Remember the threats you’d receive from your peers as a kid? They seemed devastating at the time, but we probably haven’t thought twice about them since we awkwardly stumbled into middle school. I thought it’d be fun to revisit some of those threats and why they don’t hold up as adults.
1. The Threat: “Oh yeah, well you’re not invited to my birthday party.”
This was possibly the biggest threat you could make to a fellow 9 year old. Birthday parties as a kid were more important than life itself. Kids that had a birthday towards the end of the school year held all the (birthday) cards, because they could make the threat of not inviting someone to their birthday party throughout the entire school year. If your birthday landed in September, you better have had a massive guest list, because leaving someone out could come back to haunt you down the road. People don’t forget.
After your 21st, birthdays become nothing more than a time to remind you of all the things you thought you would have accomplished by this age. You soon realize that birthday parties now take too much time to plan, and usually end up being something kind of thrown together at the last minute. There’s no fun in-between, and you certainly can’t threaten someone by withholding their invite. Also, at work you’re actually trying to avoid people knowing that it’s your birthday altogether just to dodge awkward cards and forced conversations with coworkers you rarely talk to.
2. The Threat: “You can’t play on my team”
When you were a kid all you wanted to do was join some sort of a team, whether it was a kickball team, the scouts, or The He-Man Woman Haters Club. As an adult, the only teams you’re going to be asked to join are intramural sports teams or an office club sports team. Being picked on an intermural or co-ed team will feel like a blessing at first, because you whole life you’ve wanted to be picked to play on a team. However, this will lead to sore backs, unnecessarily torn ACLs, and predetermined times that you’ll have to show up to places for multiple weeks. It’s like picking up an extra credit or an extra job, except you have a higher chance of receiving an expensive medical bill.
3. The Threat: “I’ll tell on you”
Tellers, tattle tails, narcs, squealers, snitches, rats. The kids who constantly threatened to tell on you had many names and were never well liked, but their threats held some merit. These were the kids who would tell on you for trivial things that really affected no one. Things like stuffing the green beans you didn’t care for in your milk carton when you dumped your tray in the cafeteria. However, if you’re making this threat as an adult, you’re probably not in a good situation to try and make the threat. In fact, it’s likely that you’re in prison and everybody knows that snitches get stiches.
4. The Threat: “I bet I can beat you in a race”
You know how they say money talks? Well when you’re a kid, speed talks. The fastest kid in your grade had prowess, and they could use their speed as a threat in almost any circumstance. Arguments were not settled in judicial debates, but rather in races to the fence and back. Now, if you’re not competing in a college sport, high school should be the last time you ever care about beating someone in a race. Show me a person who knows what their fastest marathon time is, and I’ll show you a person who’s ran too many marathons.
5. The Threat: “I have a black belt in karate”
Between the “Power Rangers,” and “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” the 90s were a very karate-oriented time. It seemed like every assembly or show-and-tell featured karate in one way or another, and any kid who claimed he had a black belt in karate was a kid you did not want to fight. I mean they could kick through wood! However, years later I discovered that a 50-pound kid named Keegan had attained a black belt, and I realized that a black belt was nothing more than a way to hold up your pants.
Also, I didn’t think about it at the time, but karate instructors should be required to go through rigorous background checks by the way. They spend all their days rolling around with kids and reward their victims students by removing their belt only to later replace it with a new one. Then at their climax graduation ceremony they celebrate by splitting wood.
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