fascination with fire that springs from a combination of stupidity and an absence of intelligence (stupidity). Thus, if you liked how shorts looked, you’ll go crazy over just how cool burning shorts look.

*This might not be enough to keep you safe. As a general rule, it is often unwise to set clothes on fire, especially if you’re the one wearing them. I’m telling you this because I know that you, just like any other sane teen, paused for a bit and actually considered trying this.

Wear Ear Muffs

I honestly can’t say what happened to the earmuffs; they appear to be a fashion creation that was never in style. The history of earmuffs seems to go straight from the “concept” stage to the “outdated dorky phase,” entirely skipping the “stupid, but new and cool accessory” phase that carried the popularity of things like sillybands, powdered wigs, and neck ruffs.

Regardless, earmuffs are supposedly very good at keeping your ears warm. Thus, the only thing you need to do to make them fashionable is disguise them. The best idea is to draw your choice headphones’ logo on the outside. Then, if anyone asks you about them, just tell him that you’ve got the new “shag-carpet” model, and that you would offer them a listen but the bass sounds so intense that you don’t want to stop listening yourself.

Live Sheep Shoes

Girls have a slight advantage in the feet department, because it is already fashionable to wear “Uggs” boots lined with sheepskin. Even as an expert on fashion, I can’t tell you why the company decided on that name, because when you see something that looks horrible most people exclaim, “Ugh! That is so Ug-ly.” Nevertheless, they seem to be here to stay, at least for longer than the whole “rubber boots with large unattractive handles for putting them on” fad.

Teen boys, however, don’t have the ability to wear sheepskin or wool footwear, unless Nike decides to scrap the futuristic “lunarlon” material and go back to stones and animal furs. The only option, then, is to buy some live sheep.

Now, don’t worry. I’m not about to tell you to mercilessly butcher some mammals. No, all you really need to do is sew one sock on the top of each of your two sheep. Next, just slip your feet into the socks. You won’t even have to move your legs, because it’s basically like riding two sheep. The best part is that not only will you have the added warmth of the sheep bodies, but that you will also never get your feet wet stepping in puddles again.

Aluminum Foil Gloves

The cruelest reality of winter is that your body produces more than enough heat to keep you warm. Nature, however, absorbs all of that heat unless you wear clothes. Thankfully, aluminum foil is terrific at reflecting warmth, so if you want some warm, cheap, and, most importantly, stylish gloves, just make yourself a pair out of aluminum foil.

Don’t whine about how aluminum foil can be sharp, or about how you tried to throw your gloves away after lunch. You’ve got style and warmth. Besides, now your hands can double as solar ovens or Tupperware covers. Plus, you can wear these gloves when you feed your sheep, to avoid getting bitten.

Hopefully you’ve taken something away from this highly futuristic, highly fashionable, and highly secret list of winter wear advice. Even if you only leave this post with a singed pair of shorts, at least you’ve learned just how dangerous high fashion can be. Now, I’d love to continue to discuss warm winter clothing options, but I’ve got to go sew myself a neck ruff, ‘cause nobody uses a scarf anymore.

Be Thankful for Thanksgiving (Or at Least for What it Used to Be)

Funny Thanksgiving gagThanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. There is time for family bonding, no school, a ton of delicious food, a parade, no school, time to watch TV, no school, and, best of all, a Thanksgiving Day parade of delicious food on TV so you can bond with your family while watching it because there is no school.

Is that all Thanksgiving means to us today? Has it become commercialized and fattening, just like every other holiday save Halloween, which is commercialized, fattening, and ludicrous? No, of course not. Thanksgiving has maintained an air of dignity throughout it all. Haha. Who are we kidding? It certainly has.

The Meal

It used to be that if you wanted a good feast on Thanksgiving, you would have to put in some elbow grease. And I mean that literally—the Pilgrims didn’t have any other type of grease to cook with back in the day.

You had to load up your rifle, bow and arrow, or cannon, and go out to actually hunt down a turkey. Now this isn’t hard, because a Turkey is essentially a walking, feathered, gobbling entrée. It doesn’t fly and it’s got a huge body, so it’s difficult to miss, even with a cannon.

But still, in the 17th century, when you killed that turkey, you felt the connection to nature. You had turkey guts all over your arms (hand gloves were not invented until the global cooling scare of the 1700s, which spurred the 18th century world into action, increasing carbon dioxide emissions to prevent an ice age).

Today, you just walk into a supermarket and pick up a turkey. The thing I want to know is: is it a turkey? Few of us have ever seen a turkey other than this plastic-wrapped hunk of bird at the supermarket. Most of us can’t picture a turkey outside of the two-dimensional clichéd one with a hat. For all we know, the supermarkets are giving us large chickens, or guinea pigs, or something.

The point is that the meal is too easy. You can buy mashed potatoes already mashed. You don’t have to grow your own corn. Thanks to advancements in genetically engineered farming, your pumpkin grows from its seed into an already-labeled can! What more can you ask, for the entire meal to come frozen, awaiting bombardment of radioactive particles in a microwave? Then I’ve got news for you.

The Entertainment

The people at the first Thanksgiving were very close to nature. They were so close, in fact, that the entertainment largely consisted of watching people vomit up the meal, since the turkey had been served raw and the pumpkins had been eaten whole.

Nowadays, all you’ve got are examples of greedy corporate infiltration, via TV advertising and the NFL. Sure, you’ve got the almost-historically-accurate Cowboys versus Redskins game, but think about it: Patriots versus Jets? Sure, it’s very realistic to have the American Patriots (who were probably too busy having tea parties to bother with a Thanksgiving meal) fight not one, but multiple Boeing 747s starting in 1621.

But wait—there’s more corporate entertainment! In between plays of those same football games, you can watch 30-second clips of smiling people waking up at 2 AM to go to sales. The commercials show you a few reasons to go to the sales: one, who needs sleep when you can buy a coffee-maker 40% off; two, you can increase your chances of being trampled to death if you attend; and three, well, the people in the commercial are obviously very happy, meaning that you’ll find joy in getting no sleep, waking up still full enough to explode, and driving to a store with 700 other dangerously-full sleep-deprived people, any one of whom could mentally snap and strangle someone at any moment.

The Travel

Just getting to your Thanksgiving destination has become a journey not to be undertaken by the faint of heart, the young, the old, the clueless, the lazy, the weak, the frail, or anyone with a last name of “Bieber.”

In 1621, the most you would need is a horse, some sort of path, and a saddle with some really good shock absorbers. It was a simple journey to whatever your destination was, and although you could die of cholera or hypothermia on the way, it was quite tranquil.

Not so today. You must follow a strict set of travel regulations, and you must also plan for your plan to be “slightly” delayed in the range of 6-19 hours. If you’re driving, then it’s slightly better, but you’re more likely to get lost. Thankfully, few pilots confuse airports with tennis courts, although it does happen.

In 1621, at the first Thanksgiving, I’m sure that the attendees had a crazy good time. Or at least I’m sure that they would have, if having a “crazy good time” wasn’t against their religious customs.

In retrospect*, though, I’m thankful that we’ve progressed from the original Thanksgiving. After all, you’ll notice I never mentioned dessert, which is the only thing (aside from the whole “no school” part) that really matters. That’s because our desserts are undoubtedly much better than the sweet-tasting tree bark and maggots, which used to be the only option.

*or circumspect. Or prospect. I have no idea what any of these words mean, but one of them sounds right when placed there.

So, for whatever reasons, be thankful for something this Thanksgiving. Sure, that’s the first time that idea has been introduced in this post, but you’re probably so used to hearing it that you didn’t notice until I mentioned it. So, I’ll say it again: velociraptors make good chefs. Okay, fine, I didn’t say that previously either. You caught me that time.

I might as well end it where we started: Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. You just have to be able to look past the fact that it is nothing like it used to be.

But maybe today’s Thanksgiving isn’t completely changed. We still preserve certain mealtime traditions, as explained in “Our Thanksgiving Traditions Come From Teens,” published at Thanksgiving of last year. Why a turkey? And how did anyone come up with stuffing? All that–and more–is revealed.

The Most Effective SAT Study Plan

Funny picture of ear trainingIf you have not yet taken the SAT, you must start thinking about it. Yes, I’m talking to all of you: the high school senior taking it in December, the high school sophomore who still doesn’t know what the SAT is, the 8th grader who is probably already in bed by now, and even—no, especially—all you unborn fetuses reading this. If you have a brain, you need to be thinking about the SAT.

Why? Well, the answer’s simple: thinking about the SAT is a lot easier than studying for it. And you need to be doing one of those two things.

Actually, you need to be doing both, all the time, everyday. If you want to go to college, you’ll need to take either the SAT or ACT. If you want to do well, you need to start studying now.

Presently, there are 3,451 books that have been published to help you prep for the SAT. By the time you finish reading this sentence, there will have been 3,457 books published. Basically, if you could get through a prep book a week, you’d be on social security before you were ready to take the SAT. Assuming social security still exists 66 years from now, and hasn’t been replaced with Facebook Farmville Food Credits or something of that sort.

The point is there are more SAT study plans than there are students who will actually take the SAT. It’s practically impossible to know which plan to go with. Your friend tells you to get the Princeton Review book while Expl0ded37, a member of the online academic think tank known as Yahoo Answers, tells you to just read as many novels as you can.

Thankfully, we’re here to cut through all of the BS*. (Note: this is a humor blog. Feel free to comment that this guide is “sooper useles” and “iditoic,” especially now that we’ve mentioned those adjectives, but don’t expect this to be more than slightly helpful.)

*BS stands for Bean Soup. In case you hadn’t noticed, this is a clean blog.

Get Romantically Involved

Yep, the first step to doing well on the SAT is to get romantically involved. The trick is to find the right significant other.

For most of you, that means Quizlet. Yes, the online website will become your new romantic partner. You’ll spend all of your spare time with it. You’ll make sacrifices so that you can see it every day. You’ll even take it everywhere, thanks to the handy Quizlet app. Here’s a question: at school dances, whom will you dance with? If you said Quizlet, you are correct.

Only in this monogamous, devoted relationship will you be able to possibly learn enough vocabulary so that you know every word on the test. Otherwise, “ubiquitous” might leave you questioning whether or not you are hallucinating— that’s certainly not a word.

Check Your Math

Most people find the math on the SAT the easiest section. Most people will also make a few obvious mistakes. Had they checked their work, though, they would have caught the mistakes.

So, rather than focusing on actually learning any math, just focus on checking your math. That way, you can cut down on mistakes. Thus, when you get to a problem where you have absolutely no idea what to do, you can check your work! Now you can be certain that you had absolutely no idea what to do and that you didn’t make any dumb mistakes not knowing what to do and not doing what you didn’t know.

Train Your Ear

When it comes to the writing section, a widely used strategy is to “hear” the error. That way, you don’t need to learn any grammar rules. So, you must train your ear.

Here’s where you might go wrong: you might think that training your ear is as simple as reading some well-structured sentences every day. It’s not.

If you are truly devoted to getting a high score, you need to take this advice more seriously. The biggest problem is that you hear many spoken grammatical errors throughout your day at school. Teens are always saying things like, “Me and my friend,” “You were with who?” and “Dude it were so sick that they was did it.”

To avoid dulling your ear, you need to wear earplugs to school for a week before the test. If you want to hide this, then just put a pair of headphones over them. Sure, you might be late to every class, not hearing the bell, and you might fail that French listening test, but it’s worth it.

Wait a second. What are we saying? Study? For a test? The only people who ever do that grow up to start lucrative business ventures. I have no idea what “lucrative” or “ventures” means, so I’m going to assume that’s a bad thing.

Heck, don’t study more than you need to. Sure, if you want to get a 3000 out of 2400, then you might want to follow this guide. Otherwise, there’s probably no need to make a fool of yourself when people see you taking Quizlet to dinner and a movie.

So, since you’re probably not too concerned about the SAT, perhaps you’d rather increase your coolness factor. In that case, you should check out “4 Ways to Make Your Phone 4 Times as Cool,” published at this time last year.

Down With School Library Fines

Just a pile of dusty booksWithout it, our country would be vastly different. Everyone values it. Having it gives us all a sense of security. No, I’m not talking about the TSA; I’m talking about money.

To be politically correct, I probably shouldn’t talk about money. The only politically sensitive thing to say about money is “I believe that everyone should have money, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, grade point average, or the number of showers you take a month.”

So, let’s change the subject to school libraries. School libraries are wonderful, aren’t they? You’ve created loads of great memories in them over your school career: getting yelled at for talking too loudly, getting shouted at for eating in the library, getting told off for checking Facebook on the library computer, and getting ejected for trying to back flip over a small bookshelf.

Hold on. I’m forgetting the reason no one uses school libraries: they offer books. These days, if you want something to read you can power up a computer, smartphone, e-reader, or electric toothbrush. The only use anyone has for the books at the school library occurs in English class.

It happens about once a month: your severely strict English teacher will hup-two-three-four your class to library, where you will check out the book of the month. These books all have a standard, “ooh-look-at-the-symbolism” title formula that goes “The [noun].” The Red Badge of Courage, The Crucible, The Scarlet Letter, and The Kite Runner are only a few examples.

While you wait in the class line, your teacher will pace around your class, herding you all like a hyperactive sheep dog on caffeine. But you don’t even notice that. Why? Because you are too busy worrying about library fines.

Yes, I said it: school library fines, the newest method of funding schools, 25¢ at a time. It is guaranteed that you have accrued them, because your English teacher told you herself that you should keep the books for the entire semester so you can review them for your final.

Usually, your exchange with the librarian goes something like this:

[Setting: school library. Students are attempting to check out the newest required novel during English class.]

Librarian: Student ID number?

Student [Male]: [Frantically trying to think of a number that wouldn’t have fines attached to it] Negative Fifteen.

Librarian: There are no negative student ID numbers.

Student: Oh, my bad. I meant to say ninety-fifteen. Like 9-0-1-5.

Librarian: Student ID numbers are 6 numbers. Do you remember yours or not?

Student: Maybe it is ninety ninety fifteen?

Librarian: Are you Suzy LeChanson?

Male Student: Yeah…uh…my parents like the name and didn’t want to come up with a new one when I turned out to be a boy. So my friends call me Sooz.

Librarian [skeptical]: Really.

Male Student: Yep.

Librarian: Well, okay Sooz. I’m sorry to inform you that you have $13 in library fines from your overdue books.

Male Student: [Under breath] Wow, how did Suzy only get $13 in fines? I must have like $34 by now…[To the librarian] Okay, so?

Librarian: Well, I can’t check out The Symbolic Title to you until you’ve paid your fines.

Student: Okay, fine. Here’s the money [pulling out wallet]. It was my lunch money for the week, but hey, who needs cafeteria food when you can feast on literary masterpieces like The Symbolic Title?

Librarian: True, very true. Oh, I’m sorry, but I can’t accept your money; you’ll need to pay the bookkeeper down in the office.

Student: Sure, whatevs. Now can I check out the book?

Librarian: Nope. You can’t check anything out if you have over $10 in fines.

Student: But I’ll need it for class right now. My whole class is here getting the book.

Librarian: Sorry. I sent away three others because of fines as well.

Student: The only reason we have fines is because of English class, anyways. Our teacher makes us keep the books past the due dates.

Librarian: That’s not my fault. You can always renew the book.

Student: No, because we don’t know how to do so and we won’t remember to.

Librarian: I honestly don’t know how to renew books either. They never taught me anything when I took the job.

Student: Okay, look, I’ll give [furtively glancing around] an extra two dollars if you let me check out this book.

Librarian: I can’t do that. That would be corruption.

Student: We are talking about a book and thirteen dollars! You are a school librarian, not a politician!

Librarian: Exactly. If I were a politician I would be allowed to be corrupt so I could take your money.

Teacher [cutting in]: Mark, check out the book and move on. You are holding up the line!

Librarian: Hey, I thought you said your name was Sooz!

Student: It is. Uh…there is just an error on the attendance sheet so my teachers call me Mark; it is my middle name.

Librarian: Oh. Well, I can’t check this book out to you, Sooz.

Teacher [From across the room]: Hurry up, Mark! You are taking way too long!

Librarian: SHHHHHHHshsshshshshsshhhhh ! THIS IS A LIBRARY!

Teacher: [Whispering] Sorry. [Yelling] MARK HURRY UP NOW!

Librarian: Oh whatever. Sooz, we are done here. Please leave.

Student: Please please please I need this book to do the homework tonight. Just let me check it out. What could happen?

Librarian: I could lose my job. Absolutely not.

Student: I will wash your car…or your bike?…or I will walk your pets and repaint your house. [Eyes tearing up]. Please.

Librarian: I walk to school. And I have a pet bird.

Teacher: MARK YOU ARE DONE! I AM ABOUT TO SEND YOU TO THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE!

Student: One more second!

Librarian: SHHHshshshshhh! Sooz, you are banned from the library for a week for being loud.

Student: Then how am I supposed to check out The Symbolic Title?

Librarian: I don’t know.

Teacher: MARK! THAT’S IT! THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE NOW!

Librarian: SHHHHSsshhshshhshhhhhshshshshshshshshhshshshhshshhshsh! Huuuuuuhnh! [a huge intake of breath] SHHhhhhhhHHHHHhhhhshshshHSHHSHSH…[while librarian is zealously shushing, eyes closed and head throw back, Student/Mark/Sooz grabs a copy of the book he needs and runs for the door]…hshshshsHSHSHSHSHSH!

[As Mark reaches the door, he sets off the “library book that wasn’t properly checked out” alarm, causing red lights to flash in the library. The doors automatically lock in front of him. He turns around only to see the teacher menacingly walking towards him. Determined, he kicks out the glass in the door and runs away.

The second he steps off school grounds with the stolen book he will have committed a class 2 felony, but he doesn’t know that nor care. Eventually, after a 3 week, multi-jurisdictional manhunt, the Feds will bring Mark in and challenge him with one count of stealing library books, one count of identity fraud (on Suzy’s behalf), and one count of not paying his library fines. He will be convicted on all counts.

He would have spent the next six months in jail, but upon learning that the juvenile detention facility had a library, his brain snapped. So, he served his time in a cell with padded walls instead.]

The next time you go to a school library to check out a book with your class, make sure all of your fines are paid. At the very least, make sure you have the student ID number of someone with no fines. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up just like Susy “Mark” LeChanson.

It would help if you only racked up imaginary library fines. Sounds impossible? Not quite, as explained in “Math Lesson #i:Imaginary Numbers,” published this time last year. Think imaginary numbers sound ludicrous? So do we.